Sister Evelyn Tensions
Why did you choose that name?
Well, I originally chose the name "Esther Sundae" when I elevated to Postulant. My partner at the time, was also a Sister and had chosen the name "Ashley Wednesday", so it was a play on words and toyed with the theme of Lent in the Christian tradition (Easter Sunday and Ash Wednesday). But the name never really resonated with me, and when I elevated to Fully Professed, I changed it to its current form. This was partly because Ashley and I had split up, so I didn't want to have my name tied so intimately to hers, but also because I liked the obvious sarcasm inherent in the fact that a member of a obvious sarcasm inherent in the fact that a member of a charitable agency would have anything less than good intentions. So Evelyn was born, and the rest is history.
Who is your mother in the Order?
I am proud to say that my mother is Sister Ghana Maria. She is a founder of the Portland Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Order of Benevolent Bliss, and moved down to San Diego shortly after founding OBB. She served as my mentor and advisor until I took my Vows of Full Profession.
When did you join the Order?:
I joined The San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, The Asylum of the Tortured Heart in August of 2006.
I was elevated to Fully Professed Sister in November of 2007.
I transferred membership to The Orlando Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Abbey of St. Gertrude de Nivelles in March of 2011.
I moved to Greenville and founded The Greenville Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Abbey of the Grand Palmetto in November of 2015
Why did you join the Order?:
I joined the Order because I have always been interested in serving my community, helping others embrace their true selves, and educating those who need it. I was engaged in other forms of outreach and advocacy, but when I found the Sisters, I just KNEW that was my calling. And I have never regretted it.
What is your personal mission or ministry?
My personal mission is to be the best nun that I can be. My ministry is one of education, whether that be on risk mitigation, safer sex practices, queer history, or just how to not be an asshole to your fellow humans. I find that I am most comfortable in front of a group of people, having a meaningful dialogue and sharing information and ideas.
Name at least one person (living or dead - met them or not) who inspires you?
There are so many people from whom I draw inspiration, so I will try to keep this to a minimum. Sister Unity of the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is the very first Sister I ever met and who sparked my interest in joining the Order. Unity is an extremely dedicated Sister who is a font of wisdom on a multitude of topics and her energy is almost always that of joy, serenity, and compassion. Sister Candy Cide, also of Los Angeles, was an early role model for my "fierceness" as she is a take-no-shit-from-no-one kind of gal and paints a beautiful (resting bitch) face. Of course my mother, Sister Ghana Maria is a role model as she taught me to be focused and resolved, but to know my own limits and when to laugh instead of cry.
Honestly, there are so many, so I think I will leave it with this... I am inspired by those who have the fortitude and strength to live authentically. I am inspired by those who have the grace to live in adversity. I am inspired by those who have the compassion to help others. I am inspired by those who have the intelligence to educate, but also know when to walk away. I am inspired by those who put others ahead of themselves and what's right ahead of what's comfortable.
What is your favorite quote?
“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
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