At their Los Altos Hills monastery,
16 cloistered nuns sleep on sacks of straw in “cells” that measure 7 by 9
feet. Mega-houses are rising in the surrounding neighborhoods, but the nuns
still follow vows of poverty, chastity and prayerful obedience to
Now, even as the economy falters and the world totters
into uncertain times, they have embarked on a faith-driven project: the $3
millionrebuilding of their home.
“It’s so strange that the new building is happening when
the economy is down,” said Sister Annuntiata, a former Texas middle school
teacher who is one of the 16. “It’s almost like God is saying, `Trust me.’ ”
…In her view, the nuns put out enough spiritual wattage
to brighten the world: “You can pray for bin Laden,” she said, “or you can
pray for the little boy who can’t pass his math test. The thing about the
cloister is you can help all people by your prayer and
…“It’s not that we’re anti-social,” said Sister Colette,
“but pretty soon we wouldn’t be a cloister anymore.”
…It will be
6,000 square feet smaller than the old monastery. But there are new gardens to
look forward to, as well as an infirmary, a parlor for family visits and new
dormitories, spacious enough to house 30 nuns in their cells. The new
foundations will be well-secured, so the nuns will no longer have to worry that
an earthquake could send them sliding over the edge of a hill.
It is nice to be reminded about all of the faithful communities of nuns doing
Gods work through prayer and/or action.