From the LA Times: Vatican switchboard sees a human touch as the answer.
Telecommunications technology of the early 21st century has produced a phenomenon known as "phone hell": an audio inferno where callers are tormented either by mechanized voices or human ones with less soul than the machines.
But the opposite exists. It can be found here in a simply furnished second-floor room where multilingual nuns in gray habits answer phones with an unfailingly sweet-voiced greeting: "Pronto, Vaticano" (Hello, Vatican).
For 50 years, the nuns of the order of the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master have operated the Vatican switchboard. They are the gatekeepers of the Holy See.
The sisters field half a million calls a year from all over the world. They assist the friendly, the loud, the troubled. They help the faithful negotiate a labyrinthine Roman Catholic Church bureaucracy whose instincts tend toward discretion, if not mystery.
Sister Maria Clara, the 55-year-old chief operator, is [continue, see photo]