Dear Miss White,
Thank you for posting the link to my begging page. I'm a regular reader of yours, and was just tickled to death to see it up there. It's doubly helpful in that it gives me an excuse to tell you how much I enjoy your writing, in terms of both style and content. I doubt you've read anything of mine, but I've had a few pieces on OnePeterFive, and I must give you credit for helping me continue to develop my style. And on top of all that, your insights into Benedictine spirituality have been such a help to me in my discernment. Words can hardly repay my debt of gratitude, but thank you, thank you!
Well now I have to do something for her... dammit! And while I'm all jealous and envious and stuff about her being young enough to apply to this place that didn't even freaking exist when I was the right age. How come she gets good nuns and all I could find was poxy old lesbian peace activists in polyester mumus?!
I'll help, but danged if I'm gonna be gracious about it! I suppose I could take it as a kind of penance for having frittered away my stupid youth going to punker gigs and watching John Hughes movies.
Ugh. I hate being good.
We're going to re-post every few days about Jessica's campaign. I notice that though it's been going for three months, nearly all of the $3000 worth of donations have been in the last five days. So, if you can, do help a girl out. I've replied to her email above and said that if we manage to make this work and she gets in under the deadline, she can be my nunny proxy.
My name is Jessica Kidwell. I’m 22 years old, a recent graduate of the College of William & Mary and hail from Fairfax, Virginia. I have heard God’s call, and I would like to serve Him by joining the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Gower, Missouri. I have been admitted to enter there this fall, but that offer is contingent upon me paying all my educational debt first. All told, my debt totaled about $60,000 when I left school. I’m writing you to ask for your prayers and your financial assistance. Even though I have a full time job, a part time job, and take on odd jobs whenever I can get them, it could be years before I have paid off these loans by myself. My goal with this campaign is to raise $30,000.
Hey, did I ever tell y'all the story about the time I met the prioress, Mother Cecilia?
I and some friends were going to the evening Mass at our parish in Rome, Santissima Trinita, and when we got there, the doors were locked (they're terrible slackers at that parish and often just don't care at all about opening up on time.) There were these two Benedictine nuns, both Americans, standing on the steps waiting to get in. They had come a little early so they could sing vespers in the Church before the 6:30 Mass. It turned out it was Mother Cecilia and her subprioress (whose name I forget.)
I introduced myself and my friends and we tried to raise Fr. Kramer (parocco) on the phone to get someone to come down and open the doors, but as usual no one was answering either the cell or the parish landline. So, we gave up and chatted instead. I mentioned that I had wanted desperately to be a Benedictine nun when I was younger, but that there simply were none left in the 80s that weren't completely ruined. She was very sympathetic, and seemed quite sorry that now that I was 48 it was far too late. But as a consolation prize, she pulled out her Antiphonale and I got out my Monastic Diurnal, and we sang the Office hymn for Vespers for the day on the church steps in the little piazza with the people in the coffee bar across watching rather bemused. It was great.
After Mass, my friends and I took them out to the local Chinese place to get some dinner. We had a great time, and I learned that they're totally and completely onside.
I must say, this is about the only time I've ever wished to be 25 again (a thought that normally fills me with horror).