Maryknollers, then and now

Sunday's New York Times featured a sweet essay on the Maryknoll Sisters, based in Ossining, NY, but found ministering to and standing in solidarity with suffering people all over the world. Even better are the photo gallery and audio clips that accompany the story at the NYT website.

There are some terrific archival photos, including images of Mother Mary Josephine Rogers, who founded the order in 1912. I'm used to black-and-white photos of nuns looking solemn, even dour (and not just nuns; anybody photographed pre-1950 is likely to look a bit grim). But in these pictures, Mother Mary Josephine and her sisters look joyful. They look like people you would want to know and work alongside. And they are pictured doing their work and witnessing to the faith in some remarkable settings.

Mollie Wilson O’​Reilly is editor-at-large and columnist at Commonweal.

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