There’s one thing you need to be a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence and that is this: a calling to help your community. This order of queer nuns does anything and everything to help the community at large.
Founded on Easter Sunday in 1979 in San Francisco, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have devoted themselves to “community service, ministry and outreach to those on the edges, to promoting human rights, and respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment.”
Known for their white face paint, heavenly garb, and a heaping dollop of humor, these Sisters have strut their stuff for decades, raising awareness for worthy causes (and they’ve certainly raised some eyebrows along the way: you’ll find them on the Papal list of Heretics.)
The San Antonio order is relatively young in terms of the lifespan of the world organization, but with youth comes vigor. San Antonio’s own Abbess, Sister Rhoda Whorse, says her order would do 30 events a month if they could. “Any organization that reaches out to us we go to,” she says.
This month, San Antonio’s Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will participate with other orders across the country in the annual Salvation Sisters, Army of Nun. In true bell-ringing style, the sisters will be camped outside of Luther’s on the strip with buckets in hand, raising funds for local charities.
Sister Rhoda Whorse emphasizes the necessity of raising funds for HIV/AIDS in San Antonio. She explains, “San Antonio is the last city out of the five major cities that does not raise a significant amount of money for our AIDS community. We are way behind as far as Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Dallas, so forth, so that’s where our money goes back to.”
So dig some change out of those pockets and give what you can–the sisters will be waiting for you. For more information about SA’s Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, visit their website. The order is always looking for new members. And it’s not just for sisters – the organization also welcomes male personae as guards.