Enter Sister Mary Ignatius, dressed in an old-fashioned nun’s habit. Sister is of indeterminate age, though probably anywhere from 45 to a vigorous 65.

The stage is simple. There is a lectern, a potted pal,  a chair to the side for Sister to sit on.  There is also an easel on which there are several drawings made on cardboard.

Sister crosses to the lectern and looks out at the audience until she has their attention. She then smiles, perhaps wearily, perhaps in a welcoming manner. Sister is charismatic and likes to address the audience. She makes the sign of the cross.

SISTER: (Crossing herself.) In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

(Sister moves to the easel, and reveals the first drawing. It is a neat if childlike drawing of the planet earth, the sun and moon. She picks up a pointer and points to the picture.)

First there is the earth. Near the earth is the sun, and also nearby is the moon.

(Sister smiles at the audience, making sure they have followed what she has said.  She then reveals the second drawing, which is split in three.  On top it shows the gates of heaven and some clouds.  In the middle it shows some paths or something that suggests waiting, wandering. On the bottom it shows people burning in flames, with devils with pitchforks poking them.)

Outside the universe, where we go after death, is heaven, hell and purgatory.

(Sister points to the picture of heaven.)

Heaven is where we live in eternal bliss with our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Bows her head reverently, then points to the bottom part of the picture.)

Hell is where we are eternally deprived of the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ…(Bows her head again.)…and are thus miserable. This is the greatest agony of hell, but there are also unspeakable physical torments, which we shall nonetheless speak of later.

(Points to the central area of the picture.)

Purgatory is the middle area where we go after death to suffer if we have not been perfect in our lives and are thus not ready for heaven, or if we have not received the sacraments and made a good confession to a priest right before our death. Purgatory, depending on our sins, can go on for a very, very long time and is fairly unpleasant. Though we do not yet know whether there is any physical torment in purgatory, we do know that there is much psychological torment because we are being delayed from being in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Bows her head again.)

For those non-Catholics present, I bow my head to show respect for our Savior when I say His name. Our Lord Jesus Christ. (Bows her head.)  Our Lord Jesus Christ. (Bows her head.)  Our Lord Jesus Christ. (Bows her head.)

You can expect to be in purgatory for anywhere from 300 years to 700 billion years. This may sound like forever, but don’t forget in terms of eternity 700 billion years does come to an end. All things come to an end except our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Bows her head; takes the pointer, and recaps what she has just explained to the audience.)

Heaven, hell, purgatory.

(Smiles; she now reveals the third prepared drawing, which, like that of purgatory, is of a murky area, perhaps with a prisonlike fence, and which has unhappy babylike creatures floating about in it.)

There is also limbo, which is where unbaptized babies were sent for eternity before the Ecumenical Council and Pope John XXIII. The unbaptized babies sent to limbo never leave limbo and so never get to heaven. Now unbaptized babies are sent straight to purgatory where, presumably, someone baptizes them and then they are sent on to heaven. The unbaptized babies who died before the Ecumenical Council, however, remain in limbo. Limbo is not all that unpleasant, it’s just that it isn’t heaven, and you never leave there.

(Puts the pointer down, finishes with the drawings for now; looks out to the audience with focus.)

I want to be very clear about the Immaculate Conception. It does not mean that the Blessed Mother gave birth to Christ without the prior unpleasantness of physical intimacy. That is true, but is not called the Immaculate Conception; that is called the Virgin Birth. The Immaculate Conception means that the Blessed Mother was herself born without original sin. Everyone makes this error, it makes me lose my patience.

That Mary’s conception was immaculate is an infallible statement.

A lot of fault-finding non-Catholics run around saying that Catholics believe the Pope is infallible whenever he speaks. This is untrue. The Pope is infallible on only certain occasions, when he speaks “ex cathedra,” which is Latin for “out of the cathedral.”

When he speaks ex cathedra, we must accept what he says at that moment as dogma, or risk hell fire; or, now that things are becoming more liberal, many, many years in  purgatory.

I would now like a glass of water, Thomas.

(Enter Thomas, a sweet-faced, obedient boy of age seven. He is dressed in a parochial school boy’s uniform of gray dress pants, white shirt and nave blue tie, navy blue blazer. He hands Sister a glass of water. Sister proudly introduces Thomas.)

SISTER: This is Thomas, he is seven years old and in the second grade of Our Lady of  Perpetual Sorrow School. Seven is the age of reason, so now that Thomas has turned seven he is capable of choosing to commit sin or not to commit sin, and God will hold him accountable for whatever he does. Isn’t that so, Thomas?

THOMAS: Yes, Sister.

SISTER: Before we turn seven, God tends to pay no attention to the bad things we do because He knows we can know no better. Once we turn seven, He feels we are capable of knowing. Thomas, who made you?

THOMAS: (Reciting his answers.) God made me.

SISTER: Why did God make you?

THOMAS: God made me to show forth His goodness and share with us His happiness.

SISTER: What is the sixth commandment?

THOMAS: The sixth commandment is thou shalt not commit adultery.

SISTER: What is forbidden by the sixth commandment?

THOMAS: The sixth commandment forbids all impurities in thought, word or deed, whether alone or with others.

SISTER: That’s correct, Thomas.

(Sister gives Thomas a cookie from her pocket, which he gratefully eats.  Sister sips her water, and then addresses the audience again.)

SISTER: Thomas has a lovely soprano voice which the Church used to preserve by creating castrati. Thomas unfortunately will lose his soprano voice in a few years and will receive facial hair and psychological difficulties in its place. To me, it is not a  worthwhile exchange. You may go now, Thomas.