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  • One night Hilda, also a novice, had a nightmare that I had been expelled from the convent. Without thinking, she climbed in bed with me. It was that simple—she lay her head on the pillow and was able to fall right to sleep. She woke up the next morning terrified of consequences. She flew out of the room. Word got out, and I was lectured about “particular friendships.” I said we were not particular friends but genuine friends. A year before she had slept four girls to a bed on the farm. “She was homesick,” I said. “That’s all.”

    (100 words)

    photo:The photo is from the digital archives of Saint Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota ( It is a photo of a dormitory at the Sisters' academy for high school students. Aspirants and novices to the convent slept in similar dormitories, with curtains to separate each girl's space.
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