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The Boston Globe

Magazine

Connections

Right on, sisters

No longer remote, unapproachable figures of authority, the nuns I know are now women of advanced degrees and warm wisdom.

THERE WERE TIMES when my dad’s well-worn Chevy struggled to climb the steep hill where the church and school awaited, but a cranky means of transportation could scarcely discourage us from our Sunday pilgrimages from Clinton to West Fitchburg.

Sister Mary Bernard was there waiting. A Roman Catholic nun, clothed in a severe habit of black cloth, veil, and a starched white bib, my aunt was not allowed to visit us. So we went to her. It was the mid-1960s, and Dad’s older sister taught at a parochial school. While the adults sat in a classroom and visited, my siblings, cousins, and I, products of parochial school ourselves, had the run of the place.

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