I remember the year....1993....years before I (or anyone I knew) had a computer or Internet.
I had written some articles for the editors at the Catholic family magazine The Family (which is no longer in print) via snail mail. Seems like such an ancient way of corresponding, just so you'll know how long ago this was. :-)
One day I received a letter from the editors in my mailbox. They wondered if I would travel to meet with Mother Dolores Hart and interview her for the magazine.
Mother Dolores who?
My own mother was thrilled. She remembered Dolores Hart and King Creole and the fact that this former movie star (with a fan club equal to Grace Kelly) turned nun was the first costar to kiss Elvis Presley onscreen.
I was still not impressed. Goes to show you how long ago this was. I was a young mother in her twenties. I remembered the day Elvis died but that was about it. I was unimpressed with Elvis, unimpressed with old movies, and unimpressed with an elderly nun who lived in a monastery. I had never even heard of Dolores Hart...movie star, nun, or otherwise.
My oldest son was fixing to start kindergarten. My daughter was starting pre-K. I was working part-time outside the house and didn't want to. I had a newborn son who didn't sleep at night until he was three-years-old. Sleep was uppermost on my mind at that point in my life. That baby was my own morning-noon-evening-night monastery bell and there was nothing quiet and tranquil about it. My own domestic bells rang so loudly and dearly in my life I didn't have time or energy for any other bells and whistles except, maybe, a timeout whistle.
I would have had to travel for the interview. After thoughtful contemplation and prayer (probably during one of those fifteen minute catnaps my infant son blessed me with), I finally send a letter (via snail mail) back to the editors turning down the assignment. Several weeks later I got a nice letter back from the editors saying they appreciated my consideration, understood my circumstances, and thanked me for my timely reply.
That was the end of that. I've thought of it a couple of times since but have never regretted my decision. I knew which monastery bell was calling me and I answered it.
But looking back on that time, I find it ironic that seventeen years later I am reminded of it...and take greater awareness and interest in old movies and old nuns who live in monastery. And, yes, I've heard of Mother Dolores Hart which makes me appreciate this interview all the more.
One day I'll figure out how to put vidoes on my blog. In the meantime: click here to listen to Mother Dolores speaks with Raymond Arroyo (If it doesn't take you directly to her interview, forward to approximately 27:19 to watch Mother Dolores with Raymond Arroyo)