As reported in 2014, the Verena Hermitage in Switzerland had announced a job search for a resident hermit. The position called for a solitary who nevertheless could entertain visitors to the historic church and grounds and maintain popular interest in the centuries-old site. The administrators of the church and hermitage selected Sister Benedikta, but the arrangement did not work out as the publicity about the hermitage and the new hermit resident brought an unexpectedly large number of visitors. Sister Benedikta quit after 18 months. From the SwissInfo site:
Because the hermitage has proved a sightseer magnet, the local community had asked for a “sociable” hermit to fill the position. This followed the resignation of the previous occupant, Verena Dubacher, who, after five years in the job, withdrew in 2014 on the grounds that too many visitors had damaged her health.
Sister Benedikta, a divorced mother of four children who took religious orders in 2011, had declared herself as ready for the rigours of the unusual posting when she beat off 118 other applicants in the summer of 2014. But she now has been forced to step down after being treated as an object of curiosity.
“I never had a problem with the number of people who came for spiritual advice or pastoral care,” she told the 20 Minuten newspaper. But other visitors were just nosy, and wanted to see what a hermit was like or to have a chat. “It simply became too much for me,” she said.