May 3, 2010
Thank you for your thoughtful article about the Catholic Church in Sudan. After reading it, I was reminded of another "lowly" Catholic Nun who lives and works closer to home. Her name is Sister Margaret Smyth. She nominally runs the North Fork Spanish Apostolate on the East End of Long Island. However, I have heard my parents say, on many occasions, that when Sister Margaret leaves her post, it will take 25 people to replace her.
My parents know Sister Margaret through their volunteer work at Maureen's Heaven (and the St. Agnes Parish Council). The Times ran a piece on the homeless crisis on the East End on Oct 17, 2004, entitled "Long Island: Homeless in the Hamptons". The original article had a picture of my mother, Barbara, serving food to the clients at the program. When she is not serving food, she is cooking it (often for days) and worrying if there will be enough to go around.
I agree that the Catholic Church would collapse without the likes of Sister Cathy in Sudan and Sister Margaret in Greenport. But the church would also collapse without the likes of my parents, Barbara and David. For me, all of these folks are the true pillars of the church.
Be safe, and thank you again for your provocative column.