"Bile 'Dem Cabbage Down"

    I know, you're wondering if you are really at the monastic blog of the Passionist Nuns or the "Passionist Nuts" - as we might be referred to on a Gaudeamus day!    Some years ago, (how many I don't know, before my time, which would be over 16 years ago) the brother of Sr. Ann Miriam gave us an Appalachian mountain dulcimer which was handcrafted in eastern Kentucky. One of the songs in the book of directions and music that came with the dulcimer was the old American folk song - "Bile (boil) 'dem (them) cabbage down".  Sr. Cecilia Maria was able to figure out the dulcimer pretty quickly and we just had to make a skit to go with this song. Hence, our after meal entertainment for Mother Catherine Marie's gaudeamus day last week.

   Since the directions say that the dulcimer is "best" played with a turkey feather we just had to include that "five-legged" turkey that Sr. John Mary saw a few months back on the back hill of our cloister courtyard. Yes, perhaps I'll tell you that story at another date.

The schedule for Mother's special day

The cast of "The Passionist Nuts Meet Mad Kentucky"

    In case you are in need of some comic relief here's the skit...

The Dulcimer Chronicles: Passionist Nuts Meet Mad Kentucky

Cast: Sr. Mary Poppins Veronica Sr. Rose Marie Sr. Cecilia Maria

Part The First  (announced by the passing of the poster nun- SMV)

[The three sisters gather at the back of the recreation room, coming in from the refectory.]

SMPV: May St. Michael and all the holy angels…

Novices: guard us in all our ways!

SMPV: The presence of God…    Jesus, Mary and Joseph be praised…

Novices: forever and ever!

SMPV: Well…. Wacha wanna do?   SRM: I dunno. Watchoo wanna do?

SCeM: When in doubt… consult the novitiate store room!

SMPV: Of course!

 [SMPV goes over to a door in the recreation room opens it and disappears into the “store room”]

SMPV: Aha! I have just the thing!

 [She brings in a box, setting it on the puzzle table, which is covered with a cloth. There will be a helper (SJnM?) behind the table.]

SCeM: Ahh! What’s this? SMPV: Well… I thought that we could learn new instruments and start a Passionist band so we can play for MCM’s Gaudeamus today. What do you think?

SCeM: (Use some fun Latin word that would be the equivalent of “Great! Let’s do it!)

SRM: So what kind of band do you have in mind, Sister?

SMPV: Well, let’s see

 [SMPV opens up the box and begins to pull out some of the smaller instruments—flutophone, yuke, etc…  She bends down and looks deeper into the box and says:]

SMPV: Ha! that’s funny! I was sure there was something else in here… Hmm!

 [She reaches and digs around in the box, bent and looking deeply into it as though into a deep hole…  She reaches deep and the hidden helper hands her the xylophone]

SMPV: Aha! Here’s one!

 [She pulls the xylophone out. SRM & SCeM look astounded…  She reaches in again, and the hidden helper gives her the mandolin banjo]

SRM & SCeM:  ????? How did you…? But where…?

 [SMPV digs a little more and pulls out a dulcimer with the help of the hidden helper…]

SCeM: What kind of a violin is that?

SMPV: I’m not sure… I think it might be a dulcimer.

SRM: A whatimer?

SCeM: Let’s see…  [SCeM opens up the case. We all “ooooh and ahhhh.”  SRM reads instructions while SCeM takes it out and follows the instructions  for how to hold it and how to play. Read note about the *5-legged-turkey  feather.]

SRM: Now where would we get a feather from a 5-legged turkey???

SCeM: I know! SJnM saw one the other day. You could ask her!

 [SRM goes to the TV room door which has a sign that says “SJnM” on it.]

SRM: [to herself] She’s not here. I guess I’ll have to find one myself.

(all exit the scene at this point.)


Cast: Sr. Rose Marie The 5-legged-turkey

Part The Second  (announced by the passing of the poster nun- SMV)

SJnM comes out wearing the 5-legged-turkey get up. She does a little turkey  walk/dance made up impromptu by herself.   Then she “parks” somewhere and acts like she’s sleeping…

SRM comes in with a “bush” in front of her. She spots the turkey, gets excited, and signals for all to be quiet. Then she slowly creeps nearer to the turkey and…. SPRINGS!

The turkey has a “gobble fit.” SRM obtains a turkey feather. She holds it up like a trophy. The turkey takes off, exiting the scene, but pokes her head  back in just long enough to make a funny teasing face. Then SRM exits the scene holding up the feather.


Cast: Sr. Mary Poppins Veronica Sr. Rose Marie Sr. Cecilia Maria Community

Part The Third  (announced by the passing of the poster nun- SMV)

[Someone (SCeM?) plays a trumpet tune on the xylophone introducing SRM  onto the scene where the other sisters are waiting with the dulcimer.  She is victoriously displaying the turkey feather. She’s wearing a straw hat with a blade of grass in teeth. She’s also holding a bag with a paper coon tail sticking out.]

SMPV: SRM! What happened?!

SRM: Whew-Wee! It was a big-un, yaw!...

Uh-saw-t… jess-uh snoozin’. ‘Den I comes up reeeeel ‘kwite’, an’ Hot dawg! I gots de fether uh-de fi-legged turkey!... Am I back in time fer muther’s gig?

SCeM: SRM! You ‘done turn’d hill-billy!

SRM: Yep! I done ben kentuckianized!

[She tosses SCeM a straw hat]

(I thought it would be awesome if SCeM burst out with some "hill-billy" Latin right here as she puts on her hat etc… If we have time to figure that out.)   SRM: Sis-ter Mare-D’lores. Guessh whut… I done got some coons!   [SRM then goes over to SMD and holds up the coon-tail bag]

SCeM: Bedder go git de cook book an’ dat smokin’ flaver.

SRM: Den we ken bake ‘em up reeeeel good! Whewwww Wee!

SCeM: Maybe we ken puts ‘um in de mikerwave fer ur week er two!

SRM: [Remembering that she’s holding the turkey feather…]  Eh! Ere’s de noter. Give ‘er uh go!

SCeM: Whewww Weee!  [She hands SCeM the feather. SCeM begins to play the cords of “Boil ‘dem Cabbage Down”]

SMPV: I have just the thing!   [She goes over to her box and pulls out a stack of lyrics to give to each sister so they can sing along.]

SRM: Yaw come’on now! Ever’ body sang!

[Everybody joins in singing Boil ‘dem Cabbage Down.]

All end with “Happy Gaudeamus Mother!”


   Now, remember that all copyrights to photos and text on this blog belong to the Passionist Nuns. Therefore, don't be getting any ideas of copying any of this and using it elsewhere. Our reputation for somber, boring nuns might be ruined. I hope no one is "offended" by our play on the legendary Kentucky hill-billy accent. Since we ourselves live in Kentucky we thought we could get away with sharing it with you without "upsetting" anyone.  If you are offended perhaps you need someone to tickle your funny-bone with a turkey feather and to serve you up some boiled cabbage and "coon", raccoon, that is.

    Anyhow, there was some spirituality in our day as well. Mother Catherine Marie has great devotion to Our Lady of Fatima and the theme of Our Lady's messages which is to join her in being "coredeemers" for the salvation of mankind. So that was the theme of her card. She also received some practical and some spiritual gifts, including a very special book Eucharist - God Among Us by Joan Carter McHugh, given to us by a special benefactor.

    We also watched a great movie - Paul VI from Ignatius Press. We highly recommend it. What a saintly man this pope was. How blessed we are to have had so many saintly popes in the 20th century!

Sister Ann Miriam wearing the "party hat"

Sr. Cecilia Maria with her origami bunny wabbits which were a part of the party decorations. Mother Catherine Marie's beloved deceased father, having his "Doctorate in Rabbit Psychology" , was famous for his love of domesticated rabbits and their many uses.

Catching the last glimpse of a rainbow at the end of a wonderful day in the monastery.