Nun's life includes amassing Elvis memorabilia

OWENSBORO — Sister Anne Michelle Mudd has never questioned her vocation.

She's been an Ursuline nun for more than 50 years and an educator for 46. In May, she retired from St. Paul Catholic School in Leitchfield and a month later celebrated her golden jubilee with family and friends.

In addition to teaching, Sister Anne Michelle has an avocation that sets her apart from others in her order.

For more than 50 years, Sister Anne Michelle has been collecting Elvis Presley memorabilia that she has displayed in her classroom and at her home next door to St. Paul's.

"If my students weren't Elvis fans when they came in, they were when they left," Sister Anne Michelle said in her classroom at St. Paul's. She's officially retired but still teaches "a little."

The door to her classroom is decorated with miniature Elvis cutouts. One of her favorites is "Elvis in his gold lamé suit." She has taken most of her Elvis collection home but has left some behind for her part-time teaching.

An Elvis curtain hangs on a storage cabinet, and pillows with The King's image provide back support in a recliner.

"When I want to check the temperature, I look at my Elvis thermometer," Sister Anne Michelle said.

Sister Anne Michelle is a soft-spoken woman. She said people are sometimes surprised that she is such a devoted collector of Elvis memorabilia.

Over the years, she has accumulated hundreds of items. Many of them were given to her by friends, family and students.

"The students call my house the Elvis Museum," she said.

Elvis is even in the bathroom. The shower curtain is Jailhouse Rock Elvis in his striped shirt.

Elvis' last movie, Change of Habit, was released in 1969. He falls in love with a nun named Sister Michelle. But the nun, played by Mary Tyler Moore, chooses her vocation over Elvis.

"I would have done the same," Sister Anne Michelle said when asked.