Nuns are rare enough nowadays, so rare that you may have never seen one, except perhaps on old movies or on the list of endangered species. To begin with, they are people, quite human and not — to quote Longfellow out of context — “a crowd of statues in whose folded sleeves birds build their nests.” And not only are they very much alive, but they actually seem to enjoy the life of sacrifice that they have chosen.
Whether a Sister is singing in choir, sweeping the convent kitchen, or tying a child’s shoe, the sparkle in her eyes tells of a great wealth of inner happiness.
What is the secret of this radiant peace, this “something” which makes the Sister special, different from others? It is the great motivating force behind her life — it is the call of Christ. It is love.
You do not live until you love. And you do not love until you give your heart away. And the nun has given her heart, her all, to Christ and lives as He did — “going about doing good.”
The Sisters of Mary Immaculate Queen have come from all parts of the country and from all walks of life to dedicate their time and talents to the service of God and neighbor. They engage in an active apostolate of spreading the Faith, through teaching as well as through publications and other media. Besides staffing their K-12 Catholic academy, they also maintain a print shop, a religious gift shop and mail order center, and several parish schools throughout the country.
“Amen, I say to you, every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother,…
or lands for My Name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting.”
— Matt. 19:29
Convent and School
The Sisters’ motherhouse is in Spokane, Washington, in the east wing of a large facility that was originally built in 1917 as a Jesuit scholasticate. Besides the convent, Mount St. Michael also houses a K-12 academy, parish church, meeting halls, guest rooms, print shop, mail order house and book store. Thus the Mount, which was recently placed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings, continues to this day to fulfill the purpose for which it was originally built: as an institution of Catholic education.
Because of the age of the building, it has required a number of costly repairs and improvements, including unexpected ones, such as having to replace the main pump of the well several years ago, and later replacing the ancient elevator that ceased to function in 2005. (It was the second oldest elevator in the city!) Since energy prices have sky-rocketed, the heating bill for a winter month can easily exceed $12,000 — and so the heat is turned on for only a few hours in the morning and evening on most days.
The Sisters’ main means of support comes from the tuition of the students attending their school, St. Michael’s Academy. Yet this is by no means sufficient. Summer can be difficult because there is no tuition coming in during the months in which school is not taught. Even during the school year, some parishioners find it difficult or impossible to afford the tuition for their children. While the pastor and the nuns try to find ways to accommodate such cases, it is necessary at times to seek sponsors to provide tuition so that both school and convent can be maintained.
The apostolate of “the Singing Nuns” is one of the ways the Sisters bring in additional support to help maintain the convent. Yet it is a work that has truly become a mission as well, for music has a wonderful power of uplifting and consoling the human heart; it is indeed another way of leading souls to God.
If you would like to contribute to the support the Sisters, even in a little way, you may do so by clicking on the button below.
“As long as you did it for one of these, the least of My brethren, you did it for Me.” — Matt. 25:40