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Dutch Nuns Get a Calling to the Internet
(Reuters, May 8, 2001)

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Surfing cyberspace has hooked a group of aging Dutch nuns, who plan to open their own Internet cafe.

Since terminals were installed at the Mater Misericordiae convent nursing home in February, 10 sisters -- the oldest aged 89 -- have religiously attended weekly lessons in how to get online.

The manager of the nursing home told Reuters on Tuesday the Internet lessons were at the request of the nuns whose hunger for knowledge had stimulated the idea of an Internet cafe.

Asked if the internet meant less time for God, Jef de Laat said: ``The sisters must have the possibility to learn about new media. I have full confidence they do that correctly -- there's nothing above God.''

Seventy-year-old Sister Clementine van der Poll said she mostly looked up ecclesiastical news, world news or information about the royal house.

De Laat said more than 30 other nuns had applied for training, but with only five terminals, will need to be patient.

The Internet cafe is due to open on May 16 with the blessing of the bishop of the southern Dutch town of Breda.


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