From Convent to Pentecost

Chapter 13

Why Girls Enter the Convent So Young

I entered the Convent boarding school at the age of thirteen. I never had a date with the opposite sex. In fact, I still played with dolls I knew nothing of the affairs of this world. Why was I encouraged to leave father, mother, brothers and sisters at such a tender young age? Would it not have been better for me to have finished High School and college and then at twenty-one, chosen my vocation at life?

1. The prelates knew fully well they would have merely had dozens of Nuns who chose a life of austerity, celibacy and mortification, instead of thousands as they now have, were they old enough to understand.

2. It’s much easier to put blinders on a young colt than on an old horse. And it is easier to erase the love of home and parents, too.

We were taught that a Nun’s enemies are those of her own household. In the affairs of salvation, our families became carnal enemies. The true spouse and Nun, who tells her family she doesn’t know them, becomes the true wife of God.

Priests influence little girls to enter a convent through the confessional. Since the priest acts as a doctor of the soul, he assumes he has the right to ask the most intimate questions, even to the probing of secrets of the soul in the confessional. Needless to say, he knows more about his penitents than even the nearest relatives. The husband would be shocked if he knew the secrets of his wife’s life as the priest knows them. Likewise, parents will never know their children as the priest knows them. Therefore, the priest chooses to influence girls with a strong, healthy body and mind. Also he chooses girls with a background of wealth and influence in the community. If, after all, the father is wealthy, does that not mean more money in the coffers? I entered the convent with a $1,500,00 check for my dowry.

Once a priest is convinced a certain girl should enter a convent, he never ceases talking to her, as well as her parents, about how God has chosen a vocation for her: The nunnery. He might even acquire permission from her parents to take her to the nearby Open Order Convent to spend a weekend. Of course, she will pay room and board. There she is hidden away from the world. She spends long hours in the Chapel where hymns are sung and rosaries are recited. All her meals will be eaten in silence. The very air is charged with mystery and novelty. Then the priest offers her a throne in Heaven if she forsakes mother, father and loved ones.

These spiritual dope-peddlers attempt to destroy the marriage vows ordained by God. They tell the adolescent mind that if they refuse convent life and marry, their husband might be cruel to them by beating and failing to support them and their offspring. In other words, they convince them that marriage is a gamble, so they decide to take the White Veil and become a Bride of Christ.

Too bad the first visit wasn’t to a Cloistered Convent where she could have heard the screams of those flagellated or the death moans from the dungeon beneath the ground.

Soon after I had taken my Black Veil I was taken into the Penance Chamber. Looking up I noticed two ropes dangling from the ceiling. Mother Superior stood me with my face towards the wall and my hands lifted above my head. She then clamped the two metal bands that were attached to the ropes to my thumbs. Then with the aid of a pulley, Mother Superior slowly lifted me higher and higher until my toes barely touched the floor. The whole weight of my body hung from my two thumbs and onto my toes. After only a few hours, the pain was unbearable. My arms felt as though they were being pulled out of their sockets.

After several hours I waited to be released, but one day went by… And then another and another! Then I saw the figure of a Nun approach, “Surely she will release me,” I thought. But no, she only left some food on a shelf directly in front of my face, and disappeared.

I wondered how I could get to the food, especially the water, for my mouth felt parched. My thumbs were fastened to the rope on the pulley, I learned that, by moving my head and lapping water and eating like a dog, my one arm would come down a few inches while the other arm would be pulled still higher.

Surely I would be released to go to the bathroom, but no, I stood in my own human filth looking somewhat like an animal in a barnyard when released after nine days and nights.

You may wonder why I didn’t attempt to break the ropes. Well, behind me there was a toilet stool with water running continually. On the lid of the toilet were sharp nails driven from underneath so the points protruded upward. In case I did lunge and break the ropes or twist my thumbs free, I would have been injured for life.

After nine days of horrible suffering they cut the ropes and let me down. Since I was covered with vermin and filth, they cut my clothes from my body. I could not walk, so they carried my swollen, limp body to the infirmary where I lay for several weeks only to recuperate for another penance.

The “Church” system reminds me of part of a certain poem, “Won’t you come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.”

She will promise anything to her victim until she gets possession. Like a spider weaving its web, poor deluded souls in the convent are subject to any cruelty. We were held in bondage to fear and Hell.

I’ve been made to crawl for hundreds of feet on my knees with my arms folded across my chest, and my body erect until my knees would bleed. Still, I dared not stop, but had to continue crawling until the Mother Superior’s desires were fulfilled. That was a common penance often repeated. Another oft repeated penance was to lick crosses on the floor with our tongues, whether in the Chapel, refectory, laundry room or on the filthy, basement floor.

While in the furnace room, Mother Superior took a poker and placed it into furnace until it was red hot. And then she burned a cross on my back. However, my penance in the furnace room was not nearly as severe as Sister Francis’. She entered the convent wearing a small ring, Mother Superior took it from her finger, and placed on the little finger of a statue of the baby Jesus.

One day Sister Francis discovered that the baby Jesus was wearing her ring. She slipped it off the statues finger and placed it back on her finger not thinking of the consequences that would follow No sooner had the Mother Superior noticed the transition when Sister Francis was summoned to the furnace room.

There her hands were securely fastened to a hot water pipe, while Mother Superior took a sizzling hot poker and melted the ring from her finger. Not only did the ring melt, but all of Sis. Francis fingers on that hand had to be amputated due to the horrible injury.