(Pitched to Open File Montreal on July 19, 2012)
While visiting the few remaining convents in Quebec City, I was surprised to learn that many of their residents are over 100, and that the average age is something like 80. While women in Quebec have stopped devoting themselves to a cloistered life since the Quiet Revolution, it would be interesting to look into what makes life in a religious community so healthy..
-A 100-year-old nun’s art exhibit
In Quebec City, the Musee Bon-Pasteur’s new art exhibit features the colorful paintings of a nun who will celebrate her 100th birthday in September. Sister Alice Pruneau produced more than 600 paintings during her life, many of them featuring illustrations of life in the convent. The Good Shepherd sisters dedicated themselves to helping prostitutes, single mothers and abandoned children. The museum wanted to have an exhibit of Sister Pruneau’s works while she is still alive. The sister herself has Alzheimer’s and no longer recognizes people.