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  • By La Di La Dah Company
    Oct 15, 2009
    "A Graced History" As a young child, I wanted to be a nun but I was African American and not even a Catholic. Later I read The Nun’s Story, The Song of Bernadette, Sister Agnes, St. Theresa’s The Little Way, etc. and always had curiosity about life behind the veil. Reading A Graced History about the Sisters of Mercy in Rochester, New York has been interesting (I could not put the book down!) and has left me with the impression that Sisters are refined, highly educated and express themselves eloquently. Over the life span of their organization, we see the Sisters tackle a number of tasks from architectural feats, educational training, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, real estate ventures, and more. Their history reads like a manual of business acumen. And we are surprised at their skill in negotiating with banks and gaining the support of major businesses such as Kodak and Sears and Roebuck and several private individuals, as well as some surprising contacts, such as Bill... More > Cosby and The Harlem Boys Choir As they grow in stature, they consult with legal services and increase steadily in their know-how and resourcefulness. No young “apprentice” could easily supercede them in ingenuity, effort, inventiveness or productivity. Even though A Graced History presents a historical record of the organization, there is a subtle, internal drama centered around their conflict with Bishop McQuaid, which gives a plot to the story. This light motif is handled expertly and cleverly by the authors and draws the book together. Reading between the lines of the story, however, we construe an interesting drama about the organization’s struggle to maintain an individual identity and economic viability in an ever-changing social and political environment. Sisters are women pulled out of society and removed from their reproductive purposes and, therefore, are non-injurious to modern society. We become aware of how the pressure of an increasingly more pyramid-like, power structure, from Rome down, influenced the functioning and aspirations of their tiny unit. Over the cases of Sisters resigning during difficult transition periods, there is little said and no elaboration. But I suspect that the continual drive to reorganize, incorporate and tie loose ends together, to unite and expand, after a certain point, might have eventually undermined the original intentions of the organization. Their hand in a summer camp program, a nursing school and hospital, for example, had to be partially given up. A smattering of superficial politics (possibly in conflict with possible, long-ranged politics of the American government) coupled with the seemingly exclusive association of “multicultural” with persons of South American nationality might have been off-course, for some nuns who left. Though not indicated, some Sisters, who eventually resigned, might have come in conflict with the idea that loving the poor was synonymous with “giving up one’s own necessities” in place of “sharing one’s expertise.” The possible failure (up to year 2000?) to adequately identify the recruitment and effective incorporation of “young blood” into their operation as a high-priority objective was possibly an Achilles heel.< Less
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Product Details

February 7, 2006
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.04 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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