Yes, Maria, it disturbed me too the way Sister Vassa almost brags about her high-up contacts who gave her the low-down [ ! ]. I wondered about that too. You thought of a good angle. Maybe the leak was deliberately aimed to warn her rather than an insider friend giving a sympathetic caution, the way I read her words.
I was a little surprised myself when I saw that writeup about her Coffee With Sister Vassa youtube series on the main Rocor site.
It sounded a little too OCA liberal style to promote such a thing.
So you saw 2 episodes ? I look back and recall that I felt strongly after the first episode that that was enough for me, anyway.
Mainly, I marveled at her ability to speak without any shyness. That was was caught my attention, rather than the subject matter. If it were I, I could NEVER talk to a camera, and certainly not with aplomb like she did.
But then there is that actress/actor factor, too. People who like to perform in front of others are not shy ; rather, they bask in the limelight.
You are right to bring up the acting question, for we know from St John of Kronstadt's vehement writings that this pursuit is thoroughly condemned by the Church. We have a thread here covering this very subject. I didn't think of that facet of this problem.
Now about that singing nun analogy. I couldn't remember exactly who that was. I thought of Sally Field, but looked her up and saw that she had played The Flying Nun. It was a TV series running 1967-70. [ There at wikipedia, I discovered the unpalatable fact that the actress' youngest son is 'openly homosexual' and that she herself campaigns for homosexual 'causes'. Disgusting ! It seems that being a nun, nor playing a nun, did anything to help the purity of the 2 women discussed here and below. ]
The Singing Nun was actually The Smiling Nun in French: Soeur Sourire, which sounds catchy. Here is the story, from which warning bells loudly toll from almost every paragraph. It took only 5 years for the superstar performing nun to descend into flagrant rebellion against her Church's teachings. Even by 1966, the year of St John Maximovitch's repose, the nun was already looking suspicious.
"Belgian-born, French-speaking Jeanine Deckers joined The Fichermont Convent in 1959 at the age of 26. Upon taking her vows, she adhered to the custom of picking a new name: Sister Luc-Gabrielle. Living at the convent, she passed the time by entertaining the other nuns with songs about Catholic saints that she wrote and performed on her acoustic guitar.
The superiors at the convent thought Sister Luc-Gabrielle should make a limited-press album—they could sell those records of original religious songs to people who visited the convent or who attended their religious retreats. The convent booked time for the sister at Philips Studio in Brussels in 1962. While it’s fairly common for church choirs or religious performers to self-release an album, then and now, the engineers at Philips thought Sister Luc-Gabrielle was more than just another church singer—they thought her gentle, lilting folk songs could make her a pop star. So they signed her to a contract, and presented her to the public as Soeur Sourire, or “Sister Smile.”
The engineers at Philips were right. In 1963, Soeur Sourire’s “Dominique” was released as a single in Belgium. About St. Dominic, the 13th century founder of the Dominican order, and sung in French, it became a #1 hit all over Europe, even where French wasn’t widely spoken. It was so big it crossed over to the U.S. in late 1963. Radio programmers at the time were eager to fill the air with the gentlest music they could find, aiming to soothe Americans after the assassination of President Kennedy.
“Dominique” went to #1 in the U.S. She was still billed as Soeur Sourire…although everybody just called her “the Singing Nun.” She embarked on a worldwide tour, appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, and her album Her Joys, Her Songs sold two million copies. Deckers’ cut of the proceeds went directly to her convent.
It was almost inexplicable that a nun singing a song in French about a Catholic saint could have been a #1 single. So much so that Soeur Sourire couldn’t repeat the feat. After “Dominique” mania calmed down and Her Joys, Her Songs produced no more hits, the convent sent Deckers to receive secondary theology training. There, she became reacquainted with an old childhood friend named Anne Pelcher. In 1966, Deckers and Pelcher went to Africa to do social work and became lifelong companions.
In 1968, Deckers further distanced herself from her religious life. She was an outspoken critic of the Catholic Church’s anti-contraception stance, publicly supporting birth control with an attempted comeback single called “Glory Be to God For the Golden Pill.” The song was not a hit.
The controversy surrounding the song (and rumors that Deckers and Pelcher were romantically involved) led to Deckers being ousted from her convent. In the 1970s, she attempted to jumpstart her musical career with a children’s album of religious and secular songs called I Am Not a Star in Heaven, under the name “Luc-Dominique,” allegedly because her old convent owned the rights to the name Soeur Sourire. The album flopped.
By 1982, Deckers was broke, yet owed the Belgian government thousands in unpaid back taxes over royalties from “Dominique.” Deckers claimed that since her convent took that money, then they should pay the taxes on it. The convent disagreed— because they were just a poor, struggling convent and didn’t have the money. Deckers was ruled to be on the hook for $63,000 in back taxes. In a quick-cash-grabbing move, Deckers recorded yet another would-be comeback single: “Dominique”—a synthesizer-heavy disco version of her only hit.
That comeback didn’t work either, and Deckers fell farther into debt. Sadly, she and Pelcher committed suicide together in 1985.
Most of these controversial details were not included in The Singing Nun, a highly fictionalized version of Deckers’ life released in 1966 and starring Debbie Reynolds." http://www.bathroomreader.com/2013/10/w ... nging-nun/As an aside, the choice of "Luc-Gabrielle" strikes me as a little weird. Why not Lucie, which is Lucy in French, after St Lucy ? Should this ill-starred nun have wished to take the name Luke for St Luke, it is spelled the same in French as in English.
'Luc' instead looks like - ugh - Lucifer. Did the Devil take over this young nun from the very start ?