6 Pages

A Nun Story

WithSusan Leonardi

I spent much of my childhood and adolescence in love with nuns. In love with the Ideal Nun, holy, glorious in her flowing habit, and glowing with the love of God and His creation (including me, of course). But also in love with particular nuns, who might be a tad less perfect but were, on that very account, approachably human. Sister Mary Perpetua, the third grade teacher at Holy Trinity, for example, was stern and demanding enough to induce fear and trembling but indulgent enough to let me read in the cloakroom (on the pretext of being in charge of the shelf-long library) when I finished practicing my penmanship or dividing 657, 666 by 252.