Wednesday, November 20, 2002

More nuns!

Contemplatives, this time:

Poor Clares in California trying to build a new monastery

At their Los Altos Hills monastery, 16 cloistered nuns sleep on sacks of straw in ``cells'' that measure 7 by 9 feet. Mega-houses are rising in the surrounding neighborhoods, but the nuns still follow vows of poverty, chastity and prayerful obedience to God.Now, even as the economy falters and the world totters into uncertain times, they have embarked on a faith-driven project: the $3 million rebuilding of their home.``It's so strange that the new building is happening when the economy is down,'' said Sister Annuntiata, a former Texas middle school teacher who is one of the 16. ``It's almost like God is saying, `Trust me.' ''In amounts just enough to keep the project moving, donations keep arriving in the mail. When construction crews leave every afternoon, the Poor Clare sisters, as they are known, march outside with magnets tied to strings and hunt for discarded nails, which they use to build their own tables, chairs and beds.

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