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The Pink Sisters pray for the outside world. But they never go outside

In a small convent in Utrecht, the Netherlands, the Pink Sisters spend their days praying for the outside world from behind bars. How do they see the world outside, if they never go there themselves?



In the middle of busy Utrecht working-class neighborhood Zuilen stands the Catholic convent Cenakel. The simple red brick building barely stands out among the surrounding houses, except for the bright pink front door; a color which refers to the pink habits of the five sisters who live there.

They spend their days within the walls of the convent and fill them with housework and music, but especially with prayer. And when they pray, they pray for the world outside.

They are the Pink Sisters, or The Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration. These nuns are seldom seen: a large fence within the convent stands between them and anyone who visits. They spend their days within the walls of the convent and fill them with housework and music, but especially with prayer. And when they pray, they pray for the world outside.


How does physical confinement affect our relationship with the outside world? It's a question that fascinates me, and I wonder how the Pink Sisters might answer it. I reach out the Pink Sisters through a contact form on their website. I soon receive a message back from Head Sister Maria Confidens and not long after, I knock on the bright pink front door.


Read the full article in Dutch here


Originally published on De Correspondent – April 15, 2017

Images by Inge Oosterhoff