Each summer SBFC recruits volunteers to work a two-week shift at St. Mary’s Peak Lookout above Stevensville, MT. Volunteers perform the usual lookout functions; maintenance work, wildfire spotting/reporting, etc. Because this lookout is a popular destination, many of these volunteers also greet visitors, and are prepared to talk about the history of the lookout, the area, the geography, etc.
This summer came with a delightfully unique surprise. While volunteer lookout host Sheryl O. was at her post, she spotted seven nuns (which she affectionately refers to as “The Blues Sisters”) fully decked in royal blue habits poised to summit the mountain. Mind you, this is not a walk in the park, this is a trail to a lookout. In fact, alltrails.com sites St. Mary’s as “a 5.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail…….with an elevation gain of 2,483 ft. The trail is rated as difficult”. Let’s not forget that these women are not wearing the latest in Patagonia hiking apparel either.
Sheryl and the nuns introduced themselves, chatted, and then came the grand finale - a chorus of nuns atop this 9,000 foot peak, creating glorious music. Remind you of anything? This was only seven of the group of 27 women who actually call themselves “The Singing Nuns”. They are from St. Michael’s convent in Spokane, WA and have their own website www.singingnuns.com.
According to Sister Mary Angela, the group performs for different events throughout the year; Fourth of July, Christmas concerts, retirement homes, etc., but for Sister Mary, “their favorite time to sing is for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because we know that it is all for God's glory”.
We all are hopeful The Singing Nuns make the trek again next year.