Too much Facebook gets nun banished from order

A Spanish nun who lived for 35 years in a secluded Dominican convent is expelled from the order for spending too much time on Facebook.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Maria Jesus Galan had 600 Facebook friends. She liked to communicate with them, to spread good news.

However, her Facebook habit has lost her something very dear--her habit.

Galan, you see, spent 35 years inside the Santo Domingo el Real convent in Toledo, Spain. It's an introspective place that doesn't encourage its nuns to have too much contact with the outside world.

However, according to the Telegraph, the convent allowed a computer into its midst 10 years ago.

Sister Maria saw the future that this computer offered. She digitized the Dominican convent's archives. The computer also offered more mundane assistance.

"It enabled us do things such as banking online and saved us having to make trips into the city," she told the Telegraph.

Sister Maria's Facebook page Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The local government even gave her a prize for her digital initiatives. Oh, but with the prize came the fame. She began to collect more friends on her Facebook page. It seems, though, that this made her enemies within her own walls.

Her fellow nuns reportedly claimed that Sister Maria's Facebook activity "made life impossible." She was therefore asked to leave and now lives with her mother.

The Dominican order has refused to comment on Sister Maria's departure. However, her Facebook page is overflowing with sympathy. Some posters tell her that now that she has her freedom, she can travel to places like Australia. Some declare themselves sad that she was the victim of such an injustice.

Jose Maria Blanco Jimenez, for example, wrote: "Even though I am an agnostic, I respect your beliefs, and if you have dedicated 35 years of your life to this order, it is very bad that they treated you this way."

Another poster, Gerry Livingstone, offered: "They don't deserve you and you don't need them!"

It seems rather sad that, in an era in which the Vatican has a YouTube channel and the iPhone a rosary app, there are still people within the Church who might not feel comfortable with the comforts technology can bring.

At least Sister Maria understands the opportunities an online life can offer. She used to have 600 Facebook friends. Now her Facebook community numbers more than 5,000.