Just by doing this shows me how vicious DICK WOLF is towards women. I truly believe he hates women the way he treats his female characters and the actors who portray them on all his shows.

Just a very short rant on a cold winters day.


In the age of CANCEL CULTURE

Sometimes it is difficult being alive today in the age of #cancelculture. Most people blame social media for this phenomenon and we will agree that it stems from our technology and social media platforms which enable us to #react to every story that we read about or see a video about. Even with a video people disbelieve what they see and hear because these videos are taken in the middle of the event – most times never at the beginning to the end so you know who you are rooting for. These videos and situations have become social media fodder and in reality – a lot like watching a Reality TV show. The NY Post (a newspaper = and I use that term loosely – actually had the balls to post the black male rapists a level 2 sex offenders pix on their article. I like facts which none of the newspapers actually have just conjecture and assuming they know-they don’t. #factsmatter AND they are different in every single case.

The shocking rape of a woman on a crowded train and no one goes to help her? The shocking shouting match between a black male birdwatcher in NYC Central Park Ramble and a woman who is walking her dog off leash. There are so many other tales I can tell especially if I went to google right now and typed in CANCEL CULTURE on trains, planes, automobiles, in public etc etc. You get the idea – CANCEL CULTURE is everywhere.

But in our head there is always a catch – if a video or an issue of a situation goes “viral” that means whomever the public judges as the aggressor or the ANTAGONIST (writing term) well, that person goes south pretty quickly in our technologically adept society. They lose their jobs, their livelihoods, sometimes they lose a lot more that is never reported. But why is this the likelihood of what happens in our WOKE society? What does WOKE really mean? I have answers but again, these are strictly my and sometimes OUR opinions. So please be open minded enough to discuss them properly without dismissing us as nutbags – we aren’t that but what we are is quite through with CANCEL CULTURE. When a person loses their job over an incident because a company fears retribution and a loss of business from a certain culture of people then what do we have? It’s not good – it is extreme LEFT IDIOLOGY in the wake of something called WOKE-ISM. BEING WOKE is the ghetto minority term for being cognitive that their opinion is a fact and that anything contrary to that “fact” is wrong.

Opinions are never wrong because, just like the nose on your face or the hole in your butt, everyone has one. If you don’t have either of those – you are not human and most probably another species. BEING WOKE is very irritating and frankly ridiculous. Woke-ism is being bandied about as much as the word RACISM is.

Oh and the new word REVERSE RACISM has not grounding in fact. There is no such thing as REVERSE RACISM. THERE IS ONLY RACISM. Repeat after me – THERE IS ONLY RACISM and we are all guilty of that. EVEN KIMMY’S HUSBAND who claims he has never been racist in his entire life living in New Hampshire – believe me he is racist too. We all are because it is part of our human nature to be. I believe that and admit to the fact I am racist at times depending on the issue. WOKISM isn’t new. Racism as been around as long as humans have existed. Being racist is based on jealousy for what some people think other people have that you don’t have. Nothing is really equal in the world and even when you fight to get what you want when you get it sometimes you realize how much you don’t want it. LOL it’s a never ending vicious cycle of Humanism. Minorities just gave it a new name to rally cry against injustices. Good for them. I’ll continue to use the word I understand RACISM – I am not a member of the WOKING DEAD. (YES SOMEONE ACTUALLY MADE A MOVIE ABOUT WOKING ZOMBIES – LOL LOL LOLDAWN OF THE WOKE ZOMBIES)

In the incident that happened in Central park with the lady, her dog and the black bird watcher in NYC gay part of the park called THE RAMBLE – was one such incident I had parted ways with the insane WOKE crowd. I didn’t think the woman involved needed to be fired from her job but that is up to the discretion of the company – they were an insurance company so no matter how many minorities complained about that woman with the dog off leash they will never go to Franklin Templeton for any kind of insurance. That- is a fact. They can’t afford their fees and I know this because I could afford their fees and left the company when they fired her in revolt). So Templeton just screwed their employee for the public outcry instead of standing ground for their employee. I wouldn’t want to work there, that’s for sure. They sound worse than a bank.

Meanwhile the black gay bird watcher tried to save the woman’s job but failed because he did not try that hard. I am part of the gay community and people who go to the ramble are mostly gay men in search of a quicky especially not there TO BIRD WATCH. So that guy’s story was a load of bull imo and laughable to say the least. His social standing in life went from being anonymous to being INTERNET FAMOUS which holds an ominous fame to it. Meanwhile the public was busy calling the dog lady names, asking then Mayor DB to ban her from using Central Park and going after her landlord to get her evicted from her apartment. That’s is extreme as far as WOKEISM in America today. In other words, because the woman was judged on her race and belligerence towards the black gay “bird watcher” , she was labeled that dreadful name KAREN. How we ever got there is beyond me but here we are.

KAREN’S are women who are usually filmed on video yelling and screaming obscenities’ at minorities and Asians telling them to go back to their own countries and whatever the problem was in the first place. We would always come to the rescue of anyone who is an immigrant, legal or not, in America who is being abused by an asshole in public. I mean really? If you have to take out your bad day on a stranger you got problems.

Women who are considered KAREN’S by the WOKING DEAD

What annoys me is NYC currently the highest in crime and attacks from the black homeless populace that now roams the streets and sidewalks of the city and who live in the city and outer boros. It’s the reason I always carry a knife and pepper spray on me. Heaven help the idiot who tries anything with us – they are in for a gigantic surprise. If I heard a woman screaming at the top of her lungs and looked out my apartment window and saw a man (in this case a black man) raping her I would jump from the window onto him and get him off her while my partner calls the cops. If there was no one home I would call police and then jump from the window onto him. Even when cops find these deranged rapists inside a woman they only get a short jail stay and then are thrown out into the public for yet another round of rapes of other unsuspecting women.

We must change our laws. I would like to see death penalty (and I was always against this but now I see we have too many crazy people out there) for MURDERERS, RAPISTS AND PEDOPHILES. I don’t believe that we should continue to jail drug dealers or drug users especially POT USERS – let them all go. The problem with that now is they have been languishing in jail for petty crimes and are now hardened criminals set to do more bad things once out. Time to change our laws but that won’t happen because too many people who are making a lot of $ on these people don’t want to stop. Our FOR PROFIT PRISONS and Cops who make $ on every collar for instance.

Then there are the WOKE MEDIA – who do not report the news instead they report their feelings about the news. I don’t want to hear DON LEMON’S ideas about the issue – tell me what the issue is and then shut the fuck up. If a criminal commits a crime they won’t show the face or write their names especially if it is a black person. That is getting old and they need to report the news with all the stupid names given to each of the perps.

Then there is our national police force that has been given carte blanche to kill minorities for the slightest infraction until the WOKE populace rose up to correct that wrong. Killing all those unarmed Black young men /old men and women was so unconscionable that it was and still is extremely hard to swallow that these cops are innocent when, kn many cases, it is obvious they aren’t. I once asked a cop “why are there so many fancy cars in the parking lot of your precinct?” to which he replied “we all work 2nd and 3rd jobs “. YEAH SORRY I DON’T BELIEVE YOU – YOU’RE ON THE TAKE. ESPECIALLY BIG CITY COPS – ALL OF THEM ARE ON THE TAKE.

What does that mean? ON THE TAKE – are cops who will protect shop owners if they can collect a monthly sum from them – much like the mob used to do in the old days of neighborhoods. For as long as I can remember and from my father’s stories about cops back home, they have all been crooked and horrible. However city cops used to have to be able to pass a written test with a 95%tile average & the physical had to be aced at 100%. In the 1970s the written test percentile was lowered to accommodate minorities. Don’t yell at me this is what I was told by a friend who later became a cop back in the old neighborhood- Washington Heights. Today in NYC most of the cops do not live in the city and come into the city to work from Connecticut, New Jersey, PA and part of the boro’s Queens, Bronx and Bklyn. They are not the kind of men and women who are upwardly mobile either – some of them are as fat as the donuts we kid them about. Many of them that I have met personally I would NOT be friends with – we have nothing in common and many of them are corse dull witted individuals with a bad feelings for people who are not like them – public servants and many were fat and out of shape. in 2023 I am noticing that is changing with many of them going to the gym and losing weight. Still their attitude is superior than ours and they are self-righteous thinking they are heros when all the real heroes are buried at the bottom of the World Trade Center (911). Yeah I’m looking at you – asshole.

For the most part the new police vehicles are faster muscle cars and they do not have the words TO PROTECT & SERVE because THEY DON’T.. AT least in the end they are telling the truth finally.


#DICKWOLF SHOWS ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST BULLSHIT SHOW ON TV TODAY. Most wanted has Dylan McDermott as lead who basically plays the same character whether he is the bad guy or the good-boring actor & on FBI International there is another really bad actor Luke Kleintank. The thing these leads have in common – they are good looking guys who cannot act or they are onenote in their acting which is worse. Even the woman who played LIZZIE in #BLACKLIST who was really bad actor when she started became a good actor as the series progressed. Not these Dick Wolf Actors – they suck still. I don’t watch them anymore even though my loving partner does. The female lead in FBI Missy Peregrym – I can’t even with her acting and her name. OMG I’m sorry I can’t stand her. Her name is right up there with Bunny Hunter & Bambi Dier. Oye! They are like farts in the wind – people laugh at them yet they are getting paid millions for doing what? It’s not like they are actually saving lives because whenever I am in the room and I heard they I die laughing at their terrible acting. Oh well – my opinion. You have yours.

2 of the worst “actors” on TV today shall remain nameless on this blog.

One of them #forlife about the life of # Isaac Wright Jr. who had to become a jailhouse lawyer to get out of jail himself as part of the Innocence Project and who is now free and a lawyer himself having run for NYC Mayor in 2022. I voted for him better than Adams. Even on SUV TV Show with cop hater ICE T and Mariska Hargitay when they are interrogating suspects; they always press the suspect about being THE GUY THAT THEY SEEK. I find that very annoying. What happened to INNOCENT UNTIL “PROVEN” GUILTY? Also I read where ICE T still gets stopped in NYC when driving into NYC to shoot the show because he is black. Is this a necessary reason to stop someone driving because of race? It isn’t and we all know that why don’t the cops?

Then there are two sets of laws; One for rich people or Upper Middle Class people & another for working poor or poor people. Mariska Hargitay prides the show on how it’s helped women come forward when assaulted but does she realize there are more problems with the way cops treat the people they have sworn to protect and serve and that they do neither. Cops today do not do their job. EVERYONE IS A SUSPECT TO THEM: Unless they are rich and not only do the cops treat rich folks differently so do the lawyers, prosecutors et all in these cases. Sickening. Rapper Actor ICE T should be ashamed of himself for being a part of SVU TV considering he did this for a living and in reality hates cops.

real NYC cops

In every single one of these cases I have seen on TV; these lazy cops always try to pin the crime on the first suspect in their midst. Check it out anytime you watch any of these shows they are busy grilling the wrong guy who just happens to be the FIRST GUY they suspect. That’s lazy police work for ya AND how many innocent people are in jail today for years trying to petition a crooked court for their lives? Some people never get out. That’s the real crime.

Oof! I digressed!!! – my point being about #cancel culture is that it should only affect your standing online and not in real life. Once it starts on ruining your real life then it’s fascism.

For those who care to know what side of the political aisle we sit – mostly with the – Democrats & we will never vote for a member of the current GOP because of their ridiculous versions of America – Q-Anon and Trump-ism is not for us. We believe in Democracy and voting on ISSUES – each issue is different. Our views may change depending on the issue is our point. Some people have called us Republicans – LOL which we aren’t but sometimes are view is conservative or considered such by the Left-we are also NOT into extremists views from either side. For now that’s who we are politically.

Comments are welcomed as long as they are not violent or talking about violence. Thanks –


The nun and the monk who fell in love and married

THIS above is not the beginning of a joke. It is however a true story about love and religion. Here’s what I know about the catholic church and why nuns and priests may not marry.

In the beginning of the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH there were POPES who married and had children. This cost the church so much money so the church eliminated the option for POPES to MARRY and then gave them the alternative to become MINISTERS or REVERENT’S who could marry and have children.

In the Orthodox Armenian Church after a man goes to Seminary he has the option to become a MARRIED PRIEST called a DERHYD or to become a priest who can one day be POPE of the Armenians called HYESOORP. These seminarians make these decisions right before graduating the Seminary. One of my friends who is unfortunately deceased was a Married Priest whose wife was referred to as YERESKIN – Mrs Priest. He married a woman from Detroit and they had two children, a girl & a boy. I had known RANDY from American Youth Groups and he had moved from Massachusetts to serve as a priest in Michigan, his wife’s hometown. He often told me that his father died when he entered his 40s from a brain aneurysm and his fear was that was also going to be his fate. When I was 3 years into my 40s, I learned that Randy had passed away from exactly what he had feared would happen. Then 5 years later his wife died from breast cancer and his kids were take to her family who raised them. I don’t know them but his daughter SONA has a blog and is a LIFE COACH and a MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER and I really like her and read her blog whenever she writes. One day I hope to meet her. Doing what she does for a living is interesting and reminds me of what Randy did as a priest.

I believe nuns and priests and monks should be able to marry. The Roman Catholic church asks a lot of these people to work without any sexuality to their lives and it’s no wonder so many of the men are queer or pedophiles or rapists. What is a wonder to me at least is that billions of people follow the Catholic Church still – to this day. I am not religious even though I was raised in an Orthodox manner – Saturdays was filled with Armenian Language school and Sunday was Sunday school at the church and then a 3 hour service in Ancient Armenian. Started at 6am in the morning and I finally rebelled at 15 and stopped going altogether except for holiday masses.

One Easter, with all the old lady widows dressed in black sitting at the top of the pews my friends and I sat in the back smoking cigarettes. One of them snuck up to the Thurible, also called censer, vessel used in the Christian liturgy for the burning of aromatic incense strewn on lighted coals, and dropped cannabis into the mix. When the guy took the THURIBLE around the entire church during the service everyone got high including the 8 widows at the top of the pew, one of whom was screaming that her husband had returned from the dead. We were dying laughing until the furious Priest figured out what was going on when he grabbed the Thurible and sniffed it and gagged. He went straight to the back of the church and grabbed two guys – 1 by the ear and the other by his big nose. That was the end of that.

We girls feigned innocence and the Priest was furious but I digress….

Here is a story about an old monk in his 50s and a younger nun who met once, fell in love at first sight and then found a way to enjoy their religious calling while also being in love and married to their soulmate. Every story should end this way. Unfortunately some nuns of old were torturers who loved to bully and torment young children because they were forced to abstain from sex. One of the nuns of my father in law’s time at catholic church hung him outside a window when he was a kid and he was an Irish big kid – so she musta been a monster.

My partner’s cousin is a nun and has talked about her love for a certain priest whom she worked with and she was never sure if he felt the same way but she said she loved him until he died. She is now retired and in her 80s living outside the church with another retired nun. She did not have a wasted life instead she helped so many people and speaks a bunch of languages and has a car.

My father’s nephew was a married man who divorced and then became a priest who ran his ministry on cruise ships which went all over the world. Some life and although I never met him I heard plenty of stories about him while he was serving the church. I am sure he’s either retired or passed by now.

The thing about the Church today is that the priest scandals were made all the more horrible by the fact that the POPES decided to continually move the predators around from church to church and these predators were never stopped thus continually perpetuating their crimes with other children. Until the current POPE who was furious about the entire scandal did something about it and is determined to bring the church into the 21st century without scandal. I half admire him and not because I do not like the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH and do not believe in what they teach.

Dan Brown, author of THE Da VINCI CODE & books – investigated the church and a lot of what he wrote in those books is truth. The church of today is an extension of the ROMAN EMPIRE which was the plan of Emperor Constantine who devised a plan that would extend into the future and keeps the church as one of the richest entities in the world in Rome – $33B

Catholic Church Vatican -$33 billion

My school – Mother Cabrini High School was closed in 2014 because they were not profitable and late teachers were largely running the school. So they closed after 115 years which is the norm for the Roman Catholic Church who takes parishioners money every Sunday but when these churches call them saying they need money to keep their door open the Roman Catholic Church turns the other cheek and I’m not speaking about their faces.

The Roman CC does not support their churches and allows them to close especially in neighborhoods that are considered ghettos and it becomes the task of other religions to open makeshift churches to help the hood retain it’s religious upbringing. A sad predicament for an organization who possesses $33 Billion dollars and doesn’t care about it’s followers. This is not what Jesus taught and it is not what Peter understood about what Jesus taught & of all the 12 disciples, Peter was the one who is called the ROCK. The Roman Catholic Church is the ROCK the church was founded upon. The church was founded on lies and not love and that is where I stand on them. They are an evil entity.

Back to the nun and the monk – here is their story and I found it beautiful and wonder why more people don’t exercise their rights and leave the evilest of churches.

The nun and the monk who fell in love and married

  • Published23 hours ago
Lisa and Robert Opala

By Aleem Maqbool

Religion editor, BBC News

Twenty-four years after becoming a nun, it was a brief touch of the sleeve of a monk in the parlour of the convent in Preston, Lancashire, that changed everything for Sister Mary Elizabeth.

The prioress of the order had taken her to meet the friar Robert, who was visiting from a priory in Oxford, to see if he wanted anything to eat. But Sister Mary Elizabeth’s superior was called away to take a phone call, so the two were left alone.

“It was our first time in a room together. We sat at a table as he ate, and the prioress didn’t come back so I had to let him out.”

Sister Mary Elizabeth had lived a devout, austere and mostly silent life as a nun, spending most of her days in her “cell”. As she let Robert out of the door, she brushed his sleeve and says she felt something of a jolt.

“I just felt a chemistry there, something, and I was a bit embarrassed. And I thought, gosh, did he feel that too. And as I let him out the door it was quite awkward.”

She recalls that it was about a week later that she received Robert’s message asking if she would leave to marry him.

Lisa Opala when she was a nun
When she was Sister Mary Elizabeth, Lisa belonged to the strict Carmelite Roman Catholic religious order

“I was a little bit shocked. I wore a veil so he never even saw my hair colour. He knew nothing about me really, nothing about my upbringing. He didn’t even know my worldly name,” she recalls.

Before entering the Carmelite order – an ancient order of the Roman Catholic church – at the age of 19, Sister Mary Elizabeth had been Lisa Tinkler, from Middlesbrough.

Though her parents had not been religious, an aunt’s pilgrimage to Lourdes awakened something in six-year-old Lisa, such that she asked her father to build an altar in her bedroom.

“I had a little statue of Our Lady on it and a little Lourdes water bottle. Actually, I thought it was the bottle that was holy and not the water – so I was just filling it from the tap and drinking the water,” she says.

Lisa would make her own way to one of the Roman Catholic churches in her home town and sit alone in the second pew – where she says she developed an overwhelming love for the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, and ultimately a feeling she had a vocation.

A weekend retreat at a monastery while she was still a teenager convinced her of her calling. The monastery was run by Carmelite nuns from an order that had origins in the 12th Century and where the life was particularly spartan, secluded and strict – but she decided that was precisely the life she wanted to lead.

Robert Opala
Robert grew up in Poland, but was a Carmelite monk in Oxford

Though Lisa had wanted to join immediately, her mother – who was troubled by her daughter’s decision – secretly wrote to the monastery to delay her departure for a few months, so Lisa could spend one more Christmas at home. She joined in the new year.

“From then I lived like a hermit. We had two recreation times a day, about half an hour, when we could speak, otherwise you were on your own in your cell. You never worked with anybody, always on your own,” she says.

Over the years, Sister Mary Elizabeth felt her vocabulary diminish as she had little more to talk about with the other nuns – who were all decades older than her – except the weather and the nature in the garden. She saw her mother four times a year through a grille.

“When I had my 21st birthday, my cake and my cards were all passed through the drawer. And when my nephew was born he was passed through a kind of turntable,” she chuckles, looking back on it all quite fondly.

She describes the way she felt her “interior world” open up as the outside world closed to her. There was a sense of feeling content and fulfilled. But, that day in the convent parlour, it all changed with the touch of a sleeve and a message asking if she would walk away from monastic life and get married.

Sister Mary Elizabeth didn’t give Robert an answer to his question and did not know what to do.

He may have known nothing about her, but she knew a little about him.

Lisa Opala
Lisa says before she met Robert she didn’t know what it was like to be in love

On his visits from Oxford to the Carmelite retreat centre in Preston he had occasionally come to say mass at the nearby monastery and Lisa had watched his sermons from behind a grille.

Through hearing his anecdotes as he preached, she got snippets of a life growing up in Silesia in Poland near the German border, and about a love of mountains. Though she says at the time it did not feel like it had a profound impact on her.

Now, suddenly, that had changed.

“I didn’t know what it feels like to be in love and I thought the sisters could see it in my face. So I became quite nervous. I could feel the change in me and that scared me,” she says.

Sister Mary Elizabeth eventually plucked up the courage to say to her prioress that she thought she had feelings for Robert, but the response she got was disbelief.

“She couldn’t understand how it had happened because we were in there 24/7 under her watch all the time. The prioress asked how I could have fallen in love with so little contact,” she says.

Sister Mary Elizabeth had imagined the reaction of her family, or of her bishop, if she left. She also wrestled over whether her relationship with God would change.

But the interaction with her superior caused her to do something uncharacteristically impetuous.


Lisa and Robert’s story is explored further in the first episode of a new series of Beyond Belief at 16:30 GMT on BBC Radio 4 on Monday 2 January – afterwards it will be available on BBC Sounds


“The prioress was little bit snappy with me, so I put my pants and a toothbrush in a bag and I walked out, and I never went back as Sister Mary Elizabeth,” Lisa tells me now.

Robert had messaged her to say he was planning to visit Preston again that evening. This time, it was to meet a Carmelite friend for advice at a nearby pub, the first person from the order he had trusted to tell of his and Lisa’s predicament.

Lisa guessed they would be meeting at the Black Bull about a mile up the road, so that was where she decided to head.

But instead of it being a joyful moment, Lisa was thrown into deep turmoil that November night in 2015.

Robert Opala
Robert says when he saw Lisa in the pub, he was paralysed by fear

“The rain was lashing down as I was walking along the Garstang road. The traffic was coming towards me with bright headlights and I just thought ‘I could just finish this,'” she says, referring to a momentary suicidal thought.

“I was really struggling, I thought I should just stop this from happening and Robert could get on with his life. But I also wondered if he really meant what he said about getting married.”

But Lisa kept walking until she found herself on a Friday night drenched, without a coat, in her habit outside the Black Bull. She only plucked up the courage to go inside when she saw the monk inside through an open door.

“When I saw her, my heart stopped,” says Robert.

“But actually I was paralysed by fear not by joy, because I knew in that moment that I had to be entirely for Lisa, but I also knew we were not practically ready for that,” he says.

Robert had been a Carmelite friar for 13 years by this point. He was a thinker, academic and theologian who came to monastic life in a search for meaning during what he describes as a crisis of faith and identity.

Looking back now, he feels his roots made that confusion almost inevitable – growing up in a region that recently transitioned from Germany to Poland, with a Lutheran father and Catholic mother.

But it was a dark period after a failed relationship that led him to continue his search for fulfilment in England where, in spite of the Lutheran Protestant theology he had settled on, it was in a Carmelite Roman Catholic monastery where he found his solace.

“I didn’t know much about Carmelites before and had not considered being a monk. In fact, I was always very suspicious of this kind of expression of faith,” Robert says.

But he says the order taught him how to embrace darkness, difficulties and crisis to the point where he felt settled. However, the encounter with Lisa – who he barely knew then as Sister Mary Elizabeth – turned his life upside down.

Lisa and Robert Opala
Robert wondered how he would start a new life at 53

“That touch of Lisa’s on my sleeve started a change, but while I felt something gradually growing in my heart, I don’t think I ever reached a point where I felt I was crazily falling in love, because in becoming a monk or a nun they teach you how to deal with emotions like love,” says Robert.

He explains that his message to Lisa asking if they could marry was almost an intellectual tussle with himself.

“When she appeared at the pub the little demon in me was terrified. But my fear was not religious or spiritual, it was purely about how I would start a new life at the age of 53,” he says.

The transition was difficult, particularly at the beginning. Lisa remembers a moment just before Christmas, soon after they had both left their monastic lives.

“I looked at Robert and he was distressed and crying. At that moment we both hit rock bottom and it felt like we should just take something like Romeo and Juliet and just end it,” says Lisa.

“It was so hard because he both felt so alone and so isolated and didn’t know the way forward. But we just held hands and we got through it,” she says.

They describe the moment at the job centre when they both burst into tears when asked about their transferrable skills – and another time when they were driving from Preston to Yorkshire.

“I had ordered a book in Polish about nuns who had left their orders for various reasons. I read and translated it for Lisa in the car, but she had to pull over on the M62. We both needed to cry because their stories were so emotional and we could relate to them,” says Robert.

Lisa and Robert Opala
Lisa is now a hospital chaplain, and Robert a Church of England vicar

What brought them peace was the thing that guided them to their monasticism in the first place – connecting with their personal faith.

“All through your religious life, you’re told your heart is supposed to be undivided and given to God. Suddenly I felt like my heart was expanding to hold Robert, but I realised it also held everything else that I had. And I didn’t feel any different about God, and that was reassuring to me,” says Lisa.

Lisa first found work at a funeral home and later as a hospital chaplain. Though he was upset by a letter from Rome telling him he was no longer a member of the Carmelite order, Robert was soon accepted into the Church of England.

They both did get married, and now share a home in the village of Hutton Rudby in North Yorkshire – where Robert has been made a vicar of the local church. They are still on a journey to adjust to life outside the monastery.

Lisa and Robert Opala on their wedding day
,Lisa and Robert on their wedding day

Lisa in particular, who had been isolated for 24 years and not had the academic life Robert had before, talks of feeling like an observer in the outside world. Only now is she working out what hair styles and clothes work best for her after a life in a habit.

They both still yearn for elements of monastic life, Lisa even says that if it was not for Robert, she would return to being a Carmelite nun tomorrow.

“We became so used to the silence and the solitude, that’s hard to find in the business of the world, you get pulled in so many different directions, so it’s a constant struggle for me and Robert to remain centred and grounded,” says Lisa.

But they have found a solution that works.

“I often think I live in a monastery here with Robert, like two Carmelites where everything we do is given to God. We anchor ourselves in prayer but love can make a sacrament of everything you do and I realise nothing has really changed for me,” she says.

Lisa says they both agree there are three of them in the marriage.

“Christ is at the centre and comes before everything. If we were to take him out of the equation, I think it wouldn’t have lasted really.”

Lisa and Robert’s story is explored further in the first episode of a new series of Beyond Belief at 16:30 on BBC Radio 4 on Monday 2 January – afterwards it will be available on BBC Sounds.

Photography by Ian Forsyth



Not your ordinary post I admit but I feel like I want to write about this. I’m on the phone a lot and many times if I am not on the phone I’m writing emails or talking to people on Social Media that we follow and who follow us.

Having written that I have to admit whenever I call a VENDOR (a VENDOR is a person or company we PAY either monthly or occasionally when we need something. Think of it this way-you use a credit card to pay your mechanic – THEY ARE YOUR VENDOR. VENDORS are important people to your life, your business or both. Without them you wouldn’t be able to do much in this “civilized society”. If one of them costs you too much money – there are others out in the world that are cheaper and you can hire them to do what your old vendor chose to have you pay more for.

PEOPLE IN THE SERVICE INDUSTRY can also be VENDORS. You go to a restaurant and a WAITER serves you. Or you go to a bar and THE BARTENDER asks you what you want to drink. These people are in the service business of servicing the public. Then there are people on the PHONE who answer you who represent the company who is your VENDOR.

If you are blunt, rude or just plain awful to people who are your VENDORS or to businesses who are your VENDOR they will treat you in kind. I have learned that being nice to everyone I meet helps me even with people who are nasty to me. If a vendor is nasty I drop them and use another vendor. If that vendor represents a company that is your VENDOR you can always ask to speak to someone else in authority or hang up and call again. Yeah, its problematic to call the same vendor again to get a better nicer person to serve you; but worth it to talk to someone who is not belittling you or making you angry.

Here are some examples of how the rewards are great when you are nice to people who are in the public servicing the public. Once upon a time I was younger and was a barfly. I hung out in bars down on Broadway because I had friends in the business and we hung out after work plenty of nights in the 1990s. NY was a different place then and flourishing with production – TV, Film, & Video. I was Producing a SKETCH COMEDY GROUP at that time filled with wait staff who unfortunately couldn’t act to save their lives but my writing was good so we played a lot of places including THE DUPLEX on 13th Street in NYC Greenwich Village.

The fact that these actors were novices and wanted to come into the group in the first place is because I had made friends out of them. Unfortunately in the long run, they got big headed and went over my head to the booking agent of the clubs and tried to take the contract I signed with each club away from me and the material I wrote for the sketches as well. Fortunately for me all the booking agents told them to go away and read them the riot act about how ungrateful they were to try and hijack my production. To this day, these “actors” are having problems getting hired in NYC clubs because all their names are on a list – a rejection list courtesy of the booking managers I had contracts with. NOT MY FAULT – it’s theirs. I gave them an outlet to act and they butchered that and then tried to take my production & sketches for their own. Thank goodness for copyrights.

In 2001 my friend had a problem with his terrible Father but he had a great relationship with the doorman of his building who was his friend. When his father called the cops and had him arrested because they had a fight & in NYC there was a LAW called THE ELDER LAW, THAT DID NOT PERMIT ANYONE TO PUNCH AN ELDERLY PERSON (THE FATHER) EVEN IF THE FATHER HAD PUNCHED THE SON. My friend called me because I was also his friend and lived in the same building but I didn’t have any money. In turn I called the doorman whose wife was a social worker. She knew the ins and outs of the downtown jail – THE TOMBS – and had $500 lying around for a rainy day and used that cash to bail my friend out of jail. He was very lucky that she had that cash lying around.

If my friend was rude to the doorman and others who serviced the building he would have not had anyone else to help him and he would have been shipped to Rikers Island for the weekend. There he probably would have died because very twisted correction officers were telling him they were going to have him raped. My friend is white. All the COs were black. CO’s are as crazy as the inmates at Rikers because they work in jail therefore they are in jail. My friend told me that he thanks god and his friend the doorman every day for his kindness and friendship. That doorman and his wife saved my buddy who probably would not still be here save for them.

Plenty of times I have been nice to people on the phone, engaged them in conversations, learned about them for a small period of time and then disconnected after they helped solve my issue. While I probably will never see or hear from them again – in that small amount of time I listened to them and they to me. We were the same, in that moment of time – with the same problems, same worries, we commiserated. We came to an agreement and they, who had the power to help me – DID. We always try to pay that forward. If we can’t financially we do it; we do it physically – we hold doors open for disabled people, we go to the post office for someone who can’t, or shop for someone or give someone a lift because they don’t have a car.

Kindness is not intentional – it should come naturally but for some IT DOES NOT. KINDNESS should be ingrained – today it’s not when people are frustrated they are rude. Being rude to the wrong people can result in a really rotten END. It still holds true – be kind to others and they will be kind to you – no matter what fucked up situation they are in – if you’re nice to them with words or just LISTENING – their situation feels small – they want to help you because you LISTENED. In LISTENING you helped them albeit in a small way but help is help.

Plenty of people out there are going to restaurants and writing bullshit on the check. We see it all the time. They even short change the waiter by not giving them a tip. How can people actually do that? Even if I don’t have cash for a tip I’ll put it on the card I’m paying with. I knew someone who I had dinner with who took us to an indian restaurant on 4th St downtown village NYC. They constantly raised their hand and SNAPPED THEIR FINGERS AT THE WAITER & THE STAFF whenever they wanted something. I told them to stop. They did but didn’t understand until I explained that in order to eat a good meal I had to go into the kitchen to apologize for their rudeness. They asked why. I replied “so the staff didn’t pee or shit into the food”. Yes – this HAS happened and I know because when I was that barfly I saw it first hand.

Be kind to others and they will be kind to you. That’s the lesson here. If a person in a small job hates you but you need their help to accomplish something that is SUPER important to you – but menial to them they will do everything in their power (with the small amount of power they have but POWER nevertheless) to screw you hard=and THEY WILL

Food for thought.