Death in the monastery: Ann Miller was a nun – and mother of ten – News Abroad

This story is extraordinary, even the way it is told: American Mark R. Miller reports on his mother on Twitter: 13 episodes, short posts with photos. Because Ann Miller was a woman who lived two lives that couldn’t have been more different: she died now at the age of 92 – as a nun and the mother of ten children.

“Today a nun died in the Carmelite Convent in Illinois,” her son begins soberly with his first post on June 6th. “She couldn’t sing well and was often late for her duties in the convent. She threw sticks to the dogs in town – which was not allowed. And she was my mother too. “

It is not about asking for many condolences, he clarifies. “Our relationship was … complicated. I do not mourn them. But I acknowledge that her life was almost unique. She was born in the 1920s and died in the 1920s of the following century. “

Since she joined the Order 33 years ago, he continues, he has only seen her twice. The reason: The life of the nuns in a Carmelite order is contemplative: “They do not teach in schools or work in hospitals – they never leave the house in which they live. They pray, they live in silence – 23.5 hours a day. “

This is how the fun-loving US girl became a nun

Ann Miller grew up in San Francisco and Oregon, and went to school in California and New York. “She had a boyfriend. She married when she was 20. “

Photo: Private

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Ann Miller with her husband Photo: Private

At the age of 27 she had already given birth to five children, after which she had another five: “A basketball team of every kind. She was pregnant for more than 400 weeks of her life ”.

„Sie hatte unzählige Freunde, sie rauchte, sie trank, sie spielte Karten“, schriebt Miller über seine MutterPhoto: Private

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“She had countless friends, she smoked, she drank, she played cards,” writes Miller about his motherPhoto: Private

“I’m far from the only child,” said Mark R. Miller about a photo showing his siblings. “I’m the 9th out of 10. She had 28 grandchildren, some of whom she has never seen. She held none of the more than a dozen great-grandchildren in her arms. “

Attractive, fun-loving and with both feet on the ground – that’s how Ann Miller must have been as a wife and mother: She loved open water diving and drove her car fast and at breakneck speed. “She gave up smoking later, as well as alcohol and coffee, all on the same day – and somehow managed not to piss anyone off”, writes her son.

The New Life of Ann Miller

Five years after her husband died in 1984, Ann Miller left her old life behind: “She gave away everything she owned. On her 61st birthday, she threw a farewell party with 800 guests in a hotel in San Francisco – and flew to Chicago the next day. “

At the Carmelite Convent in Des Plaines, Illinois, the doors of the convent closed behind her. And Ann Miller became Sister Mary Joseph of the Trinity.

“She has been hanging around there for the last 33 years: she made rosary beads out of flowers and slept in her own cell.” And she looked after several sheepdogs on the monastery grounds, “chilled” with them, the son reports: “We have children she never allowed to have pets ”- and there is a slight bitterness to be heard.

No physical contact when visiting

Visits were rare – which was due to the strict rules of the monastery: “You can’t hug or touch: you are separated by bars.”

Distanz, kein Körperkontakt: Ann Miller konnte als Schwester Mary Joseph ihren Sohn bei seinen wenigen Besuchen  nur durch Gitterstäbe getrennt treffenPhoto: Private

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Distance, no physical contact: Ann Miller, as sister Mary Joseph, was only able to meet her son on his few visits, separated by barsPhoto: Private

The son’s Twitter story ends in a conciliatory way: with a black and white photo of his smiling mother as a young girl. And with a greeting to the father …

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