Religion: A Nun's Story

In a coarse sackcloth robe worn over a hairshirt, she sits alone in her stone-floored cell. Her food is bread, water, an occasional cooked vegetable. Through a small grilled window she may look into a chapel, and down a narrow passageway there is another barred window where she takes her daily communion. In the cell is a straight chair, a table, a board that serves as her bed and a small washroom with a cold shower. Not since she closed the door behind her 16 years ago has she ever left this confined area.

This austere regime belongs to a 54-year-old American...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!