"A reclusive order of Irish nuns has opened itself up to the outside world for the first time by launching a Web site to spread the good news. The Poor Clare nuns, who take vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, say the information superhighway will help them bring comfort to those in need of spiritual guidance.
"They usually only communicate with visitors, and even family members, by talking through iron bars at their closed monastery in Galway, western Ireland.
"'This is another way in which they can engage with the world through prayer and contemplation,' said a spokesman for The Conference of Religious, an umbrella group for Ireland's religious orders. [I take it they won't be surfing! And a brief look at the site suggests they have no email contact address. But it's still a far cry from iron bars. - N]
"The Web site, www.poorclares.ie, depicts the nuns baking at the monastery, and suggests daily prayer ideas. Its launch coincides with the 750th anniversary of the death of St. Clare, the founder of the order, who is also the patron saint of television."