St Joseph’s Sleeping Beauty – Angela, Michael, Ryan

Once upon a time, a long time ago and not so terribly far away, our story begins. The year was 1919 in Brooklyn and at 245 Clinton Avenue, a small school of twelve students was in session. The Sisters of Saint Joseph had just purchased the building to provide education to the Catholic women who wouldn’t have found opportunities elsewhere. One of these students was Catherine Ann, who had been reprimanded for her forgotten homework and left to clean the small laboratory the building held. Not paying very close attention in her haste to finish, she knocked over a sealed glass bottle and as the contents of this vial spilled over her she fell into a fast and deep sleep. 

The next day when the sisters returned to the room they were startled to find Catherine. They made quick notice of what had happened and the amount of fluid that had spilled on her. After careful cleanup, they were able to conclude she would be held in her sleep for one-hundred years. Wanting to make sure that Catherine had a safe place to rest, the nuns placed her in an unused room and as time went on, it was included in the school’s charter that when she awoke she would have a guaranteed place in the schools’ classes, and later that would grow to include their dormitories. 


Catherine Ann opens her eyes and blinks, surprised to find herself in an unfamiliar room. She recalls cleaning the laboratory but she is no longer in the classroom. She wonders if perhaps she was moved and is a little concerned to find how much trouble she will be in for sleeping during her chores. She moves to find a door and upon doing so finds herself in the hallway of a somehow familiar building, though it is not as it appeared in her memory. She is startled when she realizes the narrow hall is lit but there are no windows nor any candles; perhaps the fixtures in the ceiling contained candles? She has never seen anything like this. As she moves through the building a kind older woman approaches her; she introduces herself as Sister Irene Johnson and asks if she can help her find something. Catherine explains what had happened to her while questioning Sister Irene about her outfit. Who had ever seen a woman in pants, and if she was a nun where was her habit?! Sister Irene Johnson was the great-niece of the sister who found Catherine upon the start of her sleep and explains to the young lady that it was no longer 1919 but rather 2019. 

Catherine was in shock, to put it mildly, she had long been without her natural family but was heartbroken to learn that the women with which she had grown so close had long been deceased. She prayed that this was some awful trick and that her world would return to normal, but no such thing would come true. Sister Johnson assured her that they would work to help her adjust to this time and that she could continue to stay at the college with classes, room, and board paid for her. In addition to herself, Sister Johnson assigned Catherine’s peer, James Thomas, to help her adjust to the extraordinary changes. 

To say Catherine was confused by the clothing, the now coed and interracial campus, or the lightbulbs was an understatement of grand proportions, but James took care to explain to her even those things which most of us find self-explanatory. He spent hours with her and the two quickly became close friends. 

Now several months since waking, Catherine wanted to experience the modern world more. With the money the school provided her, she picked up a couple of outfits one would find to be much more suitable to the century. James was so excited for her and decided that with that step she was ready to learn some of the newest technologies of the century. He introduced her to a laptop and the internet it could access.  She was fascinated by the machine though still much more inclined to believe it was magic than anything else. James supported her in this search and in her every adventure in the new world. The love between them soon became clear and they kissed in the quiet of the library at night. It was with that kiss she realized she belonged in this futuristic world and perhaps that is when her spell truly broke. 

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