Sunday, October 12, 2008

106-Year-Old Nun to Cast Her First Vote in 50 Years for Obama

Nuns...ya gotta love 'em. Now, I didn't go to a strict Catholic school where evil nuns slapped my hands with rulers...I know that not everyone has positive associations with nuns. However, the ones I have personally known are wonderful. They seem to have some deep spiritual peace about them, which is visible in their eyes and their serenity.

My personal knowledge of nuns comes from two sources: (1) Mike's Aunty Gena, who is a "Little Sister of the Poor" (she takes care of the elderly and is a nurse) and still wears a habit, loves to drive fast, has a great sense of humor, and loves women to dress up and wear perfume so she can live vicariously through us, and (2) nuns I've met through our former Franciscan priest or through Mission of Atonement, our Lutheran-Catholic community. Because of the nature of our church, those nuns tend to be much more progressive and liberal than most nuns...or some of them are former nuns. (We have a few former priests as well.)
Nuns can often be more impassioned and intellectually informed of the issues than their priest and monk brothers. I remember reading somewhere--although I haven't been able to locate statistics via a quick search--that more nuns have advanced degrees than priests.
Those of you who know me and my liberal, feminist views might be surprised to learn that I'm fascinated with nuns and have read several nuns' memoirs.
So I was delighted with the story of Sister Cecilia Gaudette, a nun in Rome, who has informed the Vatican that she has registered to vote and plans to cast her vote for Obama. The last time she voted was for President Eisenhower in 1952!

"I'm encouraged by Senator Obama," she said. "I've never met him, but he seems to be a good man with a good private life. That's the first thing. Then he must be able to govern," she adds.

She is not interested in how Obama's pro-choice views contrast with that of her church. When she was asked about her hopes for the U.S. under an Obama presidency, she said: "Peace abroad. I don't worry about the Iraq war because I can't do anything about it. Lord knows how it will end."

She has no plans to return to the U.S. because she deems herself to be too old. But she still watches "very important events on TV," and defines the election in this category. I wonder if the Vatican will dare to chastise her.
You go, sister Cecilia!!!

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