Friday, April 26, 2013

The sunny nuns

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On August 13, 2012

] Readers of Saturday's Vancouver Sun may have been surprised to see a photo of a nun dominating the newspaper's front page.

The August 11 issue of the city's broadsheet newspaper had a big feature story on the small group of Dominican nuns who are waiting for the 23,000 square foot Queen of Peace monastery to be finished construction near Squamish B.C..

The story points to the new monastery and other ancedotal evidence--such as the fact that two other orders of nuns have recently planted roots in B.C.-- as evidence of a new appeal for contemplative Roman Catholic spirituality.

As you may know, Dominican nuns, as the story attests, place great value on quiet and meditation. "We don't Tweet," the Sun quotes a nun as saying.

In an age that increasingly seems non-religious, why the increased interest? Well, the reporter guesses, older women may be finding that the nun's sort of faith is a good fit for them as they start to think about winding down their secular careers.

Sister Claire, the order's prioress featured in the page one photo, has an optimistic theory:

"Before, people came to religion through their parents, through tradition. It was a custom, it was a given, presumed. And a whole geberation of people let go of that because it wasn't their personal faith....And now they're coming back, but it's a new wave coming back. It's a personal quest."