National Catholic Reporter

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Sisters' Stories

Preview: One nun's journey from Iraq to the US and the Catholic church

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Mother Olga of the Sacred Heart bursts through the door, arms flung wide in anticipation of an embrace. "How brave of you to come," she says, hugging me as if I were her long-lost sister. Outside the convent window, a January blizzard whirls, and the nun, an Iraqi native, marvels that anyone would drive in such conditions.

Olga Yaqob, 48, is barely 5 feet tall, clad in a Marian blue habit. In her hands are rosary beads, which she fingers constantly. When she reaches up to tenderly clasp my head, I smell perfume.

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