Serving God in a new place, in new ways

Written on: December 10, 2015

From L-R: Sister Dolores Fitzpatrick, Sister Pierette Remillard, Sister Mary Finnick, Sister Mary Mulligan

Sister Mary Finnick (Sister Saint Patricia) was the first Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart to minister in Haiti. She was also the first Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart to teach at the University of Buffalo and the first to teach at Temple University.

Sister Dolores Fitzpatrick (Sister Claire Marie) was one of the first Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart to teach at the newly-built St. Mary’s School in Potsdam, New York.

Both sisters are flexing their pioneer muscles once more as two of the first four sisters to move from the Motherhouse into Holy Redeemer Lafayette, an independent retirement facility in northeast Philadelphia. Holy Redeemer Lafayette is owned and administered by Holy Redeemer Health System.

Sister Mary is sharing a small apartment with Sister Pierrette Remillard (Sister Marie Jerome). Sister Dolores is sharing an apartment with Sister Mary Mulligan (Sister Martin de Porres). The sisters’ apartments are across the hall from one another.

“We’ve received a very warm welcome from the other residents,” Sister Mary Finnick says. “People come to us and ask, ‘Are you a Grey Nun?’ or ‘Are you a sister?’ People are curious about us and they want to talk to us. We’re making new friends every day.”

We felt at home, right away,” Sister Pierrette adds.

In their new home, the sisters enjoy the benefits of programs for physical exercise and mental stimulation. They share dinner with their sister—and fellow–residents, people of all faiths. There is a small chapel, where Sister Dolores can often be found, praying in the silence, during the day. “I feel at peace here,” she observes.

Mass is celebrated three times a week and as more Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart settle in, the sisters will form community life, including communal prayer.

Sister Mary Mulligan shares her perspective on their new home: “The place and the way we’re living may be different but our life as Catholic sisters is the same. We will just discover new ways to minister. Our religious life, our life of prayer and caring for others, will live on in a new way, in a new place.”


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3 thoughts on “Serving God in a new place, in new ways

  1. Belle McMorrow says:

    Do you have a e-mail address so I can mail my cousin, Sister Mary Finnick, who I saw in Report to Donors.

    Thank you for any info you can send me

    Belle McMorrow

  2. Peggy Kryzsko says:

    greetings, Sisters-
    I worked with a number of Grey Nun’s from Winnipeg. this was at St. Michael,North Dakota.Are you sisters from the same group? that was back when I was 24 and now am 70yrs. old.It’s the same woman who founded this community.what a blessing and joy to work with these women at Little Flower School at
    St. Michael, ND on the Sioux Reservation.
    Blessings,
    Peggy Kryzsko

    1. Mary Elizabeth Looby says:

      Dear Peggy,
      I believe that would be one of the Canadian branches of Grey Nuns, possibly the Montreal Grey Nuns. We all claim St. Marguerite D’Youville. We are the only USA branch of Grey Nuns. There are five branches in Canada.

      I’m so glad your experience of the sisters was a good one for you. I think the Grey Sisters of Pembroke also worked with native people but don’t think they were in the US.

      Peace,
      Sr. Mary Elizabeth, GNSH

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