Who you gonna love?
Sister Mary Pellegrino, C.S.J. with other sisters attending the International Union of Superiors General Plenary in 2013 in Rome. (Photos courtesy of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Baden, PA.)
IT WAS A MAY-SEPTEMBER ROMANCE, and I was never again the same. I met David in the spring of ’92 while he was staying with an acquaintance of mine, and somehow I ended up showing him around the city one day. We seemed to hit it off. I certainly enjoyed his company, and he seemed to enjoy mine. We ended up spending lots of evenings together, and on the weekends we tried to do the same. Then one night when we were saying good-bye, the kiss of friendship turned into something much more.
From then on the summer was a blur. I aced the graduate classes I was taking and seemed to get by on about three hours of sleep a night. That’s what being in love can do. It was a remarkable time in my life. I felt as though I had the whole world at my fingertips. I was daydreaming about what my life might be like . . . what our life together might be like. I was nervous and fearful and excited and energized all at the same time. And, oh yeah, I was vowed to a celibate life.
OK, so that could present a problem. During the summer of ’92 I was in my fourth year of temporary profession with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden, Pennsylvania. I had entered my congregation six years earlier. I had done my share of dating before I entered, and I embraced celibacy with all the wonder, zeal, and starry eyes that any 22-year-old could have.
In my religious life prior to meeting David, I had found myself attracted to other men, but nothing like what I felt this time. Before David, my community life and my minist