Interview with Sr. Nancy Murray, O.P.
“Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.”
On January 30, 2014, at lunch time Sr. Nancy gave a presentation to faculty, staff and some members of the Alumni Association on how portrayals of Dorothy Stang and St. Catherine of Siena (another performance Sr. Nancy gives) impact her life. Albertus Magnus College was fortunate to have Sr. Nancy Murray, O.P., on campus. In the evening Sr. Nancy presented a one-woman drama entitled, “Rooted in Love: the Life and Martyrdom of Dorothy Stang, SND deNamur”.
Dorothy Stang, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame, gave her life educating and defending the rights of peasant farm families in the Amazon rain forest of Brazil. Dorothy helped the farmers form communities, improve farming methods and advocate for human rights. In addition she helped to build numerous schools and to join in efforts to save the rain forest land. It was those efforts that enraged illegal ranchers and loggers and led to her violent death by two hired gunmen as she read the beatitudes from Matthew’s Gospel.
While Nancy was at Albertus for her presentation I had the opportunity to interview her for this blog.
How does being a part of the Dominican family impact your presentation?
Sr. Nancy – As a Dominican sister I was able to enter into the world of the Sisters of Notre Dame with reverence. I felt the responsibility to portray Dorothy as someone who lived the values of her congregation. Dorothy loved her family and the Notre Dame family. I was fortunate to be able to interview members of her family and her congregation in preparing my script. All said she was strong-willed, had tremendous courage and a heart that was as expansive as her smile.
What do you think is essential for a Dominican college to promote in today’s world?
As benchmarks for a Dominican college I find the four pillars (study, prayer, community and service) to be a valuable way for a college community to remember and to respond to its mission. I also think Dominican colleges emphasize life-long learning, the connections with God and one another made through prayer, and respond to the needs of others. For me, as a Dominican, there is a special call to be with the poor and to provide opportunities for dialogue when we experience divisions. Above all, I hope those attending a Dominican college can see God present in each person and recognize the interconnectedness of all of creation.
Is there any other comment you want to make?
I am grateful for the invitation to share Dorothy’s story with the Albertus community. Dorothy inspires me, and I hope all of you, to become a loving voice for justice in our world. Dorothy was able to do ordinary and extraordinary things in her life because of her faith, her ability to love and be loved by others, her willingness to share what she knew for the good of others and her courage to face injustice. I hope the “good God” can help you and I continue her legacy.
We invite you to attend the next in the St. Thomas Aquinas Speaker Series:
Brian J. Pierce, O.P., Province of St. Martin De Porres
“What We Have Seen, Heard, and Touched with Our Hands”
March 31, 2014 at 5:15 p.m.
Behan Community Room, Hubert Campus Center.
Submitted by Sr. Anne Kilbride, O.P.
Sister Anne Kilbride, O.P., special assistant to the president for the promotion of the Catholic, Dominican Heritage at Albertus Magnus College. She came to the College in 2011 as a consultant to gather ideas and make recommendations on new and creative ways to strengthen the College’s long relationship with the
Dominican Sisters. Now she assists the College in developing academic and social links with national and international Dominican teachers and preachers.
Sister Anne received a bachelor’s degree in English and education from Southern Connecticut State University, and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame in theology and Boston College in pastoral ministry; she also pursued further study in counseling, family counseling and theology at the University of Notre Dame, Ohio Dominican University and St. Joseph College.
Deeply involved in congregational ministry and leadership for the past decade, she served as a member of her congregation’s leadership team and as prioress. Her primary focus has been to promote Dominican life and mission now and into the future.