DUBLIN, IRELAND -- Catholic Ireland has its woes (see story), yet the life of the church goes on -- particularly where the religious are concerned.
Pragmatic nuns, brothers and priests simply do whatever it takes.
Charity Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy began her religious life begging in the streets. Supplicants with bowls on street corners, Kennedy and her sisters went door-to-door.
She hated it. As a young novice, begging companion to an elderly nun, she had no choice. It was an era when some women’s congregations raised money for the poor that way.
There were, however, lessons to be learned from her elderly companion, said Kennedy, now known throughout Dublin as “Sr. Stan.”
“When the money was enough to purchase children’s clothes for some poor families, we went only to Dublin’s finest stores.” The elderly nun “bought only the best quality clothes, beautiful clothes -- I’d nothing like them as a child.
“Then she brought the families in, one by one. I saw the respect she had for the poor. She’d say, ‘We must give to the poor what the rich can buy with money.’ It marked me for life,” Kennedy said.