WorldWide Religious News

Europe - Spain/Portugal

Spanish nun kicked out of order for spending too much time on Facebook
("Asia News International," February 19, 2011)

Toledo, Spain - A Spanish nun has been expelled from the religious order she has been living at for 35-years because she spent too much time on social networking site Facebook.

Maria Jesus Galan, 54, dubbed Sister Internet by her fellow nuns, had almost 600 Facebook "friends" when she wrote on her Facebook page that she had been asked to leave the convent over her online activities.

Galan, who lists her hobbies as "reading, music, art, and making friends", now has thousands of supporters from around the globe calling for her to be allowed back into the order.

A computer was first brought onto the premises of the 14th century Santo Domingo el Real convent in Toledo, central Spain 10 years ago after the mother superior was persuaded it would lessen the need for nuns to enter the outside world.

"It enabled us do things such as banking online and saved us having to make trips into the city," The Telegraph quoted Sister Galan, who entered as a novice at the age of 21, as saying.

However, the nun quickly saw the possibilities and soon began digitising the archives contained within the convent's ancient walls and making them accessible to the world.

In 2008, she won a local government prize for her painstaking work scanning the pages of precious texts held in the convent's library.

The award made headlines and she soon had scores of friends worldwide connecting through her Facebook page.

But despite admitting that her dedication to her vocation was as strong as ever she said she was driven from the convent by her fellow nuns who disapproved of her cyber activity and "made life impossible".

The Dominican order has refused to comment on the reasons behind her departure and the Archbishop of Toledo when approached said it was "an internal matter".

Sister Galan, who is now living at her mother's house, said she was ready to embark on a new chapter in her life.

"I would like to visit London and New York. Such things were impossible to even dream when at the convent," she posted on her page.


Related Sections | Catholic | Internet Related