Thursday, February 3, 2011

This Whole Nun Thing Is Confusing

They call me "Sr. Catherine" at school, but this whole "sister" thing is hard for some kids to grasp.

Just a few weeks ago, I overheard one of the 4th graders, who is new to our school this year, ask "Is she a nun?" Another kid answered, "Yeah, that's why we call her sister." He was still confused, "Is she like a real one?"

One of the kindergartners recently asked me, "What's your first name?" Well, let's see, he's been calling me "Sr. Catherine" all year, but I kindly answered, "Catherine." He smiled as if it were a joke and asked again, "No, what's your real first name?" He's not the first kindergartner to ask me this. I told him, "Catherine. You call me 'Sr. Catherine.' My first name's Catherine." Hmmmm . . . . I don't know if a light bulb went off or if he'll need more time to process that information. He's a smart kid, but this whole nun/sister concept is confusing.

I hope I'm shattering the image of nuns that some students have conjured up. The husband of one of our teachers at school refers to me as the "teenage nun." I'm actually 33, but unfortunately, I don't know how to make myself look older or bigger. For now, until I get gray hair, I'll just blend in with the kids and hopefully create a more accurate image of who nuns really are - real people with first names who seek God.


  1. That is a cute story. Children are so innocent. Of course, it was easy to identify nuns when I was young as they wore long flowing habits, veils, etc.

  2. Long flowing habits, veils, etc. are not important. Thanks Sr. Catherine, for being "a real person with a first name who seeks God. By your good example.....the children will get it!