Margaret Susan Thompson is a professor of history at Syracuse University. She is a scholar of the history of women's religious life and has published and spoken extensively on the history of American sisters. She is an associate with the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Michigan.

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Grace from the rearview mirror

The 175th anniversary celebration of the founding of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary — delayed one year due to the pandemic — was a powerful combination of joyful celebration and serious reflection.

Distancing is not isolation: building community in a time of physical separation

I admire how Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Michigan, are integrating the needs and experiences of our Icommunity members into a plan grounded by prayer and intentionality.

'Success' in religious life: What is it?

On a number of occasions, in speaking with groups of sisters, I have approached the end of my remarks by asking two questions: What do you consider the most successful time in your community's history? And, what do you consider the most inspirational time?

An outsider studies the insider world of women religious

Getting to know a distinct culture is possible for outsiders, providing they are willing to do the work. So I entered into my work researching sisters with the expectation that I was perfectly capable of understanding this world, although it would take time to learn enough about it to write capably and confidently.