They Live-Tweet TV, And 14 Other Fascinating Things You Definitely Don’t Know About Nuns

According to some nuns, the freezer-raiding scene in “Sister Act” is frighteningly accurate.
Jose Chavarry
Jose Chavarry

1. Convents are kinda ageist.

It’s interesting to note that the common stereotype of nuns is that they’re usually elderly (don’t you just immediately assume everyone looks like the Mother Abbess in The Sound Of Music?). In reality, the vast majority of convents will not accept women over the age of 45 (although it does help if you have an affinity for singing alone in the mountains of Austria).

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2. They’re not really into people with debts, either.

Wow this ish is exclusive. “Debts” can refer to anything including Student Loans. You would think that’s already a little too limiting for an applicant pool of nuns, but these sisters are serious.

3. But they’re weirdly elitist about education.

If you think you can skirt around the Student Loans issue by not attending college, you’re wrong. It’s not ~mandatory,~ but it’s highly recommended you obtain at least a college degree and have a couple years of professional work experience under your belt before you begin the process of applying to be a nun.

4. They’re also pretty confused about how to handle people with mental illness.

A convent or monastery is not a hotel; you can’t just roll up and ask to stay there.

One of the most basic (but essential) requirements is that you need to be in psychological shape. There have been some issues with this because there’s an ambiguous gray area about how this could be interpreted as discriminating against people with mental illnesses, but what convents argue is that the life of a nun is incredibly mentally strenuous. If you don’t have the mental or emotional capacity for such an environment, you won’t succeed and will definitely be removed.

5. They were into the sustainable food trend before you were.

You don’t have to be a body builder, but many convents would prefer it if, in addition to being *mentally stable,* you were also physically fit. This is because of their strict fasting rituals, and their reliance on sustainable gardens for food. Thus, they deem it unreasonable for them to accept someone with physical health issues too.

6. And they’re totally on board with the whole food porn thing, too.

7. Ditto to the cute cat photo phenomenon.

8. They even use Vine.

9. And live-tweet TV shows.

10. They love Amazon gift cards.

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Seriously. Should you ever be in the pickle of needing to get a nun a present, you now know.

11. They’re surprisingly fixated on networking.

Again, it’s not like you can just show up. Even if you fit all of the prior qualifications, you still need to network. That’s right, you need to mingle with the sisters before you can even consider applying for a spot at the convent. And nuns don’t host ~networking events~ at your college either; you need to do all the dirty work yourself. The most popular means of conducting “nun surveillance” include: attending mass, taking a course taught by a nun, volunteering, inviting a nun to dinner or a movie, and helping a nun fix her computer or start her a Facebook page.

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12. They’re just like Donald Trump (when it comes to birth certificates).

So you’ve picked your convent, liked a couple of their Instagrams, friended them on Facebook, and think you’re in. Nope.

After carefully choosing the convent you want to join, you need to email them, sometimes do a Skype interview, and provide certifications of your birth, Baptism, and Confirmation.

It’s only after your precious documents have been certified authentic, that you must dedicate yourself to a vigorous five and half years (minimum) training process, leading up to your final vows.

Easy peasy.

13. They’re unbelievably happy considering they can’t have personal lives.

In the majority of traditional convents, you can’t keep personal possessions and you can’t take vacations or breaks to go visit your family. A lot of times, the only occasion that would allow you to physically leave the property would be to go to the dentist or the doctor.

Before your head explodes over the mere concept of not having Netflix, a survey found that 87% of nuns interviewed said they were satisfied with their lives, 60% suggested their lives were better than anticipated, and almost none said their lives were worse off.

14. They want longterm commitment just like you do.

There is a very common reaction to nuns, in terms of their sexuality, which is that they’re crazy for making such an oath of chastity (side note: a lot of nun blogs express confusion and concern over the public’s fixation with their sex life, so chill). It’s not just until marriage, it’s for the entirety of their lives.

A lot of people (including you, probably) question how religious sisters control themselves (because you’re an animal).

How they handle their ~*~urges~*~ is thinking of their relationship with Jesus to be like exclusively dating someone. If you were in a committed relationship, you could find other people attractive, but you wouldn’t act upon those feelings (let’s pretend cheating doesn’t exist).

Nuns are promising to do the exact same thing—except, in their case, Jesus is their boyfriend.

15. They’re obsessed with recruiting.

A major aspect of nun life is recruiting younger generations into the convent, so that the older generations are ensured someone will take care of them. It’s a major cycle of care that has been going on for centuries.

However, in recent times, the number of religious sisters has plummeted by approximately 72% since 1965(as of 2014); with American nuns making up only 7% of the worldwide nun population. TC mark

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