Soft-spoken Sister Rosalind was no match for the crowd noise at CHS Field.
The nun and famous masseuse has been massaging fans at St. Paul Saints games “since 1993, year one,” said Sean Aronson, Saints director of media relations and broadcasting. So the ballpark is where I caught up with her for this interview. This was my third attempt to get her.
Between 10 and 13 people get massages from Sister Rosalind at each home game. She “very much so” enjoys working Saints games.
Saints games and private events are the main venues where Sister Rosalind soothes achy bodies these days. There was a time when she had five schools and seven clinics in the metro. The downturn in the economy about six years ago caused most of those businesses to shutter.
“We haven’t totally closed,” she said. “We still have two clinics and we do the doctors in Rochester at Mayo Clinic. I personally am not [affiliated with these clinics,] but I am still very much a part of the people who work there. Yesterday they picked me up, we had a cookout for the company,” she said Wednesday.
She was not specific when asked if she was being compensated for the use of her name.
“Well, sweetheart, it’s too much to discuss,” she said when I pressed. “They can use my name. They worked very hard to keep the clinics open.”
After our interview, Sister Rosalind said she wanted to give me a massage.
Ah, no. Entirely too much touching for me. Although I admitted that I recently had my feet massaged because of foot problems and they felt better. She offered to give me a foot massage if I had to reshoot the interview because of the stadium noise, but that wasn’t necessary.
Q: Did you go to a Catholic school where the nuns rapped you on your knuckles with rulers?
A: No, I’m a public school product.
Q: Were you anti-corporal punishment?
A: We got lots of punishment in the public school.
Q: Have you ever rubbed anybody the wrong way?
A: Oh, no. No I wouldn’t rub anybody the wrong way. [Smiles]
Q: How do you feel about Katy Perry, [the singer who was/is fighting with some nuns because of her attempt to buy their convent].
A: Who’s Katy Perry?
Q: Who is your favorite singer?
A: I like Christian singers. Norma, who sang with Lawrence Welk. I don’t know many singers.
Q: It’s your last supper. In addition to the apostles, who else do you want there?
A: Friends of mine. I have so many friends. It’s hard. Peter would be my Number 1 because he’s been so good and helped me so much in our massage schools and clinics. Terry, Elizabeth, Dianna. [“I’m not a speller,” she said when I asked for the spellings of first and last names]
Q: Do you regret not getting married and having kids?
A: Oh no. If I had a hundred lives, they’d all go to the sisterhood. I love who I am and where I am.
Q: Do you think priests should be allowed to marry?
Q: Do you think you could bring Adrian Peterson to his knees with one of your handshakes? I’m told you have a really strong handshake.
A: Yeah, I’ve got a strong handshake. Well, I’m a farmer’s daughter. We milked by hands. We milked like 45 cows twice daily. And we made bread. So I used my hands as a small child. At the convent I still made bread by hand. And now because of massage maybe 35 years. I’ve got wonderful hands. Obviously, God knew I’d need to milk, so I got strong hands and a good strong body.
Q: Who was your favorite pope?
A: We’ve had wonderful popes. John Paul who is now canonized St. John Paul. I like Benedict, and I like Francis. We’ve been very blessed with these saintly popes.
Q: Do you know what the designated hitter is?
A: No, I don’t know anything about games. I’m here 23 years, and I know nothing about the game.
Interviews are edited. To contact C.J. try firstname.lastname@example.org and to see her watch Fox 9’s “Jason Show.”