Francine Dempsey has been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Albany, N.Y., for 60 years. She is a retired educator, long-time justice advocate, a freelance writer and a member of the Eyes Wide Open of Northeast, New York.
Soul Seeing: To relinquish the idea that I had to be a superhero, saving Syracuse for Jesus, was not easy. I mean, that's why the people in the Syracuse Diocese thought so highly of Fran Dempsey, wasn't it? She was doing such a good job of saving them.
America has a history of oppression of "the other" that renews itself over and over, unfortunately with the approval of our country's citizenry. As once we oppressed slaves, now we oppress refugees. A most painful suffering for slaves in the past and refugees in the present is separation of families.
As I celebrate my 60th year as a sister, I watch what seems a breaking of what was: convent living, common habit, rote prayers at fixed times, predictable ministry as nurse or teacher, and a sheltered, comfortable future.
How did I discover the Eucharist is my basement? The story begins long ago. I have been shaped by experiences of sharing food in places where we worked for social justice.