Young Nuns 1991 - acrylic on canvas - 22 x 28”.
I could also title the painting “Mother of Perpetual Help and Marilyn Monroe”. Let me tell you why. Back in the early 60”s, I was a nun in the Novitiate at Mount St. Joseph in London, Ont. The Novitiate was a two-year training period in which we young women were learning about the spiritual life of prayer and meditation. We were not allowed to have any contact with the ‘outside’ world. Every summer afternoon we would gather for recreation outside, sitting in a large circle chatting to one another. “ One day our Novice Mistress asked us if we knew “the Monroe girl”. We gasped and said “Marilyn?” “Yes”, she replied. “She just committed suicide.” We were shocked and could not believe this!
In this painting three young nuns, wearing traditional white veils and black boots, are merrily dancing in a circle, without a care on the world! Jesus, on the other hand, in the arms of his mother, Mary, looks very worried and concerned about our frivolous behaviour. Later that day, I am sure many of us, knelt in prayer before the shrine of our Our Mother of Perpetual Help, located at the back of the Chapel, and prayed for the soul of ‘The Monroe Girl!’