(About to head into the ceremony and having no idea what to expect!)
I mentioned recently that a good friend of mine is a nun. Crazy I know. Let's start from the beginning.
Fall 2001. Kristen and I start our Freshmen year of college at WKU. We moved into the 4th floor of Bemis (Heeeyyy) and met our RA, Kathy. Kathy was definitely quirky and quickly became a good friend of ours. We soon learned she was Catholic, and a very active Catholic. She was highly considering becoming a nun one day. We became friends with Duke (her last name at the time, but what I still call her to this day), who lived on the 2nd floor and the four of us began to hangout.
Spring 2002-Spring 2005. Throughout our years at WKU, Kathy became a dear friend. She and Duke eventually became roommates, and our senior year all four of us got an apartment together. During these years, Kathy visited a few different "convents" or "orders" (places where nuns where). She would also meet with the nun who worked/lived (do you call it work?) at the Catholic Newman center on campus. Kathy also got pretty involved at the BSU with us. We began affectionately calling her "Kathy the Catholic". Duke, Kathy and I were in bible study together Sophomore, Junior and Senior year. We grew very close and would challenge each other Spiritually daily.
Summer 2005- present day. Kathy joined a group called "Net Teams" after we all graduated. It was a traveling team of Catholics that went to different catholic churches and did youth retreats. She loved it and worked for the group for like 2 years maybe? Then she decided she was going to do what she had always said and become a nun. She "entered" into Saint Cecil which is in Nashville, not very far from where Duke lives. And so began the process of actually becoming a real nun. She spent 2 years as a "postulant" and a "novice", which meant she was learning about the life of a nun and deciding if this was for her or not. She had limited contact with the outside world really. She could write letters, and I think she saw her family once or twice maybe. Then this August, she took her first profession of vows. She basically committed to three years, then she can renew for another two years. She can decided anytime during these 5 years that this is not for her and leave still in good standing with the Catholic church. At the end of those 5 years, she takes her final vows and is officially a lifelong nun. After that, if she decides to leave then she is kicked out of the Catholic church.
(Right after the mass ended with our new nun friend!)
So in a way, Kathy becoming a nun was not a shock or surprise, we had several years preparation for it. But somehow it just seemed so surreal and like "is this really happening?" to me. Several of us from college decided to go to her profession of vows- I mean this might be the last time we get to see her!
Let me tell you, I was expecting it to be very small and not that many people there... I mean do that many people really become nuns? Well apparently so. There were like 200 nuns there! And tons of people! It was a full mass and there was lots of randomness in the actual ceremony, but I wont bore you with it. The whole time I just sat there recalling memories of Kathy Webb. You know how on TV shows they do flashback scenes with sappy music? Thats what was going on in my head. Kathy is one of the funniest people I know. She is also one of the most random. She loved SNL, and I loved watching her re-enact her favorite skits. We once watched 2 of the Lord of the Rings movies extended editions in one night, and had a blast doing it. She was spastic. I love her!
The whole idea of being a nun confuses me. For awhile I was so against her doing this. I saw it as getting out of the world and hiding, when I feel like Scripture clearly teaches us to be in the world sharing the gospel. The more I reflect on it, the more I am not necessarily against it, because they do serve the community and share with people (well some orders do). But there are still some questions I have about it I guess. They leave their family and friends, which I know there are scriptures where Christ says we need to be willing to leave our families for him, but there are also scriptures that teach how important of a ministry the family is. My mind is just still swirling with questions about it all.
We got to actually talk to Kathy for a little while after the ceremony. The odd thing was, she was still good ol Kathy Webb with her witty humor and randomness. It didnt feel like I was talking to a nun. I wish I could articulate it better, but I am at a loss of words for it.
And that, my friends, is some of my thoughts on my friend Kathy becoming a nun.
P.S. Her actual nun name now is "Sister Cora Marie Webb"
Do any of you know any nuns?? Any of you who where there have insightful things to add??
(Being all worldly before and having some Starbucks)