Surf Contest Run by Nuns

“American nuns are to host a Nun’s Beach Surf Invitational in New Jersey, to raise funds for the maintenance of their mother house.

Sister James Dolores, 73, from the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, says: “I’m really getting the hang of this. No one ever thought they’d see me on a board.”

Pictured in the New York Post posing on a surfboard on the beach, the nun has a special relationship with local surfers, said the report. It was forged more than 60 years ago when local surfers approached the nuns’ beach-front retreat asking if they could ride its waves.

The nuns warmly greeted the beach bums, and the swath of surf was soon dubbed “Nun’s Beach.” The sisters often sit on the beach and even draw spiritual inspiration watching the wave-riders.

“It’s very peaceful,” said Sister James, the retreat’s property manager. “You see how the water holds them up, balances them and if you ride with the water, it will get you where you want to go. That’s how it is with the grace of God.”

Bill Deger, now 64, and his surfing buddies once coaxed an 83-year-old nun onto a surfboard.

“One of her life’s dreams was to be able to surf,” Deger, 64, said of the late Sister Loyola. “So we got her out in knee-deep water and held her on. She loved it. It was an incredible experience.”

But in 1996, a small group of surfers led by Larry Gehrke and Deger decided it was time to give back to the nuns – by running a contest to help fund the retreat’s upkeep.” – “US Nuns to Host Surfing Contest”, CathNews

CathNews posted this article recently and I thought it was such a wonderful story to hear about. These nuns have been allowing surfers on their beach for years now, and it has become somewhat of a tradition it seems like. The headline really just caught my eye because I would never expect nuns to be hosting a surf contest. I would never think surfing and religious life would come together for much of anything really, but this was a pleasant surprise to hear about.