Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
Sister Sara Femme Fatale
What is your full Sister name?
Sister Sara Femme Fatale
Date you joined the order?
September 2006; I elevated to Fully Professed Member in San Francisco on May 13, 2008, and transferred to the Russian River, becoming a fully professed member here on September 19, 2010.
Date of birth?
July 19. I like shiny things. I like anything, actually.
When did you discover your calling?
How does anyone discover their calling?
By listening, lovely. There are many answers to this question as Calling is active. When I first met the Sisters I was more than intrigued by them; I fell in love with them. They represented so many things that I wanted in my own life. Unconditional acceptance, intention, capacity to listen and appreciate the beauty in all. They acknowledge my strengths and encourage them, forgive, honor and reshape my weaknesses, and show me how to verbalize what is in my heart. And in crinolines and glitter and rhinestones! Are they perfect? Of course not! How can you serve if you don't understand imperfection? How can you be strong if you don't acknowledge weakness?
I did not know I was meant to be a Nun until I became one, and then it became everything to me. I find the more I work with my community, the more I work with myself. It's very much "Physician, heal thyself." I question my motives and needs in and out of the Order continuously. What is calling me today? How has it permutated? What have I learned and how can I teach that? And how can I just be still? My Calling is continuous and shifting, but I can always hear it. My journey on this path has not been easy, nor should it be. Life is not easy darling, but we've been given the job of living it. Might as well enjoy the ride as best we can and listen to its Siren scream.
Big Sisters/Mother in the order?
San Francisco: Sister Mary Timothy Simplicity
Russian River: Sister Coppah Feel
Major Projects in the Order
Benefit for the Boob I thru 7, a benefit for the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund
Puss in Boots, a kinky cabaret for SFWAR
Dyke March liason 2009
Benefit for the Boob3DDD
Pink Saturday co-chair 2009
Project Nunway 2009
Hallowmas on the River 2012, 2013
Closet Ball 2016, 2017, 2018
Project Nunway Nunlimited
Why did you join?
Because everything about it felt perfect. As a nun, I am absolutely the best parts of me. I love every aspect of it: Dressing up, indulging myself with fun and beauty and ruffles and glitter. The permission I have to engage with my community and the accountability. Once I step out into the world in my veil I am a representative of the queer spiritual community. People expect a Sister to stop, give a blessing, just listen please. For many people, the greatest gift you can give them is acknowledgement. How often we move through the world trying our very hardest not to make eye contact, not to touch, to have our journey throughout the day be as sterile and noncommittal as possible. I receive much of my energy through interaction. As a Sister I am fully immersed in this community and that connection has the power to hold and heal that which is NOT the best parts of me. And being a Sister has educated me on what a blessing is and how to count and honor them.
Religious beliefs (if any)?
I was raised kinda-sorta Catholic by parents who maybe weren't sure what that meant. I did confession and all that, but couldn't understand that if God was all-knowing, why I had to confess to a priest in a tiny, anonymous room. In my 20s I was introduced to paganism which struck me as more inclusive, but sadly, not necessarily so. What it did present to me was an interest in the way all spiritual paths are based in the same foundation and are all interconnected. If you ask me what I am, I will say "witch" and I am a Priestess, but I don't follow any pantheon. I dislike being immersed in anyones dogma, and prefer to use what I need at the time. I feel all spiritual paths are valid and beautiful but don't care to label myself. The biggest appeal to me as a Sister is that it is a spiritual path, that we are spiritual beings and that the Highest Order is ourselves. There is everything here, Witches, Jews, Faeries, Catholics, Pagans, Atheists, Agnostics, Unitarians, even Satanists. We bring our own beliefs and needs and know we are supported in all paths. We are all and everything, as needed.
Goals and aspirations?
I would love to be a part of a community that supports and loves each other no matter what. You don't have to like 'em, but ya gotta share the road with 'em. No judgment and no expectations lightens the load. And, to see glitter on everybody.
Sister Sara's Guidelines for Life
Simplicity is the key to elegance.
You never know how far to go until you go too far.
Glitter makes everything prettier and gives sparkle to purpose.
It's never a "mistake" when putting on face, just an excuse for a rhinestone.
Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
Once it's on your face it's out of your hands.