When Sister Immaculata Bertolli and Sister Maria Josepha Hombrebueno take one of their rare outings away from the Abbey of St. Walburga in the high plains of northern Larimer County, they look as if they've walked out of an earlier era.
The black habits and veils they wear are traditional, even compared to other convents. The dimples that frame their faces have their roots in the Middle Ages. It's a look that many people have come to associate with older women.
But Sister Bertolli, 25, and Sister Hombrebueno, 30, are the face of a new generation of religious Gen X'ers and Gen Y'ers longing for a spiritual alternative to the materialism and endless choice of the 21st century. The two are among the youngest sisters at the abbey which in the past three years has seen four young women entered as postulates at St. Walburga. And the abbey is expecting up to three more in the fall.
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