Conversations with Sr. Camille: Marie Colucci grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, but found faith thanks to her grandmother.
Conversations with Sr. Camille
Every two weeks, Mercy Sr. Camille D'Arienzo interviews members of the Catholic church about how their faith has affected them. Young and old, religious and lay, man and woman: Sr. Camille talks to them all.
Conversations with Sr. Camille: When a 24-year-old man committed suicide, Matthew D'Emic found comfort in the beauty of the funeral Mass.
Conversations with Sr. Camille: Karen Gargamelli has a dream: One day, laypeople and religious will come together to help those who need homes.
Conversations with Sr. Camille: Matthew Kells' summer at Mount Saviour Monastery taught him values he aspires to as a husband, a son and a father.
Conversations with Sr. Camille: Nancy Small, a peacemaker with Pax Christi, finds inspiration in both Civil Rights leaders and women religious.
Conversations with Sr. Camille: Fr. Jim Martin, one of today's most popular Catholics, loves being a Jesuit, but still sees ways the church can improve.
When I entered a chapel in Laredo, Texas, one morning before dawn, I became conscious of another presence. Mary Oladimeji was deep in prayer.
About 20 years ago, my students in the TV department of Brooklyn College invited the late Fr. Jim Harvey and Michael Moran as guests on a program on homelessness. Two memories stand out. Jim, who worked with street kids and prisoners, described his experience of spending a week living in Manhattan without money or identification. He begged so he could eat, and he slept in the underground network hidden from the eyes of those on the city streets and in office buildings. When I asked Jim what he learned, he answered: "Hunger really, really hurts."
I met Vilma Torres a dozen years ago in an arena of enormous sufferings. The Cherish Life Circle, which the Sisters of Mercy founded in Brooklyn in 1993 to oppose capital punishment, holds a separate, annual service for families of murder victims. When Vilma learned of this endeavor, she, on behalf of Safe Horizon, offered to help us. And she has every year since, providing indispensable assistance. We know her as a competent, caring provider of services to individuals suffering the greatest of losses in violent situations. Over these many years, I've never asked what drew her into this work. I think this conversation is long overdue.
Camille: Jim, in the interest of full disclosure, I confess that your father, the late beloved Edward Stasheff, was my mentor at the University of Michigan. As he guided me through my master's and doctoral degrees, he noted with pride that you, his firstborn son, held two doctorates. He would proudly add that your dissertations were beyond his comprehension. What was that all about?