Hold your horses for the net nuns

Hold your horses for the net nuns Carmelite sister with their horses. Photo, Sr Gwen Collins

The Carmelite Sisters New Ross, a congregation of cloistered nuns, are using social media to share their lives inside the convent walls with the world. They post biblical and spiritual sayings on Facebook accompanied by pictures of the sisters doing daily activities around the convent’s property.

Sr Gwen Collins, currently the responsible for sharing on social media, told The Irish Catholic they “can cover a wide range of subjects, like prayers, or nature or gardening or Carmelite spirituality, Carmelite Saints, Scripture,” she said they also “share celebrations like Jubilees and birthdays, so anything we find that we think that might help promote gospel values and help to bring peace to people”.

Posts picturing the daily life inside the convent are very popular amongst the followers, Sr Collins said. “Sisters working in the garden, planting roses or tending their vegetables is certainly something people really like.”

However, pictures showing the nuns in unusual activities are the ones that attract the most attention. “I personally like horses. I’m a horsey lady,” she said. Those posts would bring new curious followers to their Facebook page. “People say ‘God, imagine the nuns holding horses, that’s very unusual’”, the Sister said.

The idea for the posts can either start with the caption or the pictures, Sr Collins explained. “In my own personal reading, I might come across some lovely poem” she said, “and it’s about a lovely meadow or something like and I say, ‘oh, gosh, let’s go out and get a photo in the meadow and we could use this poem.’”

Or the other way around, “I’d see a sister out planting her roses and I’d say, ‘oh, can I get a photo of that?’, and I just put a little post up about the duty of the rose and how it blooms, and it’s not waiting for people to come and admire it or something like that,” the sister said.

The sister said the posts would “get people coming in, girls that would be maybe interested in the life too.” She said that “they’d read something and they might then make further connection”.