Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Sr. Paula Merrill, a member of the congregation since 1979, was found murdered Aug. 25 along with Sr. Margaret Held, a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee, in the home they shared in Durant, Mississippi. The Mississippi Department of Public Safety announced late Aug. 26 that Rodney Earl Sanders, 46, of Kosciusko, Mississippi, had been charged with two counts of capital murder in connection with the deaths.
Nestled beside St. Agnes Church and School, the Carmelite Monastery blends into the brick facades that line a busy stretch of Newburg Road in Louisville. Carpooling families and dwellers of the Highlands area zip by at all hours rushing from one commitment to the next. In contrast, behind the monastery's pale orange bricks, eight women religious – members of the Order of Discalced Carmelites – have only one commitment. They live a quiet, intense life of prayer in the tradition of St. Teresa of Avila, the 16th-century Spanish mystic and doctor of the church.