The Nun Files: Part Three

(Continuation of the interview. Hope you enjoy)

SM: - So we planned this pilgrimage trip to Ireland and we made arrangements we actually stayed with – and now I'm not talking about the Vatican,but I will. I'll get to it, I promise. We stayed with the original convent I don't know if that's already on there anyway.

SG: That's OK. Keep, keep going.

SM: [-?-] And so, anyway, we visited the different places. A couple of the sisters didn't go to all of the places - they were more interested in shopping. (laughter) And you get that in every society-

SG: Yes, you do.

SM: -and so but I, I went to every place that I could go by walking. I walked to some places and I went with the the Superior - Sister Unis was the one who kind of planned the trip and everything that she planned I went to. We actually sang the prayer -the breastplate prayer of St Patrick on the site where he first recited it. And it was beautiful. But anyway, because we were already over there, we decided -each year we have a certain allotment for our vacation so we decided since we were over there that we would take a plane trip over to Rome. And our bishop made an arraignment so that we could be there for the big mass. And it was the fourth of July of 2001 that I was there and we were in -we were like from - lets' say the pope would have been right where the stove is and this is how close I was (pointing from the stove to the table a distance of about six feet) to him. That, that, that was for the big assembly and in order to do, that our bishop had to pro- write to Rome and get a tickets for us. And someone had to go so I was the adventurous one. I got to Boston and found the North American College and got the tickets and I got there in plenty of time so, but it was hot and exhausting and so I sat in- the they had a little stairway going into the thing and I sat saying my rosary and this sister -she was a Sister of Mercy of Alma, that was its some place in Michigan. And they were working in the Vatican at the time (some of their sisters) so she came in and she said “oh sister, you look so hot. Come on in.” And I said, “Well, I came” - you know, I told her what I had come for. And she said -she got me a bottle of water and she got me comfortable and then she said “They're getting the tickets ready”, but she said “I want you to stay near the phone when you get home because there’s a chance you can attend the Mass at the Holy Father.” And she said, “But I can't tell you for sure yet.” But she said stay near the phone so I did when I got back home, back home - back to the hotel. (mutual laughter) That was my home for the week. I did and we got the call and she said -unfortunately, she said- we, some bishops came in so they are going to attend the mass, but you can have a private audience with them afterwords. So you had, we had to be at the big door- the big bronze door. That was for the year of the jubilee. They had, they installed a big bronze door and it got opened at the beginning of the holy year -every so many years they have a holy year. And that was, that was from the year before so we had to meet at the bronze door and the knights were there and, and the, these knights were not in the whole- full regalia. It was just a neat suit, but and then there was another one there in the garden. If you move -he moved the staff like 'no don't do that' and we were given instructions. They said “When, when you can go in, all your coats and things will be left in this out - separate room.” You can't take any camera with you, but they they took a picture obviously (showing me a picture)

SG: Oh, yeah.

SM: “We have our own camera person.” And then they told us where we could get the picture afterwards - a little, a little store around the corner. And so, so we went into the room and I -it was all so awestruck. And then he finished mass and out he came. And when he did, it just was like- ahh, it was just awesome. That was the highlight of the trip. It was awesome just stepping in to the Vatican the first time. I, I just - I don't know, it's just like this is the whole root of our whole religion, you know. But, but when he stepped in there and he- he said a few words and then I was at the very end and this sister- that's not -hold on. (gets up to point at the tapestry) That the other sisters in there, but she was -the person that printed that for me took her out of the picture. If you come right here- see this is Sister Eunice and she was the last one in the line and she had already been there, so she, and she - I think she considers me like you know a protegee or something because she was she was right with me all the time making sure that I enjoyed every bit of it. But look at him [-?-] and we weren’t supposed to say a word, but guess what! (mutual laughter) The Holy Father gave us a rosary and that’s what he was passing me there and you – normally, if there’s a bishop or a priest, you would kiss the ring of the Holy Father - he’s the bishop of Rome. So I said, “Holy Father, you didn’t let me kiss” - he was reaching for the next rosary for that sister. That would have bothered me “I didn’t get to kiss your ring.” Well, I was rewarded with the biggest smile and he put his hand down so I could kiss his ring.

SG: Oh, wow.

SM: I wasn’t going to be there- all, all that distance -and not get to kiss his ring. I mean that would have been horrible! (laughter) And, anyway, they didn’t throw me out. (mutual laughter) I thought “OOO, I did it” and it just happened, you know, but it was -it was a big smile that came on his face. I just will never, ever forget it never.

SG: Wow.

SM: And then I went to the -they have a museum and the big room where they always gathered to let the pope - I can’t think of it, where Michelangelo’s big, big paintings are-
SG: Sistine Chapel.
SM: Sistine chapel - thank you! (laughter) See, you’re doing better than I am! (mutual laughter) I just, I’m getting excited so I’m going, you know, have these senior moments. Anyway we, I went there and that was awesome, but - it was just- a priest had told me if you go to the Sistine Chapel, don’t stop to see anything because you’ll never get through it. I mean, you’ll never ever - you’d have to be there for weeks to see everything that’s there, but the important thing is the Sistine Chapel. And so he said just keeping moving; people will stop and you just keep, you know, moving through which I did. And I just sat there- just awww. It was just awesome! I was the only one in the whole group that went to the Sistine chapel- they didn’t, they didn’t want to go through all that.

SG: Wow.

SM: And, but it just was beautiful. And the other thing about that trip was- a lot of the priests that were there - at least, this is a comment, or some of the sisters- they said they weren’t very friendly. Or if you talked- see a priest and you talked, they’d say, they’d indicate they didn’t speak English. But I met the present pope, but he was Cardinal Ratzinger.

SG: Yea.

SM: OK, I met him. I carried a little tiny notebook with me and if I met somebody, I talked to them - I’d write their name down so that when I was by myself or now I pray for all those people that I met on that trip -because I’m a people person, remember? So I, I had this little notebook and I, I – he, he spoke to me first and I said, “Oh will you sign my book?” And then when the election time came and I was watching it on TV and they were saying that Ratzinger might be a possibility, I was saying that’s the one I met! (laughter) I was so excited when he was elected. I said “Oh, I've already met him, but he wasn't pope then.” So I've met two of them.

SG: (mutual laughter) Yea.

SM: So anyway. Yeah, and he was very pleasant. And he asked where, you know, where'd I'd come from and about my order and everything - it was just, he was wonderful. I would love to have a trip to go and see him now, but that- it just, see if he would remember. And I almost believe he would remember, I really do. Well, if I took my little notebook with me, he'd see the name - (mutual laughter) he'd know, he’d probably say “Oh yeah, that's that crazy nun that wanted me to write my name in a book!”

SG: No, he probably would have said, “Hey it's that-

SM: [unintelligible phrase] (laughter) He'd say, “Now have you been praying for me?” ( mutual laughter) Does that answer that question enough?

SG: I think it does.


SG: So we only have a few more.

SM: Good.

SG: How was being a nun today different from when you started many years ago?

SM: Well, I think I, I already answered that-

SG: I think so – most of it.

SM: I can't -except that- most things we had to do, we had to have permission. And because I live alone, it's so different. I do call my Superior if it's going to be something different that’s going to happen, I do call and you know-

SG: Did you call about this interview, for instance?

SM: No, I didn't! (laughter)

SG: No, I just wondered...

SM: I thought about that last night - I'm saying, “Well, it was too late to call her,” but yeah, right. If it was going to be something different- I don't think, I don't think that she'd have a problem, but anyway. I should run it past her before you turn it in. (mutual laughter)

SG: Go ahead and do that. (mutual laughter)

SM: I hadn't thought of it until last night, like actually to tell you the truth, but I don't think its a problem. No.

SG: So how do you think your order has changed in the last fifty years to keep it viable?

SM: Well, ours, ours has changed because the 'Sisters of Mercy of Maine' and the 'Sisters of Mercy' all over the United States studied over a period of ten years -in fact, it's twenty years ago now I think. I’m not sure. Anyway to, to see the possibility of amalgamating in some way. Because of the loss of vocations. If they combined resources, they might be able to better take care of the sick and so things like that . But there were some of us -quite a number of us in the community in Maine- that did not feel that that should happen, OK. And actually there were probably about twenty eight and we had to actually do a vote- Some of this I don't think should be recorded, but I'm answering it for you OK? And maybe you can -

SG: Well, I -

SM: -put it right-

SG: I will give you the transcript and I am more than happy for us to-

(recording stopped at the request of the interviewee)

SM: But I knew I did not want to -because in the course of the study -they had a big gathering here in Maine. They had them in different places, but one of the places was in Maine. And a lot of sisters came and most of them were not wearing a habit -that is very important to me. I feel that it's important because it makes me accessible to people who want to talk to a religious. If I didn't wear it, they might not know I was unless I told them, OK? Sometimes by your actions I suppose people would say, “Well, there’s something different about her.” And they ask, you know, why you're different or something, but I feel the habit is important. Not the way it was when I first entered- that probably should go in that other question. (laughter) Because we had eight yards of material around a yoke and that was heavy and hot in the summertime. And then we were- it was like this, this is the only part of your face that showed. (SM arranges her hands around her face) And when it was hot, it would melt and then it looked awful. (laughter) I felt that looked awful. We didn’t have many mirrors to look at, but if you saw -if you did come across one, you knew you looked awful. Anyway, but that's an aside -

SG: (laughter)

SM: - but to answer that other question, you might want that in there. But as far as the change now, get me back on the question. (laughter)

SG: How has your order changed in the last fifty years to keep it viable.

SM: OK, to keep it viable. So anyway, for us -we felt that it was in -viable to me meant the way Mother McAuley intended it. And when she first started the order, it, it, if a bishop would ask her for sisters, she no longer was in charge of them. She sent them to that dioceses or this place- to England, to America, they went there. But she was no longer their - she was the foundress, but she didn't not demand or, obedience. It, it -the superior she appointed was the one that was in charge and the bishop was the ultimate authority. And that’s the way it is with our community- my community that I belong to now. So we, we were told that we would either have to leave the order or become, you know, just lay people. Or become a [-?-] -another type of, I can't remember the word- I'm sorry. Anyway, and well, a few of us just got together and one of them was Sister Eunice. She really did a lot of research and so forth and she talked to a canon lawyer who told us if we wrote to Rome and explained the situation, maybe we could get permission to remain as Sisters of Mercy the original way they were. Which we did - we each wrote our individual letters about what how we felt about religious life, how we felt about not joining that, and how, why, and so forth. I remember, I think I wrote about twelve or fourteen pages handwritten and all of those were packed up and they were sent to Rome. And then we got a letter back -then the information was sent to our bishop. And we received a, we have it framed at our house- the fact that we were officially the Diocese Sisters of Mercy and there were twelve of us and now we are down to seven.

SG: Wow.

SM: We desperately need vocations and that's (transcription stopped to to wishes of SM and then restarted)

SM: I think their fear comes from - a lot of people as they get older, they fear, are looking for security and well, and that’s not the right reason to join the community. But that was not the case with this woman and I think when you interview her you will find that's true. She was, was not looking for security. She had worked for many years as the post office, in the post office here so she has a good pension. Her pension would be contributed to the funds, you know, for the community so she wouldn't be totally dependent on us to provide. She certainly can run circles around me and I'm pretty active. (laughter) And you don't even know half of what I do! (mutual laughter) That has even come in the interview yet.

SG: It hasn't?

SM: Yeah. (laughter)

SG: How do you think the hierarchy of the church in Maine has changed over time?

SM: I'm, I'm not sure if that. Other than the fact that what I've described earlier about how the church is is being set up with, like ten churches for one parish now. We are the Parish of the Precious Blood- these ten churches, we have ten worship sites other than that-

SG: [unintelligible phrase]

SM: - that’s the only change that I would say exists. I don't understand hierarchy and it's not important to me. (laughter)

SG: It's OK. (mutual laughter) So, there is a thought among some church members that nuns and priests should be allowed to marry?

SM: Yeah, I don't have anything- I don’t have any thought of that one. I, I mean, I have a thought on it -I don't agree with it I should say. I, I do not -I know in scripture and that’s one argument that people use for the marriage of priests. I don't even consider nuns doing that -that’s kind of counter active of what a description of a nun is; it's a celibate person, you know. And I don't, I don’t see any point in that. But as for priests being married, I don't really accept that idea and I would never want to have - and the other controversy which isn't there is women priests- I wouldn't accept that either. I would not want, desire it for myself nor could I see that happening just because of the personality of a woman. Woman- some women can be confidential, I know. I can keep a confidence, but not all women can. Most women can't -they've got to tell a secret as soon as they, you know, can breathe it out -they want to. So, you know, I just don't think that's proper. And I also, as far as the priests being married, that is, causes strain on a marriage. A marriage is a man and a woman together and if he has to had a lot of confidential contacts with other women, that's going to cause a strain on a marriage. A lot of priests get into trouble because some woman has this problem and this problem, this problem, this one, pretty soon you know you hear of some scandal or something that has happened. And so I just don't think that- I think it would definitely cause risks between a marriage. I don't think that would work.


SM: I know originally in the scripture -in the only proof you have, is Jesus. You know, Peter's mother in law. So we know he was married, but you never hear anything about his wife so I don't know - maybe she died? We don’t know.

SG: Can't argue that.

SM: Yeah. (mutual laughter) I don't know, you just never hear anything about her. I don't mean - we don't even know her name- we only know he had a mother in law.

SG: Yeah.

SM: That Jesus healed so she could get up and cook a meal for them. (laughter) So I bet that's what I , people will use for that. I think women can be helpful and we do have in the state of Maine- in the church - the deaconite program. A permanent deaconite program is what they call that. Deacons are a part of the steps, of the steps of becoming a priest, but a permanent deaconite /deacon is a person -can be married. And they serve the church -they can't say mass, but they can baptize, they can marry people and they can be a great assistance to an area like this where you only have three priests for ten churches.

SG: Yeah.

SM: We don't have a deacon, but they're hoping to get one.


SM: Now the deacon, the permanent deacon- if he's married can never marry again. If his wife dies, he can never marry again.


SM: He's permanently a deacon and so he would be held to the vow of celibacy as far as keeping that life.

SG: Right.

SM: - and no other afterwords, but that life can be very helpful to him. Because a lot of the things a deacon does would be educational things in the parish and that wife could be involved in that. And when a deacon is training, the wife is required to have classes also in the church. And they, they are obliged to the, the office the - what did I say before? (laughter) 'Liturgy of the Hours' as is the priest and the sisters -we're obliged to do that each day, but that’s them. Several lay, many lay people do in this day and age too -the liturgy of the hours. They could for their own spirituality, especially in places where you don't have a mass every day and then we often will gather to do the liturgy of the hours.


SM: But I jumped-

SG: Well,-

SM: -into that one backwards way.

SG: No, that's just fine.

SM: (laughter) You're going to have fun doing this!

SG: I'm having fun already! (laughter)

SM: Oh, OK.

SG: So tell me, tell me a little bit or a lot about how you spend your time.

SM: From my work here?

SG: Yeah.

SM: I am the director of the social action programs. That, that’s an arm of the church that- it's called social justice and peace, but we call it social -our program is called social action. And we, I, I do it here for St Mary's, but now that we are ten churches we're also working to get all of the ten churches on the same page. And maybe I do some fund-raising together so that we can better help the poor of the area. One of the things that I have had to do in the past and now we're going to try to combine it with the others is have a big fundraiser each year so that we can do the things that these calls [-?-] - help with lights and medical needs, clothing -we don't have a clothing store. We used to, but I sometimes can provide a voucher for certain events or whatever -getting to school, getting kids ready for school in the fall and so forth. And then, we had originally in the basement of the first convent that I was in St Mary's, and in this basement we had a food pantry. And that pantry out there is very cold -it always is, even in the summer. We had freezers for our food pantry, but that has evolved into an inter-faith one which is called GIFT and I'm the volunteer director of that and that is over on industrial street. And that’s, I think I said a little bit about that before. We have it set up as a store. People come and actually shop, but its dread – we, after we were there two months we were outgrown it. And the board is dragging their feet (laughter) and I'm praying hard against them.

SG: How many people do you think utilize the food pantry?

SM: We have, we serve well over two hundred people. It's a very poor area.

SG: Two hundred people a week or -

SM: In- over, they come once a month sometimes.


SM: They can come, but there's well over that. I don't know any set number in my head, but I'm sure that’s a on a pretty regular basis, there's well over that that. Some people will come once or twice, but we don't - we just ask minimum- name, address, and telephone number, verify that they're from Presque Isle, Mappleton, Chapman, or Crouseville -that's the area that we serve. And then, we give them the guidelines that the stamp food stamp program gives and if there within that guideline, then their eligible. But even sometimes, I tell them, you know, there may be other circumstances like somebody's ill for a long extended time. That's not going to - their income may remain the same, but they have added expenses.

SG: Yeah.

SM: So we- they just have to add that comment to the paperwork and that's it. And once they've filled that in, then they can come whenever they need it and come and shop. But it's, we can only bring one person in at a time -especially if it's a mother with children, she's got to bring her children in. Well the room, the shopping area is probably like these two rooms here (gestures to kitchen and office space - maybe 400 feet square) and then there's a little office that would probably be about the size of that room there too (gestures to office space – maybe 100 feet square) added on, where I can take somebody privately, you know, if they need to -they have questions or I need to make sure I have their information verified, so it's private.


SM: But it's, its not big enough. It's definitely not big enough.

SG: It definitely sounds like if you're having that many people go through-

SM: Yep.

SG: -the (unintelligible phrase)

SM: Well, we think- the government just recently started a program and you probably have it too. It's called 'Commodities for Elderly.' I believe people are entitled to -they, they give you these two bags that are all prepared which is totally against my idea. Because I like them to come and shop, but gradually those -we, we started with thirty of those those bags laying there. If our regular food comes in the same time, we have I literally took a picture of it. We had like a little path from here to here to my office. (gestures) Another path over here so they could shop.

SG: Oh, no. (laughter)

SM: (laughter) That’s' the way it was. I mean, we had no space for anything then. I took pictures to take to the board so they could, that's what it looks like (shows me a picture) once a month. So the first two weeks, we had these commodities. We started with thirty-two of those- now we have fifty-two and so they, my workers, came to me and said, “Sister, do you mind if we do it on Wednesday also? We'll cover it, you don't have to come because what will they” - On Monday, people are there for the telephone. They make appointments and if, if, we have like time in the course of the day for twenty people or families to come. OK. Well, if you've got fifty two of those and you're supposed to get them out in two weeks you can't so they do some on Monday and, Monday and Tuesday of those first two weeks. And then the regular people that need to come, I tell them to come before their food stamps come are used so that they can better spend their food stamps. You know, because if they come with a list and they need meat and we don't have it, then they're gonna need their food stamps to get that meat.

SG: Yeah.

SMK: You know, we, we, we, I fight with them- the Catholic Charities -because they want to send me ice cream and cakes to fill up my freezer with. That, that's not nutrition and I finally got them to not send that stuff to me-

SG: (laughter)

SM: -and I said give me meat! Protein and vegetables, I don't care what, but you're not going to fill my freezers until I have lots of them. When I have lots of them and lots of space, OK, you know I'll take the cakes and yeah-

SG: (laughter)

SM: -that's good for them. You know, they have birthdays, they have, but it -(laughter)

SG: Yeah, you can't give it to them every week because-

SM: No! So I fight. I fight, fight, fight-

SG: (laughter)

SM: - all the time (laughter) and then, but, but most of the time it's calling. I bring people in, if they call in because they have this huge electric bill- I usually bring them in and I ask them to tell me everything that they have to- what their income is and then we put down everything they have to pay to see why is this is continuing to happen. And then try to help them set up some kind of a budget even if they are paying just a little bit more than what they've been doing and then encourage them to use the food pantry so that's why we keep getting new people because of my work here. (laughter) Its and I then -when that happens, then I find out the best ways that I can help them and it's -I always try to do it. Because I don't actually write the checks -I have to send it now to Caribou. Well, I – but it used to have to go next door and the lady that was the secretary there was too (transcription stopped to to wishes of SM and then restarted) (mutual laughter) And she would say, “That one doesn't need it; they have a good car” or “I don't” - comments like that and I -how do you know where they get the car, probably a rich uncle gave it to them because they knew they you can't exist without a car. You can't exist in this county without a decent car.

SG: Yeah.

SM: You know- and maybe they're paying up the- too lots of money and whatever, to keep that car and sometimes they lose it. Because I get calls and they say, “We can't come today, we don't have a ride,” You know.

SG: Yeah.

SM: And so I don't know. Right behind me, there's a place that - it's a Christian organization too and they're -they do food too, but they deliver. They're not big enough so that they can set it up like ours but I have their number. And if somebody calls and says, “I can't get a ride today” I give them that number and say, “Maybe next week you can come, but they'll give you enough so that you won’t starve this week.”

SG: Yeah.

SM: And so we work together.

SG: Wow. That's wonderful.

SM: And I don't know what else I do. I also, I was on the board for Habitat for Humanity, but the bigger group kind of was going to squash us out so we decide- we talked to a lawyer and we had built three houses and the income is still coming. And so, in order to keep the moneys here in the county because they were raised here with the idea that they would help people here, we got the, got that, ourselves dissolved rather than have to turn the money over to international and have it go someplace else. And so we have another - it's another group called 'Housing, Inc'. I think, Housing Incorporated and the moneys that are still coming in from the mortgages from Habitat -are you familiar with how that works?

SG: Yeah.

SM: We use that for providing oil for the people, the three families that have gotten buildings. I think we have four- the four we had built, we try to keep their buildings heated because of the high price-

SG: -Yeah

SM: - of oil so each of those. And some of the moneys goes for that and then other organizations. We've helped the shelter - the Sister Mary O’Donnell shelter. We've helped them with projects that they needed to get improved and -

SG: Great!

SM: Its an organization that can apply for a grant and and so I'm still on that board. On the RCIA in the parish -that's, that's the education, christian, for adult education. And then I am on the the this through this book. This thing about, because I'm on the team to do retreats which are called ACTS and its based on the Acts of the Apostles- how they gathered together. And ACTS - it's an acronym that stands for adoration, community, theology and service. Those are the four aspects of the retreat and the course of the retreat and its, its struck- I don't know, have you ever heard of Cursillo movement?

SG: No.

SM: No. Cursillo is -also there's a non Catholic segment so I thought maybe you might have any- Cursillo is an organization that developed in Mexico. It's a Mexican name and it's a, its a spiritual retreat in which you- in the course of that time you review all of your religious faith and , but it's something that's personal. And then there were people men who had made Cursillo and they - once you make it, you’ve made it. And well, they have little follow up meetings and prayer, sharing things. They wanted something more and so they devised this ACTS retreat and so it follows from the Cursillo but it it emphasized the community aspect so that we - as each time we have a retreat, there's a whole new group of people. It's like building the church from the beginning with the acts of the apostles. You know how they preached. They went out and preached after-

SG: Yeah.

SM: -Jesus died

SG: [-?-]

SM: So we had over one hundred women in the county that have made this retreat. You do not have to be Catholic to make it. You have to know it is based on the Catholic religion so if you ever want to make one, your you

SG: Wow, that sounds-

SM: You'd, you would be welcome.

SG: Well, thank you!

SM: But we've had one non- Catholic make it, but she's more Catholic than she even knows. (laughter) She really is. I know her, she's a personal friend of mine. I was so thrilled when I heard that she was coming to make it. I, I've got to get in touch with her because I haven't seen her for a long time.

SG: (laughter)

SM: But anyway, she's a doctor at -what do you call it? You talking about your diet thing- she works with people need that kind of a diet.

SG: Oh, OK. The gluten free-

SM: The gluten free yeah. Then she highly recommends that that diet for anybody and I’m trying I've been reading about it for so long. I wanted I really think it will solve a lot of problems (laughter) for me-

SG: Wow.

SM: -personally.

SG: It certainly has for me.

SM: Yeah so, but anyway. With the retreat, I started, I -part of my talk from the beginning I end up as a - I'm a spiritual director on the retreat. And that, that and so I ended up, I made every single retreat that we've had. I made the first one and then I was asked to be on the next one and everyone since.

SG: Ha!

SM: For the women and, but as being a spiritual director, you end up giving a talk about spiritual direction and sacraments or theology. Either one or the other. And, in the course of my talk, I share my story about Beatrice that I shared with you.

SG: Yeah.

SM: And somebody said you ought to write that, get it in a book. And I was taking a creative writing class through the learning center here in Presque Isle and my teacher up there – excuse me-

SG: No, its OK.

SM: My teacher up there encouraged me to write and she she would bring me things about mice so I would write more stories about Beatrice. And so I had enough to put together. So I was in the mall one day and I saw this book publishing company- it's monkey publishing- and so I called. I got the telephone number and I called him and the gentleman said he would meet me and I showed him my prayer journal -because that's where I'd written the original story. And then I also had some manuscripts of the stories I had written for my class. And I said, “what do you think about my you know publishing this?” “Is there, what would it entail?” So he told me that, he told me that he thought it would work. I don't know where my original drawings are - I did not do the art work. I know the girl who made the ACTS retreat actually did these.

SG: Wow.

SM: This is her picture here (shows me a copy of the book with the picture of the artist) in the back. Her name is Linda Ayotte and her sister is, lived in this parish and I kept looking at her during the retreat and I said, “You look familiar.” She said, “Well, you must know my sister Diana.” “Oh that's- (mutual laughter) Anyway, Diane has moved away, but anyway. So she didn't like my mouse story at the retreat and so she just quietly told me that it bothered her and she told me why -there was a personal experience that she had. And so I said, “Well, that's OK.” I said, but I've always liked mice and she said the lesson is good- she liked the lesson. So I, and I told her that somebody had suggested that- do the book, but I said, “I've got some artwork, but I'm not satisfied; its very primitive.” And so she said, “Well, why don't you bring it out and show it to me?” So I did. And she said, “Well you gotta do this, you got to have perspective, you got...” She's ticking off these things. I said, “OK, Holy Spirit said to me-

SG: (laughter)

SM: -this is the girl whose going to write, do your artwork so she did- (mutual laughter)

SG: (unintelligible phrase)

SM: She did the artwork for me and she writes in here and this is cute - she says the experience has been therapeutic for her and desensitized her. She told me that she didn't like the mice and overcoming her fear of mice and “developed her God given talent of art. It also served as a purging of blocked emotions and feelings. She's proud and grateful for God's graces in giving her the courage and confidence to pursue this endeavor. She's also very proud of the fact that God used her as an instrument to increase Sister Mary’s virtue of patience.”

SG: (laughter)

SM: Because every week I'd call her up. “How many pictures did you get done?” And she'd say, “Patience.” (mutual laughter) “I probably only have one done.” (mutual laughter) So she had to put that in there.

SG: Oh, that's wonderful.

SM: Yeah, so anyway. This was done with the purpose of raising money for scholarships so because I was finding people that couldn't afford to go to that retreat, but they needed it or they're-

SG: Well, yeah.

SM: -for the heartaches they were going through and so I was in a position to say

Side one of the tape ends mid sentence

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