World
Nuns go public for first time in 150 years
Publish Date: Sep 01, 2014
Nuns go public for first time in 150 years
Inside the Madres Agustinas cloistered monastery in Quito. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Madres Agustinas in Ecuador, the monastery was exceptionally open to the public during the weekend. (AFP)
  • mail
  • img
newvision


QUITO - A group of Ecuadoran nuns opened the doors of their convent to the outside world Saturday -- a first since the order arrived in the South American country 150 years ago.

The nuns of the Mothers of Augustine were expelled from Colombia in 1864 and subsequently settled in the center of Quito, where they have lived a secluded lifestyle ever since.

Currently, only seven nuns -- two of them octogenarians (in their 80s) -- live in the cloister surrounded by thick white walls and accessible by way of heavy wooden doors.

Now, at long last, they decided to give the public a glimpse to mark the 150th anniversary of their arrival in the Ecuadoran capital.

"It is the first time and the mothers believe it will be the last," Javier Cevallos, a foundation director who is organizing the tours, told AFP.

Only the head nun has contact with the outside world and an order from the bishop is required to enter the cloister, he added.
 


A guide clad in a XIX century attire gives explanations to visitors at the Madres Agustinas cloistered monastery. (AFP)
 


Here, visitors watch the chapel's altar at cloistered monastery. (AFP)


More than 1,500 people signed up for the unique opportunity on weekend.

The convent -- a quiet haven situated in the heart of Quito, a bustling city of 2.6 million -- features a large courtyard as well as a mural telling the story of how the nuns made it to Ecuador.

Long corridors with stone floors and worn railings lead to dark confessionals and a chapel. The tours ends at an old tower.

One of the visitors, retiree Angel Galarza, took his wife, children and grandchildren on the tour.

The 77-year-old recalled how he had the "privilege" of being allowed in the convent as a teenager.

"Nobody could talk to them," he said of the nuns, adding that he only heard them when they sang in church.

"I could only see them when they went to mass," he told AFP.

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
1976 Entebbe raid: Ex-intelligence chief dies
Yitzhak Hofi, who played a key role in a 1976 Entebbe operation to free the passengers of a hijacked plane, has died at 87....
Murderer
Belgium, one of only a few countries to allow euthanasia, has accepted a serial rapist''s request that he be allowed to die....
Signs of N. Korea developing missile submarine
North Korea appears to be developing a new weapons system capable of launching submarine-based ballistic missiles, the South's defence ministry said Monday....
Death toll now 40 in Nigeria building collapse: rescuers
Forty people have now died as a result of a building collapse at the megachurch of one of Nigeria's most famous preachers and televangelists, the country's main rescue body said on Sunday....
Kerry drums up support for US
US Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Cairo on Saturday, amid a growing campaign to build a broad international coalition for a "war" against Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq....
US remembers 9/11, Obama says never
Americans marked the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, as President Barack Obama vowed that the nation would never "give in to fear."...
Do kingdoms deserve more benefits?
yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter