I take a seat next to Sophia, who’s got a sprained ankle propped up on the table. Across the room is Margaret, with long legs and a flawless manicure, wearing a leather jacket and jeans. I recognize her from Mass, and soon learn that in contrast to her outspoken personality, she’s a former contemplative nun. On my other side is Agnes, with a broad smile and a glittering scarf around her neck, also a former nun, from an order that works among the poorest of the poor. Elizabeth, with curly dark hair and leaping hand gestures, is wearing red and getting everyone water, and it turns out that she too briefly lived in a convent after she finished high school. As they introduce themselves, more details are forthcoming: Margaret is retired and has been with her female partner for twenty-five years; Agnes is a theology professor and writer, with two kids in college; Elizabeth works for an educational program and volunteers everywhere. I am, by decades, the youngest woman there.