Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Walking Together on the Road to Salvation

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Walking Together on the Road to Salvation

Article excerpt

Sr. Marie de Mandat-Grancey, a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, was the founder of the House of Mary, located in Ephesus, Turkey. The stone house has attracted pilgrims since the late 19th century as the place where the Blessed Virgin was brought by the Apostle John to live until her assumption. De Mandat-Grancey helped restore and preserve Mary's House from 1891 until her death in 1915. Today, Mary's House provides a unique venue for millions of both Christians and Muslims as a place of peace and prayer.

In December 2010, I wrote an NCR story titled, "An 'intercessor with Muslims,'" which tells how two Catholic women, Erin von Uffel and Lorraine Fusaro, longtime friends and residents of Long Island, N. Y., believe they have identified a way to model peaceful coexistence and respect between Christians and Muslims by making people aware of de Mandat-Grancey and Mary's House.

Vincentian Fr. Carl Schulte has written de Mandat-Grancey's biography, using archives and materials sent by von Uffel. The Life of Sr. Marie de Mandat-Grancey & Mary's House in Ephesus was recently published by St. Benedict Press/TAN Books. NCR recently spoke with Schulte, 91, about his book.

NCR: Did you know of Sister Marie and her life's work?

Schulte: I had no idea of who she was and I worked closely for 12 years with the Daughters of Charity and they never mentioned her name. It was the "touch of the divine" because I got dragged into it.

Why did you believe so strongly that this book needed to be written?

In pre-World War I, the French press covered this, but the story never broke in the United States. Mary's House presents a tremendous opportunity to strengthen the relationship between Christians and Muslims. Sister Marie had the attitude to reach out to Muslims, the Greek Orthodox and others. I believe the book will be valuable to the time we live in, not as a tool to convert Muslims, but because we are all walking toward the same God. …

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