Thursday, December 26, 2002

The webmistress in the cloister

No, it's not about me.

She's a godsend," said Brother Bryan Paquette, who manages ICS Publications, which publishes works of history and spirituality from the Institute of Carmelite Studies in Washington.From her office nook in the La Plata monastery, Sister Marie Bernardina has spent the last two years spicing up the publishing house's Web site, which is run by priests and friars of the Carmelite order. "Check out our Best-Sellers," it urges, harking back to her days as a marketing student at Bowie State University.In addition to her regular work on the Carmel of Port Tobacco site, she has been tapped by the Carmelite friars to update their vocations Web site."Indefatigable," Mother Virginia Marie, 68, said of the sister's workload....

She squeezes it all into no more than an hour or two a day. The Carmelite nuns pray at least seven times daily, plus do household chores. The Internet has given them an outlet to the world they live apart from, but it hasn't blemished the simple life of solitude they've opted to lead."We pray," said Sister Marie Bernardina. "God comes first."

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