From The Seattle Weekly:
As they turn to walk toward their offices from the lobby, Heagle gently sends Ferder forward by putting his hand on the small of her back. It is an intimate gesture, born of a relationship that spans some 30 years. The twoare so obviously close that some have observed they seem like husband and wife. Ferder says the relationship is celibate but acknowledges their "deep, deep friendship." They live and work in the same house, teach together, and write books together. Together they belong to what they call a "support group" of friends who socialize and take trips, composed of three priests and three nuns. It seems as close to marriage as a nun and priest in good standing can get.