Women of Faith: The Chicago Sisters of Mercy and the Evolution of a Religious Community

By Mary Beth Fraser Connolly | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

Over the past six years, I have accumulated a long list of people to thank for their help and support as I worked on this book. I only hope that I have found the right words to express my gratitude. What follows is my feeble attempt to thank the many colleagues, friends, and family who have buoyed me along the way.

After the Sisters of Mercy Chicago Regional Community decided to join other regional communities within the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and form the West Midwest, they chose to hire a professional historian to write their long history. They formed a committee of five Sisters of Mercy and two outside scholars to act as a collaborative and supportive body for me as I researched and wrote this book. This project would be nowhere without their constant presence. I wish to thank Dominic Pacyga; Malachy McCarthy; Mary Ruth Broz, RSM; Nancy Houlihan, RSM; Margaret Mary Knittel, RSM; Joy Clough, RSM; and Joella Cunnane, RSM. I am grateful for their time, their reading (and more reading) of the drafts of the manuscript, and, more important, for the Sisters of Mercy on the committee, their trust that I would respect their community and their history. I will miss our conversations and debates as I tested out the structure of the book and hashed out content of the chapters. I am particularly grateful to Sister Joella; as archivist, she welcomed me into the Sisters of Mercy’s history and guided me through the many boxes of records. She also graciously introduced me to the members of the Chicago Regional Community.

I also wish to thank Betty Smith, RSM; Sheila Megley, RSM; Sharon Kerrigan, RSM; and Lois Graver, RSM. They, along with Sister Mary Ruth Broz as the Administrative Team of the Chicago Regional Community, supported this project from its conception. I am particularly grateful to Sister Sheila Megley, who with the rest of the West Midwest Community Leadership Team continued to champion this history. For much of the time during which I conducted my research in the archives at the

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