Running nun: Good exercise, good time to pray
In a fitness-forward city like Seattle, it’s not surprising to see street athletes in all manner of pants, capris, shorts, bras, tanks, tops and tights in every color, fit and form.
What is unexpected, however, is seeing someone in a habit.
“It is a bit unusual to see someone running down the street dressed like that,” said Hayley Tapp, nodding at Sister Mary Kelli Ann Lopez, who was running down a residential street wearing a white veil, a plain, dove gray, three-quarter length habit and a pair of multicolored running shoes.
Lopez — a 32-year-old novice with the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity who will take her vows soon in Corpus Christi, Texas — has drawn more than her share of stares, double takes, questions and even a few puns since she began running in the neighborhood regularly a year and a half ago.
“The first time I saw her, she was with a group of about five nuns,” said former runner Charles Gordanier. “Now it’s apparently something she’s decided to do on her own. Which is great. There are a lot of benefits if you can make it a habit.”
Although Lopez has occasionally succeeded in getting some of the four sisters she lives with in a convent on the property of St. Alphonsus Parish and School to join her in a short walk or run, she’s generally solo on the six- to nine-mile runs she takes five days a week.
Her religious society, which was founded nearly 60 years ago in the United States, is among those that have chosen to retain wearing habits in public even after the ecumenical council known as Vatican II allowed some sisters to shed the distinctive and modest attire.
“It’s very humbling and lets
Mary Lopez runs last month toward Golden Gardens Park in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard. The society of which she is a part, Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, is among those that have chosen to retain wearing habits in public even after the ecumenical council known as Vatican II allowed some nuns to shed the distinctive and modest attire.