The Cloistered Nuns Hardly Come Out of their Monastery- but for Voting They Did?

The Cloistered Nuns Hardly Come Out of their Monastery- but for Voting They Did?

Mangaluru: The life of Cloistered Nuns is very much different from the nuns of other Congregation- the Cloistered nuns live a life of seclusion and follow a vow of silence in the heart of the City. But the only time they come out of their Monasteries is for two reasons- One, if they get sick and need treatment or hospitalization; and the other one- is to VOTE during Karnataka Legislative or Lok Sabha Elections. And this year too, the nuns from the two monasteries in the City- Cloistered Carmel Monastery aka Sacred Heart Monastery, in front of Father Muller Hospital, Kankanady; and the other, Nuns of Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration Monastery, situated in front of Milagres Golden Jubilee Hall, Falnir Road-Mangaluru.

File Photo

These Cloistered nuns live a very religious life, where they follow the life of chastity, poverty, living enclosed in a monastery, and maintaining a vow of silence. They are never seen in the public nor they interact with people. The only conversation they can have with their family members or relatives is through grilled windows in the monastery. And during Lent and Advent time no one, including their family members or relatives are allowed to meet them, except on approval by their head on special request.

Cloistered Carmel Monastery aka Sacred Heart Monastery-Kankanady

The last time these nuns came out was in May 2018 to exercise their franchise in the Karnataka Assembly elections, and on 18 April 2019, they once again made themselves seen in public, when they came out to vote in the Lok Sabha elections. And this year, the voting day fell on Holy Maundy Thursday, where these Nuns had to be in prayers continuously, not everyone could go together, instead they had to take turns in order to go to the polling booths. “It is our duty to cast our vote as we are Indians. Everyone has their fundamental duty towards their motherland, and we should do it without fail. But in the same time, we also have to follow our order rules” had said Head of the Nuns at Poor Clares of Perpetual Monastery, where a total of seven nuns live, among whom is a 86-year old nun and the youngest is 26-years-old, in this about 100 year old monastery.

At the Cloistered Carmel Monastery aka Sacred Heart Monastery which started in 1870 by France-based Sisters, where there are 14 nuns, among whom Sr Mary Francis is 90 years old, other nuns around the age of 26-85, did caste their votes between 6.30 am onwards, turning their turns at the polling station at St Mary’s English School-Falnir Road. Sadly, one of the nuns who always likes to vote, but couldn’t this time, since she is bedridden. Similarly was the case at the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, where a benefactor had offered them a ride to take the nuns to the polling booth at Milagres School. But all these nuns are happy that they did vote and not wasted their voting rights-like many others do. Youngsters and other should follow in the footsteps of these religious nuns, and also start to vote!

Nuns of Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration Monastery

Sources reveal that, the Rules of allowing Cloistered Nuns to cast their vote was amended in their Congregation during 1975. Speaking to media, the Head of Sacred Heart Monastery had said, “The Congregation has strict rules, where some of them were changed or amended in 1975. One of them being allowing cloistered nuns to cast their votes. The Church emphasized that exercising civil rights is a duty which must be performed, and to allow the nuns to go out to exercise their franchise in any elections”.

Speaking on other rules of the Congregation, The Head of the Nuns said, “Earlier our Sisters were not allowed to visit even their parents. But of late the Congregation has allowed parents to see their children, if they are on their death-bed, and express their wish to see their child. They are only allowed to visit their parents, but cannot stay back. And when a Cloistered nun dies, she is buried in a cemetery within the monastery compound”.