Carmelite nuns Mother Patrice and Sister Magdalena leave their enclosed order to appear on 'The Late Late Show'.

Unaccustomed to modern media Carmelite nuns Mother Patrice and Sister Magdalena live in an enclosed order in Tallow, County Waterford. The nuns only leave their monastery on rare occasions such as visiting the doctor or attending hospital appointments in Cork and Dublin.

Mother Patrice and Sister Magdalena are making the unusual move to appear on national television as they need to raise £500,000 to rebuild their crumbling monastery. Sister Magdalena is keen to point out,

I’m not looking forward to any worldly goods, all I’m looking forward to is a plain utilitarian building.

The nuns describe their daily life which is dedicated to prayer. They receive requests for prayers from old age pensioners, young people sitting exams and from those who are ill or in prison. Through their contact with people seeking prayers and visitors to the monastery, the nuns are far from ignorant about what is happening in society. They are aware of the impact of ‘The Late Late Show’ but, 

It just doesn’t come up in our lives.

The Carmelite community is self sufficient and has a printing press as a source of income, along with alms. The nuns grow their own vegetables and are mainly vegetarian,

As you can see we’re quite healthy specimens.

Sister Magdalena explains the difference between meditation and the mental prayer that permeates her entire day. The sisters do speak to each other during the allotted periods of recreation throughout the day.

There’s magnificent hilarity at times.

During their rare visits outside the monastery, the nuns appreciate there has been tremendous progress and development since they entered the enclosed order. Their home places of Dungarvan in County Waterford and Templeogue in Dublin have changed beyond their recognition.

This episode of ‘The Late Late Show’ was broadcast on 10 February 1995. The presenter is Gay Byrne.