News Release - March 18, 2009

For Immediate Release: March 18, 2009

Contacts: Michelle Jeffers (415) 557-4282 mjeffers@sfpl.org

Under A Full Moon: 30 Years of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

Exhibition of Photos, Artifacts, Habits and More on View

at San Francisco Public Library

On Holy Saturday, April 14, 1979, three men ventured out into the Castro District in habits "loaned" by retired nuns, with the intent to stir things up on a moonlit night. Quite by accident, those three men discovered a new form of political and social activism and community service that lives on, 30 years later, as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Visit the San Francisco Public Library for a look at the history of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, on view at the James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center, Third Floor, Main Library from March 20 through May 7.

Through artifacts, records, press releases, photographs, habits and other objects, the exhibition will tell a story of how it came to be that an order of queer nuns was conceived. Visitors to the Hormel Center will be able to see the "borrowed" habit of founding member Sister Soami (formerly Sister Missionary Position) as well as view the promotional relics of a number of the Sisters' memorable and philanthropic events such as themed bingo nights and the annual Easter celebration at Dolores Park.

"Unquestionably, the Sisters have left a mark on activism and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) history. This library exhibition is intended to explore and educate those who don't know their work and intentions,"said Sister Mary Ly Onward, aide-de-camp to the Archive Mistress. "We, the Sisters, hope that the general public will come to understand our purpose as community builders, activists and fundraisers for those in need. Above all, we hope the exhibition helps everyone to see us as the merry makers and guilt dissipaters we are."

The exhibition also details the process of becoming a Sister and provides a glimpse into the group's organizational structure through its bylaws and the Pink Saturday Handbook. By reading the resumes and vows taken by individual sisters, visitors will be able to experience their call to sisterhood.

Related Program:

A 30th Anniversary Sistory Slideshow

April 1, 6 p.m., Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin Street

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