Monday, July 8, 2013

Ask A Nun: The Answers Part I.

 Last week I gave all my dear readers the lovely opportunity to ask whatever they want of a real, live nun religious sister.  My sister, Sr. Veronica of the Capuchin Sisters of Nazareth is here on her annual home visit.    Well, you all came up with some wonderful questions.  In fact,  there were so many good questions..some quite involved, that we are dividing it into three parts. 

Part I

Will the nun make a delicious ice cream cake for our party this weekend and can she share her recipe?

To my dear brother-in law:  Yes, I did make ice cream cake this weekend, seeing as it is tradition from years past, and I hope that you enjoyed a good unhealthy treat for once- on my home visit we all like to splurge. We (the religious sisters) don't usually eat sweets, meat, or snack foods during the week except on Sundays and feast days, but on our home visits we're exempt.  Here's the recipe for Amelia's readers:

Sister is in her work habit as she was working hard at making these cakes with Heidi,

1 package oreo cookies
2 cartons ice cream (vanilla or chocolate works best)
1 jar ice cream topping (i.e. chocolate sauce, caramel,etc)
1 container cool whip
1 can vanilla frosting

Crush 1 package oreo cookies (gluten free if needed) and press in the bottom of pan.  Soften 1 carton of ice cream and spread over the crushed cookies.  
Freeze for three hours.
Melt the topping you wish to use ( I made one with chocolate sauce in the middle and one with caramel in the middle) and pour over cake.  Freeze for at least three hours.
Soften the other carton of ice cream and spread over the top of  the layered ice cream and sauce.  Freeze for at least one hour.
Mix (defrosted) Cool Whip with 1 can vanilla frosting.  Spread on top of cake and top with sprinkles.  Freeze for another three hours before serving.

I'm not a cradle Catholic and never went to school to be taught by nuns, so whenever I see a nun while I'm out and about, I'm always get the strong desire to run over to them and say something like, "Hey, I'm Catholic too!" Would that be wildly inappropriate? How do people usually approach you/what do they say to broach conversations?

I would love it if someone said "Hey, I'm Catholic, too!"  People usually don't have any idea what to say, and we know that people feel a bit awkward talking to sisters, so we're used to any sort of conversation starters. As a public witness of the Gospel ( which is what the habit is for- to remind people of God) we get many interesting comments and stares-ask my sister Amelia when she goes out anywhere with me!  Usually, the best way to start a conversation with a sister is the same way as you start one with any one else- tell a little about yourself, ask questions ("What order are you?" is a typical one), introduce your kids, etc.  So many people will even say to us:  "My daughter has never seen a nun before" or things like that.  I carry around miraculous medals in my pocket- just think, you may even get a free gift!

 I would love, Love, LOVE it if my daughter became a nun or one of my future children became a nun/priest. Is there something early on in particular that started you down this path? What sorts of things would you recommend I do (besides pray, of course ; ) to help my children discern a possible religious vocation?

First of all, I think it's great that your open to having one of your children become a sister.  So many times, the parents are actually the biggest obstacles to girls entering the convent.  They don't want their daughters to not get married, or not go to college, or be "unsuccessful", and in their eyes, unhappy.  Actually, if a young woman has a religious vocation, she won't be truly happy doing anything else!  
God calls from the womb, and so He already knows if your daughter has a vocation to religious life (I always try to spark it in my nieces and nephew!)  A good way to foster the possibility of a vocation at a young age is to introduce your daughter to sisters in habits, or if that's not possible- I know how hard it is to find them sometimes- to read the lives of the saints to them. St. Therese has inspired many girls who are with us now.Statues of the saints or "nun dolls" also help a lot.  I play "nuns" with my nieces here to teach them about religious life. 

  I read the story of St. Anthony (actually, that our Mom wrote) when I was 12 years old- she wanted us to proofread it for her-a sneaky ploy to get us to read the lives of the saints, I must say.  It really made my heart burn to want to live like him or like St. Clare, who was also in the book.  I had never met a sister in a habit at that time, or a sister who was younger than seventy years old,  so I thought they didn't exist any more!  My vocation really "exploded" when I met my community for the first time as a freshman in high school and realized that Franciscans who really lived poverty and religious life weren't extinct.
And finally, as you said, teach your children to pray that they may come to know God's will for them.  I didn't realize I had a vocation until I really developed a relationship with Jesus, which little children can have, too.  He'll let them know better than we can, and they're never too young to find out.  Many of our sisters first felt the call in first or second grade!  You and your family will be in my prayers!

Go forth and read Part II  and Part III.


  1. Love this, how blessed is your family!!!!

  2. This is excellent, can't wait for more.

  3. Good advice! I like the idea of getting a nun doll!

  4. Wow - great answers! I love the nun doll advice as well. This was a great idea, Amelia!

  5. Oh my gosh. This is wonderful! I'm so glad you are doing this, Amelia. And I'm really grateful to Sr. Veronica for sharing her experiences. Can't wait for more! Perhaps I'll have to do a companion piece to this and interview my brother who is a priest with the Oblates of St. Joseph.

  6. Yes, yes, you should definitely interview your brother.


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