Amanda Houska and Anna Ciarrone are giving Sister Mary Assumpta a run for her money. Known for her cookies and love for the Tribe, Sister Mary Assumpta has long been Cleveland's most creative nun.
But the roommates who plan to enter the community of the Franciscan Sisters T.O.R. in Toronto, Ohio, have found innovative ways to perform the required task of paying off their loans.
The women sell handmade rosaries and "Support Good Habits" T-shirts on their website, supportgoodhabits.org. They even recruited a sponsored team of athletes to run on their behalf at the Cleveland Marathon on May 15.
"We brainstormed and bounced ideas off of each other," Ciarrone explains.
But before the marathon, Houska and Ciarrone received quite a surprise. After reading about the women in The Plain Dealer, Forest City's Sam Miller decided to pay the remainder of their debt.
"I think we were both very overwhelmed, definitely overcome by tears of joy," Houska says.
Houska and Ciarrone went forward with their marathon plans, but with a new goal of raising funds for future sister Malbri Reyes, who will enter the community with Ciarrone this August.
"Hopefully this brings an awareness to the diocese and to the people in this area about the beauty and excitement of religious life," Ciarrone says.