National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

From the streets of Philadelphia

 |  NCR Today

I spent some time recently reporting a story in the Kensington area of North Philadelphia (gunshots are heard often, residents say, and two men were shot the night I was there across the street from the house where I was staying) and had the opportunity one morning to meet Sr. Margaret McKenna.

She was conducting a Bible study that day for 20 or so addicts in various stages of rehabilitation, all part of the New Jerusalem Community, which she’s been running for the past 20 years. More on her and her work in the future. (In addition, she’s an award winning urban gardener and offered some wonderful home-made apple pie made with apples from a tree in her back yard.)

I was reminded that she works just a short distance in this section of Philadelphia from another amazing woman religious, Sr. Mary Scullion, whose efforts continue to transform lives and blocks in a bleak urban landscape. I had the opportunity to meet and profile Sr. Scullion some years ago (see story here) and write about Project H.O.M.E., which had its roots in her advocacy for the homeless, which in turn was inspired by appearances by, among others, Dorothy Day and Mother Teresa at a 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia.

October-24,-2014-cover_web.jpgGet this special NCR 50th anniversary offer! Subscribe to NCR by Nov. 15 and get a 50th anniversary issue. This special issue is available exclusively to subscribers. Learn more.

Catholic women, vowed and otherwise, keep doing amazing things. Scullion and McKenna are among the strongest Catholic witnesses left in this section of Philadelphia, where many of the old churches have either been shuttered or taken over by non-denominational congregations

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

October 10-23, 2014

10-10-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.