By Helen M. Lewis, Monica Apple
Based in 1941, The Glenmary Sisters embraced a calling to serve rural Appalachian groups the place few Catholics resided. The sisters, a lot of them looking possible choices to the alternatives to be had to most girls in this time, zealously pursued their tasks yet quickly grew to become pissed off with the foundations and regulations of the Church. outdated doctrine - even sorts of costume - made it tricky for them to have interaction with the very humans they was hoping to assist. In 1967, after many unsuccessful makes an attempt to cajole the Church to ease its requisites, a few seventy Sisters left the safety of convent existence. Over 40 of those ladies shaped an earthly carrier staff, FOCIS (Federation of groups in Service). FOCIS individuals Monica Appleby and Helen Lewis display the principally untold tale of the ladies who stood as much as the Church and joined the mountain humans of their fight for social justice. Their poignant tale of the way religion, compassion, and patience overcame stumbling blocks to growth in Appalachia is an interesting instance of the way a collaborative and inventive studying group fosters powerful voices. Mountain Sisters is a prophetic first-person account of the background of yank Catholicism, the struggle on poverty, and the impact of the turbulent Sixties at the cultural and non secular groups of Appalachia.
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Additional resources for Mountain Sisters: From Convent to Community in Appalachia
Much of their early formation was carried out in the traditional way by the Dominican Sisters, who were brought in to help form the Glenmary Sisters. With its rules, prayers, venias, forced silence, and bans on discussing vocations or problems, the formation period was designed to humiliate the new Sisters, erasing all pride and ambition. Obedience meant following all rules set by superiors without question. Some described it as a process of mortification, humiliation, and demolition of sense of self Despite the rigors and painful experiences, the convent provided a safe all-women's community where the young Sisters found shared values and lasting friendships and were mentored and challenged to grow.
Sisters Margaret Mary and Mary Thomas did secretarial work for Father Bishop so they would have a half a day in the office, but I would cook the whole time. There were some low moments that first year.... I am not sure why I didn't think about quitting and going home, it was so awful. At the seminary it wasn't that I minded cooking, I just didn't feel I should be cooking for the men ... so that they could get out to mission. I thought I could do as well on mission as some of them .... The novitiate was pretty awful too.
I didn't like that .... I didn't know what happened, even. A few years later I began to process it, and it really is one of the worst things that can happen if somebody disappears and you don't get to say good-bye or what it means to you. Like Jean, Ginny Remedi found the secrecy troubling: [T]here were parts that were hard and scary, and not very kind. There was fear of being rejected, of not being good enough. . And there was the secrecy element around those who were in training and those who were in authority.
Mountain Sisters: From Convent to Community in Appalachia by Helen M. Lewis, Monica Apple