Carol K. Coburn is a professor emerita of religious studies and director of the CSJ Heritage Center at Avila University. She is also a consultant for the Buchanan Initiative for Peace and Nonviolence at Avila University. Coburn has published and presented extensively on the topic of American Catholic sisters, including a co-author book with Martha Smith, CSJ, Spirited Lives: How Nuns Shaped Catholic Culture and American Life, 1836-1920.
I am struck by commonalities sisters shared about their Selma experiences. In life's powerful moments, we experience events in real-time; only later do we stop to reflect on the meaning of our actions.
Reflecting on almost five decades of working with the Mohawks, Sr. Mary Christine Taylor said she has no intention of slowing down: "I travel around the whole area to visit over 150 people a week."
As a young Mercy sister in 1965, Patricia McCann did not hesitate the day she saw a letter from John Lewis and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, requesting that college students come to Alabama.
In 1965, as a young Loretto sister, Judith Baenen flew with a Kansas City contingency of Catholics to bear witness to the events in Selma. Now a Loretto co-member, she reflects on her experience 50 years later.