Have you seen us on the street or at an event and thought “I’d love to do that”? Fortunately, the Boston Sisters are always looking for a few good nuns. To help you decide, we’ve put together a short list of frequently asked questions. If you still have questions, or want to take the next step to becoming a Sister, Contact Us.
Q. I’d Love to be a Sister, but I’m not a gay man…
A. Though a large percentage of our members worldwide are self-identified gay men, we welcome people of all gender identities, sexual orientations, races, ages, and religions. There is nothing about you we don’t love; our tent of inclusion encompasses all.
Q. What are the most important things to know?
A. Beyond the information found here on our website, there are a few important things to know about becoming a Sister. We are, in fact, real nuns. We take vows to serve our community
and those vows are for life. We are also an all-volunteer group, which means we each provide our own clothing, make-up and accessories. None of us makes any money being a Sister.
Q. Do all the Sisters live together?
A. Absolutely not. All the work we do is voluntary. As such, we all have secular lives, jobs and homes. Some sisters do, in fact, live together, but the Sisters do not live communally. That much glitter would undoubtedly clog the pipes!
Q. What do I have to do to become a Sister?
A. Becoming a Sister is not something that happens overnight. The path to becoming a Fully Professed Boston Sister takes at least a year (or as long as you want it to take). The first step of the journey is to get in touch with our Mistress of Novices. She will set up an in-face meeting where she can explain the process and expectations to you and you can ask any questions you may have. At the end of the meeting, if you still want to be a Sister, you will become an Aspirant. During this stage you are “aspiring” to become a Sister. The purpose of the Aspirancy is to give you a chance to interact with the House: working events alongside the Sisters, attending business meetings and hanging out in secular settings. This is as much your opportunity to evaluate whether the Sisters is a good fit for you as it is for the Sisters to evaluate you. During this period you may dress in any fashion you choose, as crazy or plain as you feel comfortable, you just cannot use white face or wear religious clothing.
After a minimum of two months, you will be eligible to become a Postulant. During the Postulancy you are able to experience what it is like to be a Sister. The purpose of this stage is to allow you to develop your Sister persona and start to decide what kind of ministry you want to have, without all the glitter and sparkles that could become a crutch if you didn’t have a strong personality already defined. To this end, you are allowed to wear white face, but may only add minimal color to your eyes, none on your lips. This will make you be visually part of the Sisters and help you get used to the makeup. You will also have a uniform: a tan jumper, a white collared shirt, and a tan Postulant’s wimple.
After at least four months of being a Postulant, you are eligible to become a novice. Once you become a Novice Sister you can finally go wild with your makeup and clothing. After developing your Sister self during the Postulancy, you are now ready to wear whatever clothing and makeup you see fit. Your only requirement is that you wear either the Zakim or travel wimple with a white veil. By this point you should already have a good grasp of the work the Sisters do and can now focus on your personal ministry. During your Novitiate your main tasks are to flesh out your ministry and to define and execute your Novice Project. This project should be designed to help the Community and/or House. Your project should be something that plays to your strengths to bring the most value to you and your ministry.
The final step is to become a Fully Professed Sister/Brother.. After at least six months as a Novice and completion of your Novice Project, you may petition to become a Fully Professed Sister. Once you have taken the vows to become a Sister, you are a Sister for life.
Q. How much of a commitment do I need to make?
A. The minimum amount of commitment asked is that you attend every business meeting (3rd Tuesday of the month) and at least one manifestation each month. It is encouraged you attend the Monthly Manifestation on the 1st Saturday of the month, but if Saturdays are difficult for you, you may attend any of the other events scheduled that month.
Q. I don’t have the calling to be a sister, but would love to help.
A. That’s great! If the life of a Sister is not for you, we still welcome any volunteers who’d love to help us out. We call our frequent volunteers our Altered Boys/Girls/People. If you look on our calendar and see an event that speaks to you, contact us! We’d love to meet you.