Page 7, 28th September 2001

28th September 2001
Page 7
Page 7, 28th September 2001 — Nuns are back in vogue

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Nuns are back in vogue

JUST when you though Christianity was vanquished it appears that nuns are really quite fashionable after all. Christian chic is all the rage after the London catwalk last week displayed the work of Polish designer Arkadius. The show, entitled "Virgin", saw models strolling the catwalk, bedecked in religious imagery, from nativity print dress. crucifixes and rosaries. This isn't all that alarming, given that a similar idea didn't do Madonna any harm during the 1980s.

THE FELLOWSHIP of Depressives Anonymous, a national self-help charity, has been cheered up somewhat by none other than Catholic Herald columnist Fr Ron Rolheiser. It loved his controversial musings on whether suicide was a sin or a sickness so much that it decided to reproduce it in his newsletter The secretary of the organisation told me: "I am most grateful to you for allowing us to reprint this, which I am sure will help several of our readers."

Funny that — Rollo usually makes me want to end it all.

DURHAM County Council has granted planning permission for a pet lovers' cemetery where owners may be buried next to their beloved Fido, Mittens or Tweetie Bird. Linda Evans, 37, came up with the idea after the death

of her Alsatian, Elsa. The cemetery is already the resting place for 55 animals. Instructions to bury an owner next to their pet must be given in writing. "I am a strong believer that animals should have what we have," says Evans.

religious garb to portray a Dominican sister whose Prison Pet Partnership Programme has transformed the lives of prisoners in the US. The TV movie Within These Walls for the Lifetime cable channel portrays the remarkable story of Sr Pauline Quinn who struck on the idea of getting prisoners to train guidedogs for the disabled. The fortunate canines are taken from animal shelters days away from being put down. Salvation all round. Ellen Burstyn, the movie's executive producer; is full of praise for the dog loving nun: "It just seemed to me like the most amazing win-win-win situation. It's an amazing and wonderful story."

THE SPANISH Inquisition has returned, but this time its victims are teachers. Bishops in Spain have launched a campaign to purge state schools of teachers of religion who are deemed to have behaved " sinfully".

Drinking with male colleagues, not going to Mass and marrying a

divorcee, are the reasons for three sackings this summer that have left teachers demanding protection from the state, reports The Guardian (where else?). Must be true, then.

A CONCERT in aid Of The Passage, a centre for the homeless, will take place at St John's, Smith Square, on Thursday 8 November at 7.30pm. A Night Under The Stars will feature, amongst others, Rory Bremner Michael Parkinson and young musician of the year Adrian Spillett. Tickets are from 150 and include a reception in the Foreign Office. Ring 020 7592 1856 for further details.

—Martin Marprelate

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