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Bathing Customs In Communities


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[quote name='IgnatiusofLoyola' timestamp='1317918473' post='2316156']
As usual, I'm late with posting a response. Most of the responses to this thread seem to be for cloistered Carmelite communities.

Last year, we had a discussion of what is worn under the habit (or the postulant dress) since several members were about to enter active Orders--Franciscan and Dominican, primarily. I'd be hard pressed to find the thread again, but several posters (not only those about to enter) posted that they wore men's short-sleeved undershirts under the habit or postulant dress. The undershirts/T-shirts didn't have to be men's, but men's were often cheaper. This was especially true for Orders like the ND's, where postulants and novices engage in athletic activity for a time every day, so needed undergarments that could be easily washed.

Then the question of bras came up. One postulant said that her instructions about what to bring said to bring bras that could withstand industrial-strength washing machines. In the end, I think most of the new postulants decided to bring sports bras, as they are comfortable, more modest than many regular bras, and more likely to be able to withstand washing machines.

Sorry, I don't think the subject of underwear ever came up. (Except that they wore underwear.)
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I wish my mom would understand this. I have only ever worn sport bras because I cannot stand the feel of regular bras, especially underwire. She made a comment this past weekend when I was looking in the underwear section that I needed to learn how to hook a bra because I'm going to probably have to wear one when I'm in religious life. I laughed and said that sport bras are much better and actually recommended because of the amount of work a Sister does. I wished I had remembered about the industrial strength washer. She would understand that since her bras came apart in the washer when my dad put them in accidentally on the heavy duty cycle. :hehe2:

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[quote name='MaterMisericordiae' timestamp='1317931497' post='2316709']

I have only ever worn sport bras because I cannot stand the feel of regular bras, especially underwire.
[/quote]

Wow, I'm the opposite - I can't stand how sports bras feel - since they're made for vigourous physical activity, I find them really constricting and tight, and the material uncomfortable because of all the lycra, spandex, etc... I can't imagine wearing one for a longer period of time than a gym workout.

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[quote name='coralieprincess' timestamp='1317947071' post='2316876']
What do nuns wash their faces with? Just regular soap, or are you able to get facial cleanser?
[/quote]


As always, this will be different with different communities. I imagine the more active ones will allow many personal things, but in the cloisters where I was, we used what was provided, just as we ate what was provided... unless one had special needs, like a particular skin condition or dietary restriction. Common sense was supposed to be the guideline, and of course health concerns were attended to. But once we start picking and choosing things like skin care products... well, the vow of poverty is going to be seriously affected, isn't it? As someone else pointed out here, sometimes the simple things are often the most effective (and cheapest).

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[quote name='coralieprincess' timestamp='1317947228' post='2316878']

Wow, I'm the opposite - I can't stand how sports bras feel - since they're made for vigourous physical activity, I find them really constricting and tight, and the material uncomfortable because of all the lycra, spandex, etc... I can't imagine wearing one for a longer period of time than a gym workout.
[/quote]

My mom says the same thing. She can't stand them. I always buy the low impact bras made by Fruit of the Loom so they aren't so tight. I can't stand the high impact ones because I feel like I'm wearing a corset. :|

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[quote name='nunsense' timestamp='1317948293' post='2316911']


As always, this will be different with different communities. I imagine the more active ones will allow many personal things, but in the cloisters where I was, we used what was provided, just as we ate what was provided... unless one had special needs, like a particular skin condition or dietary restriction. Common sense was supposed to be the guideline, and of course health concerns were attended to. But once we start picking and choosing things like skin care products... well, the vow of poverty is going to be seriously affected, isn't it? As someone else pointed out here, sometimes the simple things are often the most effective (and cheapest).
[/quote]


What sort of lotions have you used in the monastery? I'm guessing lightly or nonscented ones. Or whatever had been donated... :)

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[quote name='brandelynmarie' timestamp='1317951214' post='2317046']


What sort of lotions have you used in the monastery? I'm guessing lightly or nonscented ones. Or whatever had been donated... :)
[/quote]

At Q they bought 3 standard handcreams and you could choose which you used, if you didn't specify you would get given whatever we had most of. There would also be ones given as gifts, although we were allowed to keep gifts of toilettries so if you got a 'gift' one you knew no-one esle wanted it! Those sisters who *needed* body lotion, myself included, basically get it on prescription anyway.

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[quote name='faithcecelia' timestamp='1317967356' post='2317275']

At Q they bought 3 standard handcreams and you could choose which you used, if you didn't specify you would get given whatever we had most of. There would also be ones given as gifts, although we were allowed to keep gifts of toilettries so if you got a 'gift' one you knew no-one esle wanted it! Those sisters who *needed* body lotion, myself included, basically get it on prescription anyway.
[/quote]

I hope the RSMs allow me to use my special hand lotion. I inherited exceptionally dry skin from my dad and I have to use hand lotion several times a day or they feel extremely dry and scaly. I use Aveeno Skin Relief and it's the only stuff that really works. I can use others, but they don't last as long or they are really greasy.

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In St. Cecilia's Abbey they had a big bottle of hand lotion on the shelf outside the kitchen. I don't know about personal toiletries, I didn't think to ask. Its a while since I've done my live-in so I don't know what they do now.

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[quote name='coralieprincess' timestamp='1317947228' post='2316878']

Wow, I'm the opposite - I can't stand how sports bras feel - since they're made for vigourous physical activity, I find them really constricting and tight, and the material uncomfortable because of all the lycra, spandex, etc... I can't imagine wearing one for a longer period of time than a gym workout.
[/quote]

I suspect that if you were wearing a sports bra for other than sports, you might choose to get a larger size or a different style, that might not be what you would wear for sports, but would be comfortable and less constricting. Also, you can find bras that are totally or primarily cotton. There is no reason for you to be uncomfortable.

BTW--While I'm posting on this, here are a couple of Web sites that have a good selection of things like bras, sports bras, T-shirts, etc at discount prices--often half price, and have frequent sales. I have been buying from the first site for years, and have had good experience with it in terms of price, service, etc. Also, be sure check the coupon sites, as there are often discounts offered that might not show up when you visit the Web site.

[url="http://www.onehanesplace.com"]www.onehanesplace.com[/url] (Despite the name, offers Bali and Playtex bras, as well as Hanes, and I think, Champion, and some other brands. I even buy my socks here.)
[url="http://www.hanes.com"]www.hanes.com[/url]

Edited by IgnatiusofLoyola
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Im actually intending to buy my new undies tomorrow! We have a Marks and Spencer (how very English :hehe2: ) outlet just on the mainland that is sueprcheap, and as my stuff will need to go through the wash on my live-in I decided now was as good a time as ever!

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One thing I would wonder about would be when to bring up issues like needing special products. Having no experience at all with discernment, especially on the first visit, would it make someone seem like a less serious candidate if they said, "I'm going to need this, and this, and this." Do they ask you on the first visit if you have dietary restrictions, etc.? Are preferences in products considered "necessities?" (I suspect this depends on the community--it seems different communities live the vow of poverty very differently.)

One thing that Laetitia Crucis said to me when she was in town was that with her current Community (she had been in religious life before with a very different Order) she just "went with the flow" because she not only had differences in Community customs and spirituality, but also cultural differences. (Although both the U.S. and the UK speak English, they are VERY different cultures in many ways--people are often surprised to find this.)

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[quote name='mme_hardy' timestamp='1317925815' post='2316566']
Do the Nashville Dominicans stop athletic recreation after they're fully professed?
[/quote]

Good question. Maybe Miss Scripture can ask her Sister sister about this.

One thing is that I would be expect that, as part of their teaching missions, ND Sisters would be very likely to engage in athletic activities with their students, although this would obviously vary.

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