Essay PreviewMore ↓
For this assignment, I decided to research the Sisters of Mercy, a Catholic order of nuns. I never before realized that there is so much behind their amazing devotion to the Catholic Church and God. I must admit that they are beautiful examples of God's teaching, and I feel truly blessed to be involved with the Sisters of Mercy. Each and every one of them has a unique story to tell about her life, but none is more intriguing than that of Sister Mary Joel Hopkinson. Having only heard bits and pieces, and not knowing for sure the steps that each of these women had to take to become who she is today, I asked Sister Mary Joel to share her story with me.
When she was born into a Protestant family in New England, no one could have guessed that Sister Joel would end up becoming a Catholic, let alone a Sister of Mercy. But as it turned out, as Sister Mary Joel Hopkinson says, "There was no way to deny it; this is what God wanted for me." Sister Joel has been a Sister of Mercy for almost fifty years. What is so interesting about her story is that she has been a Catholic for only fifty years. Only a little more than a year after she converted to Catholicism, she found herself looking to enter a convent. She explained that all her life she had had Catholic friends. At one of her jobs, she was the only non-Catholic in the carpool. The Catholic Church intrigued her, and she was of a curious nature, but not until years later did she realize that God was sending her a sign. She puts it rather bluntly when she says, "God pushed me out of the window and into the convent." Sister Joel was not always a businesswoman; in fact, she worked in a building in Brooklyn, New York, cleaning windows on the second floor. It was a rather old building, and the chains on the windows had been painted over a number of times. Once, while struggling to pull the window down, she lost her footing and fell out the window. The reason she says God pushed her is that the only ambulance on call that day was from St.
How to Cite this Page
"The Sisters of Mercy." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Aug 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The book Daughters of joy, Sisters of mercy is a historical account of the lives of prostitutes living in the post-Civil War Western United States. The book’s author, Anne Butler, attempts to shed light on their lifestyle practices ranging from where and how they worked and lived to why they became such a sought after and integral commodity during this time period. It also explains why so many women turned to providing “services” in return for financial gain. During the late 19th century industry seemed to flourish in the, previously untouched American West.... [tags: prostitutes, post-civil war]
753 words (2.2 pages)
- The Sisters of Charity and their Service in the Civil War In Lincoln's inaugural address on March 4, 1861, he pronounced that the Union could not be dissolved by an act of secession (Ward 34). On April 12, 1861, the first shot was fired upon Fort Sumpter, and so began the Civil War in the United States. On April 9. 1865, Grant and Lee met at the Appomattox Court House, for the surrendering of the Confederate Army, and then the Civil War officially ended. In the four years of conflict between these dates, our nation lost by death and disease 600,000 men.... [tags: American America History]
1701 words (4.9 pages)
Fighting the Oppressors: the African Women's Struggle in Aidoo’s Two Sisters and Wedding at the Cross
- African literature is rich with examples of the plight that African women suffered during the political and social changes the continent experienced after colonialism. In Ama Aito Aidoo’s short story “Two Sisters”, and “Wedding at the Cross”, the lives of three different women are explored as they navigate a world dominated by not only the men in their lives, but by the omnipresent feeling of colonialism. The women in Aidoo’s “Two Sisters” Mercy and Connie, represent some of the difficulties perpetrated by the rigid societal structure they exist under, and the oppressing force of the men in their lives.... [tags: obedient. independence, colonialism]
1015 words (2.9 pages)
- Mercy Otis Warren Mercy Otis Warren was a pamphleteer, and a playwright who attacked the British government. She also fit time into be a wife and a mother to five sons, while writing a three volume book published in 1805 called The Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution, based on her first hand knowledge of the subject. As a result of these accomplishments, Mercy Otis Warren was an influential figure during the American Revolution. Mercy Otis Warren was born on September 25, 1728 in Barnstable, Massachusetts near Plymouth.... [tags: Papers]
522 words (1.5 pages)
- Terri Schiavo was a woman from Florida who suffered brain damage and was in a coma since the beginning of 1990. Her husband, Michael Schiavo, feeling guilty after seeing his wife in a hospital bed, succeeded in getting her feeding tube removed. Unknowing to the parents of Terry, they later fought a legal battle in court to make the doctors put the tube back in again but lost. In 2005, Schiavo died, two weeks after the feeding tube had been removed. Schiavo was a human being like each and every one of us in a situation that was uncontrollable, lying on a hospital bed.... [tags: Legal Issues, Mercy Killing, Schiavo]
1618 words (4.6 pages)
- A Formalistic Analysis of The Fatal Sisters In “The Fatal Sisters” Thomas Gray has created a monologue pregnant with references to history, geography, and mythology. These reappearing references and allusions enrich the text, as they allow a closer look at the political situation surrounding eleventh century Britain. The poems’ sixteen stanzas exhibit an ABAB rhyme scheme, which provides for systematic organization and positive aesthetic effects. Closer examination of the setting, tone, and imagery of the poem permits insight into the text’s content and artistic genius.... [tags: The Fatal Sisters]
673 words (1.9 pages)
- A Freudian Analysis of The Fatal Sisters When the psychoanalytical approach is applied to Thomas Gray's "The Fatal Sisters,", each of Freud's three main theories are glaringly apparent. A major factor in the poem's psychoanalytical grisly texture is that the poem is sung by the giants at the loom as they weave. The language they use not only reflects upon the characters, but it offers new insight for Freudian analysis. The most obvious example of Freud's theories is phallic and yonic symbolism.... [tags: The Fatal Sisters]
668 words (1.9 pages)
- Feminist and Dialogic Approaches in The Fatal Sisters Thomas Gray's method of transforming monological poems into intense psyche films is fascinating. While reading The Fatal Sisters, readers can actually engage in a mind performance because of the choices of words, vivid actions, social aspects, and mythology that Gray displays here. The feminist and dialogic approaches, applied together, help shape the realm of this poem into a complex event in history that still takes place today. The feminist approach reveals many things about this poem that would otherwise be overlooked.... [tags: The Fatal Sisters]
928 words (2.7 pages)
- An Interpretation of Dudley Randall's To the Mercy Killers In order to appreciate a poem properly, care must be taken to analyze and understand many different facets of the work. Poems are often very complex and require a great deal of thought in order to arrive at the intended meaning. At the very least, three particular items of information must be uncovered during the reading of poetry. An experienced reader of poetry will always determine the identity of the speaker, the occasion of the speech, and the central idea of the poem.... [tags: Randall To the Mercy Killers Essays]
629 words (1.8 pages)
- Thomson Highway's The Rez Sisters Works Cited Not Included The play The Rez Sisters is written by one of Canada's most celebrated playwrights, Tomson Highway. Highway was born in 1951 in northwestern Manitoba. He went on to study at the University of Manitoba and graduated from the University of Western Ontario, with honors in Music and English. Native Literature is inspired by 'contemporary social problems facing native Canadians today; alcohol and drug abuse, suicide, wife battering, family violence, the racism of the justice system, loneliness, rejection, youth awareness, as well as modern-day environmental issues.';(P.... [tags: Thomson Highway Rez Sisters Essays Papers]
1309 words (3.7 pages)
Less than four months later, in February of 1953, Sister Joel entered the Sisters of Mercy. Strange as it may seem, she was almost twice as old as the other girls in her band. (A 'band' is a group of girls who enter the order at the same time.) Many of the girls were straight out of high school, but Sister Mary Joel was thirty-five years old. Today, many women enter the Sisters of Mercy Community in their fifties and sixties. But forty-eight years ago, Sister Mary Joel was unique. She began the first of five steps toward becoming a Sister of Mercy. This process of becoming a Sister of Mercy, which Sister Anna Marie Saltzman, of the Incorporation Team for the Brooklyn, New Jersey, and New York Regional Communities, says "can take anywhere from seven to ten years", begins just like any other job. After all, "a religious vocation is a career decision, but it is also a lifestyle choice grounded in a total commitment to God" (Sisters of Mercy website). The process begins with a formal written application. At this stage, which can last up to two years, the applicant is required to meet with a vocational minister. This person, who is already a Mercy Sister, is available just as guidance counselor is in high school. The minister prays with the applicant and answers questions about Catholicism , the role of the Sisters of Mercy, and faith in general. At the end of the two-year period, if the applicant decides the Sisterhood is a wise choice, the application is accepted and the person moves on to the second step. Sister Joel almost didn't make it that far because she was so new to the religion that it seemed she would not last, but she insisted and was allowed to stay.
Sister was then accepted into Candidacy. This, Sister Anna says, may be the most difficult of the steps because "it is a time of transition. The person lives with the community and for the first time has to adjust to living with a group of people." It is a way to get a feel for the order, before making a final and more serious commitment. A brochure about becoming a Sister of Mercy explains that "this period allows you to become active in our day-to-day lives as you reflect more deeply on where this journey is taking you." This is the time for thinking and making certain about the choice.
The third phase, when one becomes a Novice, is a time for learning about the religion and strengthening faith. One studies theology, scripture, and the history of the Sisters of Mercy. This time is also devoted to serving local needs and helping others, which is a big part of the Sisters' mission. The novice can leave after this period has ended; in fact, she is free to leave whenever she decides this life may not be right for her, but the deeper she goes into the stages, the more difficult and serious they become.
Upon completion of the Novitiate, she becomes a Sister of Mercy. This stage is called Temporary Profession or First Vows. This is the time when the Sister makes the vows of chastity, poverty, obedience, and service to the poor, sick, and ignorant. This period can last from three to six years. This is the time when one is truly considered a Mercy Sister and begins participating fully in the Mercy way of life. Sister Joel explained that the ceremony used to require girls to wear a wedding gown; she borrowed the gown of the very same woman who served as her Godmother when she converted to Catholicism.
The final step is Perpetual Profession or Final Vows. This is a sign to the public that the candidate is truly committed, and in front of family, friends and the Community of the Sisters of Mercy, she vows to live as God's servant. In a way, she marries the Church because, just as in marriage, she vows to live this way of life until God calls her back to His heavenly kingdom.
This entire process took Sister Joel only five years instead of the minimum of seven, which is now the requirement. Everything that she has done with her life has had an amazing story behind it. Not only were almost all her friends Catholic, but many of them had some acquaintance with a Mercy Sister. Not only did God spare her life the day she fell from the second story window, but he sent her a message in doing so. Not only has she lived as a faithful and loving individual, but she has made the ultimate sacrifice and a total commitment to the Lord. In my opinion, she has said more than "thank you" to God for the gift of faith; she has said thank you and given her gift of life back to the one who, essentially, gave it to her at birth. She will celebrate her Golden Jubilee, or fifty years of service, in 2002, and she continues to serve her community as the treasurer for the Sisters of Mercy Regional Community of New Jersey. I thank her for sharing her story and for the amazing sacrifices she has made for the good of those around her. She truly has become a model of the Mercy Spirit and an inspiration to all those around her.
Allen, John L. Jr., "Mercy Sisters Rethink Vows, Members." National Catholic Reporter. 13 Mar. 1998: 13-14.
Hopkinson, Sister Mary Joel. Personal interview. 7 Nov. 2000..
Saltzman, Sister Anna Marie. Personal interview. 8 Nov. 2000..
Sisters of Mercy Website. http://www.sistersofmercy.org/