Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day, Sister Ethel!

Love makes the world go round, and Sister Ethel Normoyle of Missionvale Care Centre spreads it far and wide. She will be on my own little love list tomorrow because I am definitely going to send her a Valentine's Day greeting.
A love letter to a celibate Irish nun in her 60s? That's not as odd as it sounds because Sister Ethel believes that any day that encourages us to love each other and treat each other better should be celebrated.
She makes me think of that line uttered by Jack Nicolson in As Good As It Gets, when he tells Helen Hunt,“You make me want to be a better man” (great date movie that, if you’re looking for something to take out of the DVD store tomorrow).
They say that the greatest gift a woman can give to a man is to make him want to be a better man – and Sister Ethel has that effect on a lot of folk. She makes us want to be better people.
She has seen her own community in Missionvale ravaged by Aids TB, poverty and crime, and many families torn apart by sexual and physical abuse, so she knows what she is talking about. To be sure, as a nun she is more likely to go for the AB of Aids prevention, not the full ABC (Abstain, Be faithful, Condomise), but how can you argue with someone who wants us all to love one another more?
Happy Valentine's Day, Sister Ethel!

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