Written on: November 24, 2015
From: Sr. Anne ZIta Crudden, gnsh, (AKA Helen Veronica Crudden/ nee McCall)
I was reunited with my birth family in September of 1994. I was blessed to meet my Mother, Mary Alice Coyle McCall, as well as my sister, Charlotte, called Shirl, and my two brothers, Connell & Jimmy. As the other family members were introduced, I got to know my nieces, nephews, and cousin, Kathy Ruane and her family. It was a wonderful time for us all. Since then, my brothers, sister, and cousin have died; now, I felt that I was the last of my immediate family.
But, surprise! My life’s journey has revealed a whole new story. A few weeks ago, I received word from Ireland that I have another sister who is living in Dublin. Her name is Mary Kathleen Coyle, called “Kate”, and is 89 years old. She was born in 1926 when Mom – (Mary Alice Coyle) – was only 20 years old. Three years later, Mom and her sister, Helen, left Ireland and traveled to Philadelphia. As a new-born, Kate was placed in one of the work institutions in Ireland until the age of 16. After leaving this place, she found work with a family. I spoke to a woman who was assisting Kate in discovering the name of her birth mother. Since she still has feelings of abandonment, I am anxious to assure her that Mom had no choice in the matter. My desire is to let her know of our care and love for her. I am told that Kate is in good health, and full of life. Since then, Kate has been told about locating her family, and knows that she has a younger sister. The fact that I am a Nun has delighted her. We have even exchanged letters and pictures. I have also applied for a renewed Passport, just in case I am able to travel to Ireland to see her. (Plans are now in action to make this trip possible.) As the weeks go by, I am gradually learning more about Kate and even my family in Donegal. So, I’m getting a better picture of those relatives that never left Ireland. Meanwhile, rejoice with me that I have the opportunity to know more about Kate. Once again, Divine Providence has revealed a surprising new chapter.