Deloris, new Nun student, taking music classes to Nuns instead of Mary Lazarus, Music teacher & also Nun. so Deloris is saying each Nun should listen to other Nun while singing choir. So Mary Lazarus, who is standing beside them, reacted.

Deloris: You must listen to each other if you're going to be a group.

Mary Lazarus: I knew that.

Deloris: Mary Lazarus, as soon as I walked in the door, I knew that you knew this. Now, you're somebody who's into hard work and discipline, aren't you?

Mary Lazarus: Of course, I'm a nun. Four popes now.

Deloris: Four? Wow

  • 2
    "I have been a nun during the reigns of four popes." – StoneyB on hiatus Aug 8 '17 at 10:55
  • 1
    What is the source? Could also be written as "For four popes now." If spoken, it could be confusing. – user3169 Aug 8 '17 at 20:09

Credit to StoneyB for already more or less answering this in a comment.

Mary Lazarus is approximating the length of time she has been a nun. She is saying that from the time she became a nun until the present, there have been four different men serving as pope.

For a similar example, a government employee might describe their tenure with "three Presidents."

Given the context, this kind of claim is meant to express that she has been a nun for a long time, and that this ought to make it obvious she knows what she's talking about.

  • As the quote is from sister act 2, 1993, the four popes would be John Paul II, John Paul I, Paul VI and John XXIII. Mary Lazerus has been a nun since at least 1963, (30 years) – James K Aug 8 '17 at 20:19

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