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SOIL Sisters are doing it… for everyone in Southern Illinois

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A Mission House for the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is working to spread joy and help the local Southern Illinois community.

Sisters Ferda, Gay, Mothra, and Toggaf in a parking lot during a stroll in September 2021. Photo courtesy of the SOIL Sisters

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SoPI) have been around since 1979, with chapters across the world. And now they’re arriving in Southern Illinois.

The SOIL Sisters: Dirtiest Hoes of the Sacred Heartland are a Mission House for the SoPI. There are different levels of chapters, or houses, of the group. When the SOIL Sisters started, they were an aspirant house. They were working on getting established and organized. Sister Ferda Boyce, a spokesperson for the SOIL Sisters, said they hope to become a fully professed house by 2023. Then they can officially be SOIL Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

Ferda was part of what inspired the Carbondale group to organized. He was already working to become a Sister with the Fourth City Sisters in St. Louis. When he manifested, or came out in full make up and habit, at the Pride Care-A-Van last year, there was a lot of interest. So work was started to establish a house locally.

“The main mission of the Sisters is to spread joy and destroy stigmatic guilt,” Ferda said. “Following that, we have been working closely with Rainbow Cafe to create a presence. As we’re moving forward, we are going to work to gain visibility, and establish events to fundraise and help local groups.”

The house current has seven active members and one inactive one:

  • Sister Ferda Boyce – Abbess and Mother Posterior
  • Sister Jewnita Hug – Prioress
  • Sister Mothra Stewart – Sexytary
  • Sister Gay Bitch Milkshake – Mistress of Wherewithal
  • Sister Kitty Sprinkles 
  • Sister Yenta Steisand – Mistress of Propaganda
  • Sister TBD/IDK
  • Sister Toggaf Tuls Reeuq (inactive)

The Sisters have been active in supporting the local community.

Sister Gay Bitch Milkshake has been working doing a plus size clothing drive, collecting clothing for Rainbow Cafe’s clothing closet, the Carbondale Warming Center, the Center for Empowerment and Justice, and the Herrin House of Hope. She is also going to host a queer karaoke session for the Pride in the Park series with the city of Carbondale and Rainbow Cafe.

Sister Jewnita Hug is working on making one hat a day, to deliver to those same charities above, and a few St. Louis organizations, with the goal to deliver 365 by next winter.

Sister Kitty Sprinkles has started Sister Story Time, with Sisters reading children’s books on Facebook, and is planning on hosting a series of spaghetti fundraisers.

Sister Mothra Stewart is developing a queer oral history of Southern Illinois, interviewing many of the local queer elders to create an archive.

The other members are working on developing projects to help the house and the community. And they’ve been in touch with the St. Louis house, the one closest to the area, and a delegation of Houses across the country.

The local reaction has been great.

“We have done a few strolls up and down the strip in Carbondale, and dozens of people have stopped to ask us what we’re about, and how they can follow us,” Ferda said. “We’ve been working with a lot of local organizations, and they have all welcomed us with open arms. We are a regional house, rather than being tied to just Carbondale, and we are hoping to develop more relationships with southern Illinois organizations.”

Our name is the SOIL Sisters: Dirtiest Hoes of the Sacred Heartland. We are a Mission House of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. We can only say that we are a mission house currently. We worked with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as an aspirant house, and we were elevated to a mission house in December. We are working to become a fully professed house (and should hopefully achieve that by 2023). Once we become a fully professed house, we will have permission to use the trademark and can be “SOIL Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence: Dirtiest Hoes of the Sacred Heartland.” 

To keep up with the Sister, and see how to get involved, you can check out their website, Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter. You can also email them at [email protected].

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