Neat Nun Stuff

Did you know a nun helped write BASIC???

Sr. Dr. Mary Kenneth Keller, who took vows as a Sister of Charity in 1940, was the first American woman to earn a PhD in computer science in 1965. Earlier, she was the first woman to work in the Dartmouth Computing Center, where she collaborated on the development of BASIC, the first computer language for non-specialists. After earning her PhD, she went on to found and direct the computer science department at Clark College in Iowa.

What an inspiring story! From now on, I’m going to consider Sr. Mary Kenneth, who passed away in 1985, as the unofficial patron saint of computer programmers.

This year is the 500th anniversary of the birth of the great Catholic reformer and Doctor of the Church St. Teresa of Avila, whose name in religious life was Sr. Teresa of Jesus. In honor of this anniversary, a virtual choir of 93 Carmelites (the religious order which Teresa reformed) from all over the world have recorded a beautiful setting of one of Teresa’s prayers. Teresa, of course, spoke Spanish; the Spanish text is

Nada te turbe,
nada te espante.
Todo se pasa,
Dios no se muda
La paciencia
todo lo alcanza.
Quien a Dios tiene
nada le falta.
Solo Dios basta.

and in English,

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you.
All things shall pass;
God does not change.
Patience
reaches everything.
Whoever has God
lacks for nothing.
God alone is enough.

There’s a second virtual choir of Carmelites and associates singing a setting of Salve Regina, a hymn that Teresa herself surely prayed. This video includes photographs of Carmelite communities from all over the world.

What beautiful tributes. St Teresa, pray for us!

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2 Responses to Neat Nun Stuff

  1. vinceretur says:

    I am certain that Sr. Keller would have been a Linux user should she have lived past 1991. Just a plug for the greatest operating kernel known today.

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