Guest blogger Mantilla Amontillado is the founder of Veritas Vestments. She holds a degree in Ecclesiastical Haberdashery from Salamanca University. She has done the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella three times on horseback. In 2016 she entered the Carmelite Monastery of Porto Sangria where she is a novice in the Reformed Discalced Order of St Teresa of the Holy Thorn. Her name in religion is Sister Teresa Berchman de Santo Sudario.

So maybe everybody wondering, “Where is Mantilla? I am missing her on this blog.”

Let me tell you hon. This last year? It’s not been easy. Last time I am writing here I am writing about what is like maybe trying to make nice vestments during this papacy of Papa Francesco. He is saying young Catholics like me and my friends are maybe “rigid.” So what about Veritas Vestment? Business was bad. We had to close.

Augusto say to me, “Maybe you can make those vestments in polyester for modern priests.” I say to him, “You mean like those ones with grapes and wheat on the front or maybe little sunbeams and rainbows?”

He say, “Why not?”

So I go crazy and say to Augusto, “And maybe you can go fight kittens instead of El Toro.”

So we close Veritas Vestments, and then hon, things go from bad to worse. Some of these what do you call them in English? Rights of animals people. They get together and the government close down the bull fighting. They say instead maybe you have a circus. So Augusto is not knowing what to do and he become a soldier and I never see him again, and when he come home. Augusto is different. He tells me he is married to another girl an American girl he met. She called Tiffany and she is always doing the chewing gum and smiling.

Finally I think to myself, “Mantilla. Be strong. This is not so bad. If Augusto want this Tiffany girl with her chewing gum, then he is not for you.” So then my friend Lucia tell me about this new group of sisters. They are the old kind of Carmelites with the liturgy in Latin and wearing the full habit and living behind the screen again. I say, “Lucia! Is this true? There are still nuns like this? Where?”

So listen hon. I go to Porto Sangria and find the Carmelite Sisters living in an old monastery that the Bishop give them. The roof on the church is falling in, but we fix it. At first the sisters tell me there is no toilets or electric, but they fix it. So now we have thirty sisters and my name is Sister Teresa Berchman de Santo Sudario, and you never believe it hon, but I am in charge of the way we make money for the sisters. At first they were growing turnips, but who wants to eat turnips these days? So instead I tell them we can make vestments and frontals for the priests and maybe birettas.

So Veritas Vestments is back in business hon, and Augusto–maybe he’s happy too with Tiffany. I don’t know. I hope so, but I know I am happy.

I tell you something else hon. Papa Francesco–he’s a good man helping poor people and everybody maybe like him a lot. The best thing he do for Mantilla is help her see that she need to be a total Catholic. He was saying so many Catholics are rigid. Let me tell you hon. I don’t know so many who are rigid, but I know many who are the opposite of rigid–they are flabby Catholics.

Mantilla got no time for flabby Catholics and Papa Francesco help me see that and so I become a nun.

Maybe Augusto not fighting El Toro anymore in the bullfighting, but the devil is like that black bull El Toro and me and my sisters–we’re fighting him right here. Ole!

Go here to read Mantilla the Hon on being rigid. Eventually the Archived Articles section will hold all the Mantilla the Hon posts. To have access to the whole blog archive please consider subscribing.