We’ve been driving by the gates of Villa de Mittal for more than five years and I’ve often wanted to explore the greenery beyond. After meeting Sister Paulette at a gathering, I set a time with her so Minal, my mother and I can actually see what lies behind the gates.
On the guided tour, we explore the graveyard, the forest, the actual building where the sisters live and also the chapel. As we walk through the forest trails, we see many trees that are marked to be cut down because of the recent drought. Even still, there is shade and this visit with nature — in an enclave created in 1920 — seems distant from !-45 just half a mile away.
“There are very few sisters here now,” explains Sister Paulette. “When I started here, I had to live in a dorm. We have private rooms now.”
Ever curious, Minal asks: “Why?”
“I don’t know,” responds Sister. “Would you be interested in joining?”
I’m relieved to hear Minal’s response.