Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nun Stereotypes

Every now and then I get asked the stereotypical nun question, "Do you use a ruler?" I don't think I come across as an angry nun who would resort to hitting someone with a ruler, but I've been asked that question more times than I can count.

Recently someone in my class at Indiana University Southeast asked me that question, so I decided to have a little fun with it. When I gave my presentation the next week, I brought in a ruler. I started by saying, "I get asked often if I carry a ruler. I do have one in case anyone isn't paying attention."

Of all the contributions religious sisters have made over the centuries, unfortunately they are probably most associated with rulers and cracked knuckles. I wonder when this stereotype will change.

I know when I was looking into religious life, stereotypes are what hindered me from sharing my desire with others and pursuing the call openly. It wasn't until I visited Ferdinand and met some wonderful, loving, and caring women that my image of nuns changed. I learned they too are just like me - human beings with flaws and weaknesses, seeking God, and doing the best they can in life.

How about it? Consider your image of nuns. What is it based on? Come to Ferdinand to see if your image is accurate of our community.

The next time I get asked if I use a ruler, I'll answer, "Sure, to measure with, just like you."

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