Mary had dressed carefully. No curls, no lipstick, no eye shadow. Her skirt fell below her knees. She remembered not cross her legs.
The Mother Superior scanned her application. “I see you were raised Lutheran, and you are a recent convert to Catholicism. What attracted you to our faith?”
“No Catholics lived in our town. Everyone was Lutheran. We had this little clapboard church. In the winter, the church was cold. We had only six or seven in the choir. None of them could sing, and very hymn had six verses. There was no joy… no mystery. And then several years ago, I saw The Nun’s Story on TV and realized that I should have been born Catholic.
Mother Superior’s face registered no response. “You would like to be a novitiate, but what draws you to the vocation?
Mary had known this question was coming. There was the expected answer (living a life of faith, devotion, and service) and there was the real answer.
The real answer had to do with the isolation of living on a farm in North Dakota. Mary wanted to move to the city. She wanted a Gothic church and a professional choir. She wanted incense, confession, kneelers, dusky light, and priestly celibacy. She dreamed of a costume romance: the seductiveness of a nun’s habit.
When Mary answered, “I want to live in the city and serve the poor,” Mother Superior rose. Crossing herself, she said, “Good luck and good day.”