Spanish nun expelled for spending excess time on Facebook

Saturday, February 19, 2011

LONDON - A nun who has lived in a convent in Spain for over 35 years, has now been asked to leave after she was found to be “spending too much time” on social networking website Facebook.

Sister Mara Jesus Galan - dubbed “Sister Internet” by her fellow nuns - wrote on her Facebook page that she has been asked to leave the convent after disagreements over her online activities, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The 54-year old nun of the 14th century Santo Domingo el Real convent in Toledo, who lists her hobbies as “reading, music, art, and making friends” has around 600 Facebook “friends”, and now has fan pages with thousands of supporters from around the globe calling for her to be allowed back into the order.

A computer was first brought onto the premises 10 years ago after the Mother Superior was persuaded it would lessen the need for nuns to enter the outside world.

“It enabled us do things such as banking online and saved us having to make trips into the city,” explained Maria, who entered as a novice at the age of 21.

The nun soon began digitising the archives contained within the convent and made them accessible to the world. In 2008, she won a government prize for her painstaking work of scanning the pages of precious texts held in the convent’s library.

The award made headlines and she soon had scores of friends worldwide connecting through her Facebook page.

But her fellow nuns disapproved of her cyber activity.

The archbishop of Toledo said it was “an internal matter”.

Sister Maria, who is now living at her mother’s house, said she was ready to embark on a new chapter in her life. “I would like to visit London and New York,” she posted on her page. “Such things were impossible to even dream when at the convent.”

Filed under: Religion

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