See the Spirit in sisters
BY SISTER DIANE ROCHE, R.S.C.J.
WAS ONCE INVITED to a festive dinner sponsored by a community organi-
zation near the inner-city St. Louis neighborhood where I lived. I was both
eager and a little apprehensive as I drove down the dark, unfamiliar streets
straining to find the Fifth Baptist Church where the event was to be held.
After close to 30 years of being a nun, almost all of them spent living and
working in poor neighborhoods, I tell myself that I am fairly streetwise. But if I
am honest, I know that what has kept me safe and allowed me to work joyfully
and effectively in dangerous surroundings has less to do with wisdom than with
an utterly unearned kind of grace that seems to hover when I’m where I ought to
There is something about the communal effort to serve others
while living simply and without a mate that makes religious life
a sign of hope, even to people who are not Catholic.
SISTER TESA FITZGERALD,
C.S. J. has worked for years
as executive director of
Hour Children in Queens,
New York, helping
thousands of women
inmates and their kids get
through prison terms and
rebuild their lives.
is a member of
the Society of the
Sacred Heart of
Jesus. She is currently the director of the Office
of Justice, Peace
and the Integrity
of Creation at the
Stuart Center in
S TEVE PFOS T, COUR TES Y OF OPUS PRIZE FOUNDATION