Life in asceticism

Ten Catholic nuns seek salvation and harmony inspired by Saint Birgitta of Sweden. In the city of Turku, Finland, they continue a monastic tradition that for centuries was suffocated in Northern Europe following the Reformation. The founder of the Bridgettine Order was a well-connected aristocrat, a politician, a mystic and an adviser to Swedish kings in the Middle Ages. As the patron saint of Finland, it has been argued that her cult contributed to solidify the Catholic Church in Finland and led to the feminization of Christianity. Today, the holy and the secular get mixed in the life of the Bridgettine sisters as they take a day off to hang out with their family and friends or to attend language courses in a nearby adult education centre. We spoke with them about devotion, commitment to obedience, chastity and poverty, and learnt that one can experience stress even in a monastery.
Published in Anna magazine in 2003