Greetings and Bright Blessings!
If you've found yourself here, that means you are looking for answers to some very key questions in regards to our missions application for Fully Professed Status.
You will find each question answered, and all links attached in their individual sections.
We owe our existence to all the Sisters who came before us. Sisters like the four original founding members; Sister Missionary Position Delight (Mish), Sister Vicious Power Hungry Bitch (Vish), Sister Historectorreus (Agnes), and Reverend Mother. It was their idea to begin Sisters back in 1979 and the idea grew from there and are now in 19 plus countries around the world.
Our order began when Sister Gretchen Gitaround from the Magic City Sisters reached out to the Huntsville community to see if there was interest in forming a house. He couldn’t do this alone, and brought Sister Double Penetration with him. The first person to answer the call was Sister Aioli Stromboli, who put out the call for sisters on Facebook. This magnified the signal, and brought in a number of other members to be a part of the founding of The Rocket City Sisters. In March of 2019 the United Nuns Privy Council granted mission status to the Rocket City Sisters. In one year’s time the house has grown closer to each other, and has made an impact on the Huntsville community. Through our work with local groups making an impact on society, such as feeding the homeless over Thanksgiving. we continue to build a brighter, more diverse future for North Alabama and all of its residents.
The Rocket City Sisters is a cutting-edge Order of queer nuns. Our group of Sisters has devoted themselves to community service, ministry and outreach to those on the edges, and to promote human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment. We believe all people have a right to express their unique joy and beauty and we use humor and irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit. Our main purpose is to spread JOY and eradicate guilt in all its’ forms!
Southern love and hospitality, as is common in the Heart of DIXIE (Ye-haw), is what sets apart the Rocket City Sisters. Our unique approach to Sisterhood started the same month we started our public manifestations. Our approach to ministry has been different during our entire journey. Our one gay bar closed the month we began, forcing us to think “outside the box.” We have approached our ministry from the angle that everyone should work together to make our city great. An approach that has resonated with our community. We have not (even in the deep south) had opposition to our ministry, but rather, an openness and willingness to help us as we strive to bind old wounds and heal divisions that have come over time with learned prejudice. This has not been easy, but a carefully thought through approach to each event has allowed us to make everyone feel at ease and join in on our special brand of humor and JOY!
So, thinking outside the box in new and loving ways is what makes Rocket City Sisters
Abbess Mother - President
Date Started: October 2018
My name is Gretchen Gitaround. I first heard about the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in early 2008.
I, along with 4 other close friends, decided to begin a Mission of SPI. After a year and a few months of learning our community, working to produce events that raised LGBTQIA awareness and safer sex education, and just general mischief making, our group reached our goal of attaining House status on December 21, 2009. We became known as the Magic City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (in Birmingham Alabama).
After serving as Secretary, Vice President and President of MCS, and devoting my time and abilities for ten years to the House, I began to look around at the many other cities in Alabama that needed the services and unique perspective of Sisters. It was then that myself and 4 other individuals decided to bring Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to the growing City of Huntsville Alabama.
Though our Mission is new, there is a FIERY passion to help Huntsville become aware of LGBTQIA issues confronting us daily. We attained permission from "the powers that be" to begin our journey in March 2019.
I am always mindful of the lessons learned while ministering in Birmingham, and am so thankful that Huntsville has opened their hearts and minds to the message and love Sisters present. Should you run across our Rocket City Sisters, please stop and say hello. A word of encouragement and support goes a long way to helping us as we strive for safer sex education (eliminating HIV/AIDS in our lifetime) and awareness!
I am SO blessed to have found this wonderful organization (SPI) and to be working along side like-minded individuals to give a voice to those who can not speak for themselves. May you always find joy in the small things of life, victory in the challenges of life, and love from the people in your life!
"The prejudices people feel about each other disappear when they get to know each other." — Captain Kirk
Mistress of Novices
Start Date: October 2018
I started my journey as a Sister 10 years ago this year. I have always been concerned with those "living on the fringe's of society", but when I became a Sister, it became my mission. Sisters work tirelessly to make the lives of those in our LGBTQIA+POC community more enjoyable and have value. This is my heart and my passion. So you only have to know Sisters to understand why I joined. Anyone wishing they could "help others" or "make a difference need to look no further than Sisters to find an organization that works tirelessly for change. It's the best decision I have ever made... now I have a purpose and a family where I truly belong!
".How do you measure the life of a man?" - Rent
Start Date: October 2018
I first learned about Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence when I met Sister Gretchen Gitaround from, then Magic City Sisters, almost 8 years ago. I had been hoping that Sisters would find it’s way to start a House in Huntsville, Alabama. In October 2018, my hopes were made manifest. Sister Gretchen and Sister Double Penetration (DP)
contacted me to see if I would be interested in starting a group. I immediately said YES! We had our first face to face meeting that same month. There were 5 individuals that met that night at a restaurant and discussed what it would take to start a House. We were SO excited!!! We met for five months to start working things out, like, what would be our name, what would be our look (and if you know me…the LOOK is everything), etc… We manifested as Sisters for the first time in
late February and passed out flyers with our contact information. Our next meeting…10 people showed up! My experience prior to Sisters as Head Mistress of Scream Queens HSV and my many years of performing in the Drag Community, has helped to shape my journey as a Sister. Makeup was not an
issue! I have been and am very dedicated to serving our community. LGBTQIA issues have always been on the forefront of my work.
Being part of the Sisters has deepened my commitment to service and has allowed me to bridge my Performing Career with my Service Career. Sisters is an ongoing journey and every manifestation brings
new and more exciting ways to serve! I’m very excited about being a Sister and look forward to many years serving the City I love!
"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
Mistress of Propaganda
& Mistress of Scribes
Start Date: February 2019
Sister Joan of Cox has committed his life to the service of others. He has worked with a number of Not for Profits in the North Alabama area since 2009, including Grateful Life Community Church, Renaissance Theater, and The Historic Lowry House. From 2007- 2009 he served as a member of the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature as well as on the TISL 3G Appellant Moot Court. While at UAHuntsville he was co-founder of the UAH Gay-Straight Alliance, and served as President of the UAH Political Science Club.
Outside of his service work, his hobbies include painting, cooking, gaming, singing with his church, and playing several instruments. Sister Joan has degrees in both Communications and English Literature, and is more than happy to share his current favorite book and social media tips with anyone.
Sister Joan first became aware of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in 2010 at Nashville Pride when he met a member of the Magic City Sisters. He saw the way sisters are able to unite the entire community and serve as a bright ambassador of love, compassion, and safe sex education. In January of 2019 he saw a Facebook post made by Sister Aioli Stromboli about bringing the Sisters to Huntsville. Sister Joan knew then that the stars had aligned and the universe was opening a new door. In the time since his first meeting he has unlocked his heart of hearts in his service to the LGBTQIAPOC community.
Sister Joan personally identifies with Saint Joan of Arc; The Maid of Orleans, and it is from her that he derives his name. As for the later part of his name, one can certainly use their imaginations.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
-Dr. Maya Angelou-
Master of Alms
Start Date: February 2019
Mary Kris Miss Trie has called North Alabama home for most of their lives. During their time here they’ve been involved with The Dixie Derby Girls, as both a skater, and a non-skating official. Trie can often be found at local Drag shows and any time Kinsey Malone calls numbers for Bingo! Trie first became aware of the sisters many years ago during their time in the verdant, rolling hills of Tennessee. With the promise of getting a taste of Sister Aioli’s special sauce, Trie joined The Rocket City Sisters. Trie is an open/closed/open/closed/open book, so you should read fast. In their own words: “I'm always after just one person. If I only help one person not commit suicide or help one person have safer sex or assist one person in finding social resources they need or give one person a helping hand; then all the work is worth it. Every day in the deep South is like swimming against a rip tide. Let's make some colorful floaties for our neighbors!”
"Irreverence is the champion of liberty." - Mark Twain
Start Date: October 2019
Anita started out assisting the sisters when author Heather Jacks visited. She found that she really enjoyed working with the sisters and found a new creative outlet for her desire to help those in need.
Anita has seen the need for The Rocket City Sisters first hand, having been part of the group of those at the fringes of society. After a series of bad turns she found herself living at one of the local shelters. She pulled herself up, and rose above her circumstances and has thrived ever since. She hopes that her story can be an inspiration to others, and show the world that anyone can follow their dreams and rise above adversity and challenges.
"I can't control my destiny. I trust my soul, my only goal is just to be...Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other road, no other way, no day but today."
Master of Habits
Start Date: January 2020
Brooklyn comes to us all the way from the big NYC. For the last 8 years though she has called her farm in Madison County home. She first became aware of the Sisters right here in Huntsville because of her friend Sister Joan. She, convinced Brooklyn to have a booth for her pig rescue at the Rocket City Pride Festival. Stuck beside this group of fun but crazy folks for the entire festival she realized how much her own philosophy aligned with the work they were doing.
She is the director of Spamala’s Orphanage for Wayward Swine (SOWS) a 501(c) 3 that rescues pigs and other animals, the only one of its kind in the state of Alabama. To date she has rescued, fostered, and placed in loving homes well over 100 pigs.. She is mother to Little Brooklyn the Pig, our smallest aspirant sister. She is also a 6 time gold medal champion pig wrestler who is happy to display her skills anytime you come by the farm. As an Ally, and mother she wants everyone to know they are loved just as they are. She hopes to support the community and stand up for equal rights and guard her new found family like the mother hen she is.
“I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I'm not” -Kurt Cobain
Start Date March 2020
You didn't think we would mention a cute little pig and not include a picture of her did you? She's always 2 steps behind her Mommy, Brooklyn N'DaAss.
She loves snacks, cuddles and riding in her personal carriage. Spoiled you say? No, never...ok maybe just a little.
"Oink oink, oink oink oink. Oink oink oink oink oink oink oink Oink!"
-Sister Unity Divine-
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence® are a leading-edge Order of nuns made up of LGBTQIA and Straight persons. We believe all people have a right to express their unique joy and beauty.
Since our first appearance in Huntsville in 2018, the Sisters have devoted ourselves to community service, ministry and outreach to those on the edges, and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment.
We use humor and irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit. Sisters use our unique appearance to draw those we come in contact with to us. Once there, we have the opportunity to be a catalyst for change, even if for just a little while, or maybe for good. When you meet us, you’ll understand.
We are a worldwide order of 21st-Century nuns dedicated to the promulgation of universal joy and the expiation of stigmatic guilt.
The core mission and commitment to our philosophy requires the ability to work with people, and the desire to learn and grow. We are, first and foremost, nuns … gay nuns. We serve our community with faith and without judgment. We seek to uplift each person’s spirit. We even take vows; usually vows of iniquity. Men and women from across the spectrum of the LGBT community join together, first as a Mission and then as independent houses of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, to celebrate our gay identity in the unique manner in which we minister to the community. The decision to become a Sister is a fantastic journey, and the efforts made come back again and again as a reward for the soul. By manifesting as a Sister, a Brother or as a guard, we receive as much as, or even more than, we give. We often discover parts of ourselves that we did not know existed, or perhaps never recognized. We allow the world to see that we are people and we are here. We will not be ignored. The calling to be a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence allows one to know themselves better and find an outlet to express behavior and emotions that were shut down for fear of being different or criticized; for fear for our safety and our lives because of being different from the norm. There it is — the stigmatic guilt.
Freedom of Expression. Each person is an individual and each situation is unique. Each Sister of Perpetual Indulgence – each MINISTRANT – has a calling to work on behalf of others. By choosing the path of becoming a Sister or Brother or guard, we become comfortable with our self-expression in our chosen persona. Using the experience and hope of the Sisters around the world, we find our way as a Sister in service to the LGBT community. As in life, everyone doesn’t love everyone else, so too, all nuns do not love all other nuns, but it is the commonality of purpose and the acceptance of a broad range of opinions that allows us to do our sacred work with creativity and self-expression. Much like any family, there may be times where we disagree with each other, but this does not diminish our love and faith with our family and we do not and should not take these disagreements personally.
Diversity. We are family. Family means freedom to be an individual in a close-knit group of individuals. We are far from perfect and like many families, often have our misunderstandings. Despite that, when we all work toward our common goals; miracles can, and do happen. We take our vows very seriously and feel a genuine calling to do this work so that the commitment never waivers. We do not discriminate or separate people by affiliation or organization. In fact, to do so would be hypocritical and contrary to our statement of purpose. Being a Sister is one of the most challenging and demanding things an individual can ever do. It requires skills that many never knew they had, as well as an investment in time and energy and, to some extend, money. It also takes drive, passion and a desire to perform community service. It requires the ability to handle many tasks with grace and humor, honesty and genuine character; good people skills and the ability to interact with others in a meaningful way. But that isn’t all. Being a Sister offers rich and enduring rewards that encourage us to do even more.
Social Activism. Inherently, we are inescapably agents of political change. Some members wish to identify only with the social service or spiritual aspects of the order, but there is no escape from the controversial and political qualities of being a Sister and taking actions affecting various social issues. The activist tradition of the Sisters was spawned in the early years by demanding funding for AIDS research and education as well as care of those struck down with, what was then, a terminal illness. This activist tradition was again demonstrated with the burning of the Pope in effigy during his 1987 visit to the US. While viewed as extreme and heretical in mainstream society, when the Pope denounced gays as immoral and a blight against God and Jesus, the Sisters took a stand against the absolute rejection and condemnation that is the official policy of the organized Catholic church. We believe that hate and discrimination must be confronted in all forms and wherever it appears. Institutionalized prejudice, however it manifests itself, belittles the human spirit and berates the human soul. We do not judge; we celebrate any and all expressions of the human experience and believe that there is room for everyone to express themselves fully without harm to any other. In 1980 the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence authored “Play Safe” the first sex positive educational guide available, to continue living in the midst of an epidemic that took thousands of lives. The Sisters continue this activism in everything we do and by simply being. We are out, we are proud and we celebrate the gift of being gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans-sexual and trans-gendered.
Social Service. Ours is a ministry of presence. We do all that traditional nuns have done for centuries. We are 21st-century nuns, free from guilt associated with many traditional religions. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have raised millions of dollars for our communities (near and far) and for social causes that continue to afflict not only the LGBT community, but the lives of young people and men and women in every walk of life. With HIV and AIDS infections again on the increase, STD rates exploding, crystal meth use creating co-existing co-dependencies that defy treatment, and difficult to diagnose MRSA infections, the work of the Sisters continues to be as important today as it was when the first epidemic ravaged our community. We do not condemn. Our ministry is life affirming and sex positive. We visit the sick, educate and promote safer sex and,
through service to the community, bring enlightenment and hope.
Spiritual Development. There is a great freedom within SPI for an individual to discover and express their spirituality. We educate and promote safer sex practices because part of self-love is respecting and taking care of yourself. Also, by our very appearance, we reintroduce to the community the spirit of other, and of the shamanic sacred fool.
Commitment Becoming a Fully Professed Member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is not an easy journey. It is not supposed to be. It requires fortitude, humility, tremendous desire and the ability to listen, observe and learn. As with all nuns, priests, clerics, shamans, Brahmins, and other holy individuals around the world, there is inherent self-sacrifice. Sisters may not always agree with each other on a particular direction that the House is pursuing, but we are expected to work for the good of the group and the community. Many times since the founding of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, our nuns and brothers and guards have made personal sacrifices so that SPI would reap the full benefits of their efforts. Each individual has performed mundane but necessary services to the Sisters, participated in functions that they would not normally care to attend, and given up some of their personal freedoms so that the group would flourish, or even participated with the group though they were in poor health or physical pain.
Courage. As Sisters, we draw from the remarkable dedication and the commitment to serve others as shown by those courageous Sisters before us. Without their willingness to show love and respect for those less fortunate than themselves, our vows of servitude would not be possible today. It was our Sisters before us, that held hands and brought comfort to so many lives affected by HIV and AIDS, that we owe our courage to continue the valiant fight for all of the many social and political challenges that we face in our daily lives. As Sisters, we choose to join all Sisters worldwide to be out front and celebrate our unique gift of gayness and to keep the issues we face in front of those who sometimes forget that we are still a minority whose protected rights do not universally include the right to live and love in the same manner as the heterosexual majority.
We are nuns – 21st Century Nuns. We fill a void in providing compassion and support and safety; we fill a void in promoting spiritual internal faith and health in self and in others. We help those that may not be able to help themselves. We work with other organizations to keep our communities safe and sane.
We, the Sisters, Brothers and guards from every order, worldwide, love you just the way you are.
Sister Gretchen Gitaround
Guider of light, keeper of the flame, queen of hearts, organizer extraordinar.
Sister Double Penetration
Cat herder, teacher of history, sharer of knowledge, shaper of hope
Novice Guard Mary Kris Misstrie
Balancer of fiances, maintainer of accounts, accredited horn honker
Novice Sister Joan of Cox
Document docent, writer of minutes, quote keeper, loser of pens.
Postulant Guard Brooklyn N'DaAss
Maker of veils, master of robes, seamstrer extraordinar.
"I've got somebody who can take care of that for you, no questions asked."
Novice Sister Joan of Cox
Weaver of the website, Poster of inspirational and dank memes, still waiting to go viral!
Our formal gowns consist of white or silver robes with a black collar and wimple adorned in the jewels of the sisters choice.
Our coronet is used for our satellite communication with the Mother-ship. Sisters are encouraged to use jewels to magnify their signal.
The veil is a black and white brocade design that pays homage to our southern style of being elegant but just a little tacky.
Local organization presenting Pride festivities as well as partnering with local groups to support the LGBTQ+ community year round
Local clinic, formally the Aids Action Coalition, providing healthcare to anyone in need regardless of their ability to pay.
Loving and embracing church helping those in need by providing meals, food box, sack lunches, clothing, hygiene supplies and tents to anyone in need regardless of their faith.
Speak Easy Bar at Straight to Ale
Event at The Lumber Yard Bar for local service groups.
A loving and embracing church that provides us with event and meeting space.
We were in the Rocket City Pride parade in June, and at the Festival in October
Bar and brewery
August 24th 2019
This was Joan of Cox's Novice project at Grateful Life.
We raised $323, of which we donated $223 to Grateful Life
In attendance were Sisters Gretchen, DP, Joan, Harry, and Guard Trie
October 13th 2019
This was Mary Kris Misstrie's Novice project at Moody Mondays.
We raised $525
In attendance were Sisters Gretchen, DP, Joan, Aioli, Harry, and Guard Trie
November 27th 2019
Double Penetration presented this project in conjunction with local performers at Grateful Life. We raised $338, of which we donated $323 to the Manna House
In attendance were Sisters Gretchen, DP, Joan, Aioli, Harry, and Guard Trie and Anita
January 21st 2020
This was Anita Bong's Novice project at Below The Radar. We raised $194
In attendance were Sisters Gretchen and Joan, and Guards Trie and Anita
February 4th 2020
Sister Gretchen Gitaround created and manages an online forum to condense our information online. Each member of our house has their own account on this forum. It also functions as digital archive.
March 8th 2020
This was a house project where we assembled safe sex kits containing condoms, lube and our version of the "Play Fair" pamphlet, all contained in an earbud case. We made 75 kits.
In attendance were Sisters Aioli and Joan, and Guards Trie and Anita
Meeting Minutes January 2019 (pdf)Download
Meeting MinutesFebruary 2019 (pdf)Download
Meeting Minutes March 2019 (pdf)Download
Meeting Minutes April 2019 (pdf)Download
Meeting Minutes May 2019 (pdf)Download
Meeting Minutes June 2019 (pdf)Download
Meeting Minutes July 2019 (pdf)Download
Meeting Minutes August 2019 (pdf)Download
Meeting Minutes September 2019 (pdf)Download
Meeting Minutes October 2019 (pdf)Download
Meeting Minutes November 2019 (pdf)Download
Meeting Minutes December 2019 (pdf)Download
We would like to thank you for your consideration of our application. Even though we seek fully professed status we know that our journey has just begun. We have already blasted off and are shooting high for the stars. There's a great big world for us to explore and spread joy to.
Love & Blessings
The Rocket City Sisters