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Thread: Names of nuns?

  1. #1
    easy_breezy
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    Names of nuns?

    My character goes to a Catholic school and I need names of nuns. Can anyone help me out?

  2. #2
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    My favorite was Sister Mary Eunice. My enemy was Sister Mary Edwards. An inbetween one was Sister Mary Agatha--ugly, but insightful.

  3. #3
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    It's safe to bet it would be "Mary" something

  4. #4
    easy_breezy
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    Thanks, guys.

  5. #5
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    Compliments of the Sisters of Mercy, Sacred Heart parochial school, between Park Avenue and Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn. Circa. 1950.

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW
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    Depends on the order of nuns. Some take a name in religion, and some keep their baptismal names. I've known a Sister Sheila, for instance, though she was an Anglican nun.
    Before Vatican II it was common for nuns to take the names of male saints, so you'd have Sister Benedict, for example. Sometimes they didn't even get a choice, but were assigned a name when they joined the order. That doesn't happen any more.
    The trilogy Tanwchs of Ytir by Lesley Arrowsmith is now available on Smashwords (YA fantasy) and I have a blog at http://morwennatower.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW newmod's Avatar
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    I went to a school with Dominican nunīs (late 1980s to early 1990s) and some of the nuns there were: Sr. Monica, Sr. Aquinata, Sr. Raymunda and Sr. Majella (the y in Raymunda may have been an i and the j in majella a g, but maybe they help you).

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    Up all night to get Loki Jersey Chick's Avatar
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    I remember Sister Phyllis from when I made my first confession - she scared the bejeezus out of all of us. We didn't know it was possible to be that old.
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  9. #9
    figuring it all out Merry's Avatar
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    The mother superior at my first school was sister Una. It can depend on the order (and this applies to Catholic or Anglican) e.g. a Fransiscan nun could be Sister X Clare or X Frances (i.e. Sister Magdalen Clare) because that's the patron of the order. Personal name followed by saints' name.

  10. #10
    I have plans... C.bronco's Avatar
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    My best buddy is Sr. Helen. Other names include Mary, Theresa, Doris, Marian, Patricia, Claire, Dolores, Catherine, Laura, Barbara, Florinda, Ascenza... it helps if you know where the order is from. The ones I know are Fillipini, so there are a lot of Italian names.



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  11. #11
    Fish Whisperer aka eraser's Avatar
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    I've been taught (and/or beaten by) Sisters: Constance, Sheila, Marina, Lisa and Rose of Lima.

    Hmm, seems I've blocked a few names from my memory banks. You have plenty to work with now though.
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  12. #12
    Sometimes I creep myself out. AW Moderator Calla Lily's Avatar
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    After Vatican 2, lots of nuns went back to their baptismal names. Honestly, who wants to live life as Sr. Kunigunda? (True, poor thing. I always harbored the thought that the Superior General had it in for her when she was Invested.) We had a Sr. Borgia, too. She never spiced any of the meals, though, LOL.

    If your book is pre-Vatican 2, anything goes! Find a catalogue of saints and feel free to saddle your nuns with what you like! Remember Sr. Polycarp in "Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows"?

    When I was a Franciscan (1979-1983), we were allowed the choice to keep our baptismal names or petition for a saint's name. They didn't force obscure and weird saint's names on us anymore.

    And I never beat my students! Although I could WHACK a ruler on a desk a millimeter from a daydreaming kid's fingertips.
    Last edited by Calla Lily; 04-02-2007 at 07:59 PM. Reason: Remembered this is the Historical board.

  13. #13
    storm central stormie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by callalily61 View Post

    If your book is pre-Vatican 2, anything goes! Find a catalogue of saints and feel free to saddle your nuns with what you like! Remember Sr. Polycarp in "Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows"?
    Loved that book, and "Trouble With Angels." They were so funny! (There was the homemakers class where the nun lisped and always said, "thewing" instead of "sewing." My older sister desperately wanted to attend an all-girls academy after she read it.)

    But I digress. I knew of a Sister John of the Cross (whom the kids called Sr.John on the Cross--she seemed long-suffering), and Sr.Michael Immaculate whom the kids called Machine Gun Mike (a real toughie), and then there was.... Okay, I'll stop.

    Since your novel probably is before 1962, they were given names of either male of female saints. After that, most reverted to their baptizmal names. And they started shedding their Habits. (We called it Kicking Their Habits.)
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  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW
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    The real confusion was at the university I went to. Both the Catholic and Anglican chaplains had nuns as their assistants. The Catholic nun wore jeans and sweatshirts. The Anglican nun wore full length grey habit and black veil. People who didn't know them were always getting confused.
    The trilogy Tanwchs of Ytir by Lesley Arrowsmith is now available on Smashwords (YA fantasy) and I have a blog at http://morwennatower.blogspot.com

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