First-Ever Look Inside Monastery Where Nuns Bake 100,000 Wafers for Pope
Catholic nuns who live in a monastery outside Philadelphia are busy making communion wafers for Pope Francis’ historic visit.
The soft-spoken "Poor Clares," as they are known, have dedicated their lives to prayer and seclusion. They rarely step foot off their grounds and are even buried there when they die.
“We take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, but we also take a fourth vow of enclosure,” one nun told INSIDE EDITION.
IE is the first television show granted permission to film inside the monastery.
In the past, the sisters wouldn’t even see people who delivered items to the convent. They used a barrel apparatus.
One sister said, “The individual on the other side would place the item in the barrel and then the sister would turn the barrel back and gather the item.”
As they have done for more than 100 years, the nuns also play a key role in the Catholic mass: they make communion wafers.
The sisters are now busy with their most important task ever. They're producing thousands of hosts for the outdoor mass in Philadelphia.
“It’s a very special product,” Sister Ann told IE. She explained as a nun started the wafer-making process with equal parts flour and water.
The sister poured the batter on the stove and then the stove closed and flattened it out and the excess batter was squeezed out the side.
“She lets it cook for about 30 seconds. Then she carefully takes it off, it’s very hot,” said Sister Ann.
After the sheets cooled they're put in a humidifier. If you don't take that step, they will get too dry and will shatter, explained Sister Ann.
The sisters cut the sheets into round wafers of varying sizes by using a stamping machine.
The wafers were then packed and sent to churches near and far. One set of boxes were headed to the mass in Philly, making them a special part of the pontiff’s historic visit.
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