A simple Google search for the word “nun” brings up a flurry of related news articles. Nuns tailgating to see Pope Francis, nuns battling Katy Perry over a fancy L.A. convent, nuns taking on McDonald’s. Then there’s the apparent surge of millennials answering God’s call to devote themselves to a religious life. Nuns: they’re so hot right now.
Women in the World for the NYT profiled women who decided to join the sisterhood. Tracy Kemme, now 29, was only 22 when she heard her calling. Now she’s part of a Cincinnati-based congregation whose mission is to “build faith and social justice.” Then there’s Sister Helena, a hockey-loving nun with over 20,000 Twitter followers.
Before social media could let us peer into the day-to-day lives of complete strangers, the only religious sisters most non-practicing Catholics were exposed to were the ones Whoopi Goldberg met in Sister Act. Now if a woman who is considering taking a vow to serve God wants to know exactly what that vow entails, the Internet can be her guide. Kemme has a blog called Sister-in-Training while Sister Helena has one called Hell Burns, which features a surprising amount of movie reviews, from the expected (90 Minutes in Heaven) to the not-so-expected (Nightcrawler).
This trend in sisterhood might also be due to the current cool Pope. “For women religious, this Pope is affirming of our call in a way that’s never been done before,” said Kemme. “His life exemplifies the kind of Catholicism we believe in. Really putting that mercy and compassion and outreach into action, making it less about rules and more about relationships—that resonates with us.”
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