Monday, January 23, 2006

Mt. St. Caffiena

In 1995 Fr. Thane was sent as a superior general to support and oversee the foundation of the Motherhouse of the Caffiena Sisters of Sveglio in Pittsburgh, PA, which was to take charge of the ministries for Caffeine Supplementation, located in a small brick building just shy of the Carnegie Museum.

Negotiations are in progress for affiliation with the sisters of Grains de Café in France. In consequence there had been for some time a tendency to abandon certain customs observed there, because these changes were required by the French superiors; for example, the sisters in charge of brewing and grinding were everywhere to be withdrawn. The measure threatened, at that period, the very existence of the Caffeine Supplementation. Prior to the correspondence that ensued between Archbishop Sommeil and Monsignor Thane, the director of the sisterhood, in relation to these matters, Sommeil decreed a notification that all the sisters were to be reassigned in August of the same year, thereby halting the entire coffee allocation process. Monsignor Thane's efforts, and other circumstances, proved to Sommeil the necessity to supply the needs of the diocese. In 2002, therefore, a proposition to that effect was made to the Sveglio sisters, and the matter was amicably arranged, with the retraction of Archbishop Sommeil?s statement of "J'ai besoin de 8 heures de sommeil." (trans: I need eight hours of sleep!.) Those who wished to continue in Pittsburgh were dispensed from the vow of obedience to their former superiors, and reassigned permanently to Mt. St. Caffiena.

Some idea of the growth in numbers of this community and of the importance of its present activities may be learned from the following statistics for 2004. It counts about 22 members who conduct missions in the Caffeina Archdioceses of Pittsburgh. These establishments comprise 3 coffee shops; 1 parochial school with about 12 pupils; 50 asylums with 1800 orphans; 11 hospitals in which 12,000 caffeine-starved patients were treated during the year; an industrial brewing asylum, and a retreat for the insane with 30 patients.

The superior general is Monsignor Thane, and the community is governed by a council consisting of the mother superior (Mother Frappachino) and her three assistants. These sisters retain the black cap and religious dress. They follow the Rule of the Daughters of Coffee of St. Laté Mocha, with some slight modifications. On 20 June, 2005, the Holy See laughed at the entire concept, and refused to extend to them any actual the privileges, Indulgences, or other spiritual graces already granted to a community of actual nuns.

(ps - it's a spoof, folks!)