“He was a doll,” Mother Dolores Hart said about Elvis. “Anyone who has any problem with him, you don’t know the truth. He was a beautiful person.”
Hart is now hoping her notoriety can help raise at least $1 million for the Abbey, which is in desperate need of funds for renovations.
While many of the nuns are making crafts, organizing tag sales and starting fundraisers to help raise money for the renovations, Hart, who became a nun in 1963, is using her former celebrity to raise some cash.
“The only thing I can do is write my name,” Hart said.
So she plans on heading to the Chiller Theater convention in New Jersey later this month to sign and sell autographs to movie buffs. The actress starred in 17 films and television shows, according to her biography on IMDB. In King Creole, she shared an on-screen kiss with Elvis before giving up acting and joining the Benedictine order.
Plans for renovations have been in the works for years. The old factory building, which was converted into a monastery, dates backs to the 1940s. The entire building must be brought to code, which includes new walkways, new dormitories, an elevator and new fire escapes. The project will cost the nuns about $4 million.
“We hope our monastery will be a place that the newcomers who are entering now are going to have a home for the rest of their lives,” Mother Dolores said.