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Hearts on Fire: The Story of the Maryknoll Sisters

ISBN13: 9781570750199
ISBN: 157075019X
Binding: Paperback
List Price: $30.0
Publisher: Orbis Books
Published Date:
Pages: 294
Average Goodreads rating: 4.36/5 (10 ratings)

In her final book, acclaimed journalist Penny Lernoux takes up the inspiring story of the Maryknoll Sisters. In a popular, fast-moving style, she recounts the history of an extraordinary community of women religious and their efforts - over 75 years - to remain faithful both to the gospel and to the signs of the times. Hearts on Fire offers a moving and exciting window on a critical century in the history of the American Catholic church. Through the voices of the Sisters themselves, Lernoux draws an inspiring and moving portrait of a community in constant transition and shows how - in their process of growth and conversion - they left their indelible mark on the church and the world. The Maryknoll Sisters were the first congregation of American Catholic women to serve abroad as missioners. Beginning with the founding of the Congregation in 1912, Lernoux offers a moving portrait of the early pioneers and of their founding leader, Mollie Rogers, who, as Mother Mary Joseph, instilled in her Sisters a spirit of individuality, heroic charity, and "the saving grace of a sense of humor." From their origins as "secretaries" to the Maryknoll Fathers, the Sisters finally won permission to go overseas in mission. In China, they defied the conventional image of nuns; instead of simply operating hospitals and orphanages, they also went out two-by-two in the countryside to spread the gospel. Facing floods, pirates, and civil wars, the Sisters spread their work throughout Asia and other parts of the world. They survived the harrowing ordeal of imprisonment in Japanese prison camps during World War II, only to face further persecution in China after the Communist Revolution. By the 1950's, as a resultof these sufferings, the Maryknoll Sisters were revered symbols of the American way of life, their Mother General featured on the cover of Time Magazine. Many Sisters accepted the anticommunist politics of the time, with little thought of questioning the impact of American polici