Truckie - and Paris - vow to live like nuns

Former Philadelphia truck driver Sr Mary Annette Gailey, who has just made her final vows, says that the solitude of the road helped her discover her new path, while Paris Hilton has reportedly vowed to "live like a nun" in a bid to stay out of jail.

Center Daily reports that Sr Gailey, 38, has pursued many of her passions, including child care, computer work and the opportunity to drive trucks. Her father had worked in an engine plant for the company that made Mack Trucks.

But the long hours of quiet solitude as a trucker led Sr Gailey's life down a new road.

"This particular venture allowed me to listen to the Holy Spirit," Sr Gailey said. "It was a metaphoric journey being played out."

Sr Gailey began a new journey when she made her final vows as one of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Philadelphia.

"God never stops calling. It's when do we finally listen?" Sr Gailey said.

Baptised and educated in Catholic schools, Sr Gailey remained active in her church but rarely had interaction with Catholic nuns. Besides her priest, she had few dealings with those committed to the religious life, Sr Gailey noted.

After college, Sr Gailey used her degree in elementary education to work at a day care. When she found it difficult to pay off her student loans, she moved into retail food management, customer service and computer work.

Since she was 12, Sr Gailey hoped to drive the big Mack trucks because her father said they were the best trucks with the best transmissions.

Although many people have stereotyped truckers as living in opposition of a holy life, it was a truck that led Sr Gailey on her ministry.

Logging in long highway miles on her truck routes gave her perfect moments of reflection and solitude, she said.

"I was spending time in solitude - with just the Holy Spirit - and God spoke to me," Sr Gailey said.

Travelling alone on the road blocked out the noise of the world. Sr Gailey had the opportunity to get in her own head and sort things out, she noted.

She said she often drove in silence and just listened. Those quiet moments gave God the opportunity to speak, she added.

"It's definitely not like people picking up the phone and someone calls you (to enter the sisterhood). There's no lightning bolt," she said. "It's much like a quiet whisper and listening to your own heart."

Paris to live like nun

Meanwhile, the UK Metro reports that Paris Hilton claims her partying days are behind her and she has turned over a new leaf.

The socialite has told friends that she is quitting alcohol, cutting back on shopping and plans to ditch her flashy motors, according to a report in The Sun.

The 26-year-old was ordered by a Los Angeles judge to report to county jail by 5 June to serve a 45-day sentence for violating the terms of her probation.

"Paris's attorneys have insisted she live like a nun. She has been strictly advised to stop acting like a Hollywood brat and appear more humble as they battle to keep her out of jail," a Hilton friend told reporters.

"They have ordered her to show a judge she has some humility and social responsibility if she is going to get her sentences reduced to appeal.

"That means no booze, no parading round in skimpy outfits, no partying. She's got to stick with her family and take on a healthier regime," the un-named friend advises.

Photo: artist impression of Paris

Former trucker becomes a nun (Centre Daily, 14/5/07)
Paris to 'live like a nun'? (Metro UK, 14/5/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth
Paris Hilton (Wikipedia)

15 May 2007