Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The scandal of Sister Donna Quinn

Sister Donna Quinn was born July 26, 1937 to an Irish Catholic family, with “a mom and dad who were a lot of fun.” She recounted in a 2002 talk that her mother died in childbirth when Donna was only 11 years old. She said: “I think death is the first and most devastating form of violence perpetrated on humanity. I still shout at God, saying, ‘even I could have planned it better!’ I think organized religions were invented to explain it and address it.” She grew up attending daily Mass, and she and her sister and brother all entered religious life–her brother Bill became a priest and her sister entered the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, though she later left.

Donna entered the Sinsinawa Dominicans, the congregation that ran the high school she had attended on the south side of Chicago, in 1955, and professed her final vows in 1960, receiving in the same year a bachelor’s degree in Education and History from Madison’s Edgewood College, where president Sister Mary Nona McGreal was an important influence in her formation as a teacher–”Starting out and receiving a first ‘assignment’ to share a classroom for teaching and spend the other half of every day learning at Duchesne College just down the street from St. Cecilia’s Convent in Omaha I always carried in my heart her love for a good curriculum.” Donna’s education continued with master’s degrees in History from the University of Illinois-Champaign and in Administration from UW-Madison. She served as a Catholic school teacher and administrator until 1975. At that point, her life took a decisive left turn.

In 1974, Sister Donna, according to her talk at Harvard Divinity School in 2002, attended a conference sponsored by Chicago’s Association of Catholic Priests. One of the sessions was facilitated by Alinsky-trained organizer and Dominican Sister of St. Mary of the Springs Marjorie Tuite, and when Donna asked, “where’s the women’s group in Chicago?” Tuite, a truly key figure in setting up the feminist sisters’ extensive organizational networks, followed up encouraging that Donna start such a group, and offered help in any way possible.
continue at Father Mazzuchelli Society

Wow, excellent research Elizabeth.

Time to have the society do an article on the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.   Hmm, I already have one started....

7 comments:

  1. Thank you. This is a chapter from my book published last fall, A Report on the Sinsinawa Dominicans Today. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0615887082/ Read the whole book (it's very cheap on amazon or the text can be read for free online http://www.fathermazzuchellisociety.org/sinsinawa-dominicans/a-report-on-the-sinsinawa-dominicans-today/ , I intentionally make no profit on it). I had some unique and very substantial sources of information about the Sinsinawa Dominicans that I do not have about the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration--as well as a devotion to the Sinsinawa Dominicans' holy founder Father Samuel Mazzuchelli. My purpose is that showing the problem I can plead for their relationship with the Catholic Church to improve as it came through in my research that this is in a remarkably poor state. Those in a position to know call my book very accurate. At the same time I published the Report on the Sinsinawa Dominicans I published a new edition of his excellent Memoirs, also available at low cost on Amazon under the title Memoirs of a Frontier Missionary Priest. I recently had an article in published the Madison Catholic Herald on what we can learn from Fr Mazzuchelli for the New Evangelization: http://www.madisoncatholicherald.org/guestcolumn/4746-2014-03-13-durack.html

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    1. Alinsky had his hands everywhere. Thank you for bringing that to light. It's hard to believe the extent of the social circle that Alinsky influenced and/or trained. It's unfortunate that so much that has occurred in society and government in the last decade is because of that man.

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  2. Is it possible that the high-profile dissent within the Sinsinawa Dominicans might derail the beatification cause for Fr. Mazzuchelli?

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  3. Some speculate it already has, AGS. The diocesan process for approval of a medical miracle (cure of metastasized cancer) was completed about 6 years ago, and medical experts in Rome said there was no medical explanation, but then there has been no official word from Rome after all this time. A former prioress of the Sinsinawa Dominicans went to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints in Rome to inquire last year, and the only report we have from that is that she learned it isn't going through. No other explanation and no official decision. And even this has never been reported outside of Sinsinawa Dominican sources. The Father Mazzuchelli Society intends to make some further inquiries. I believe the truth is we do not know the status or why the cause has not moved forward, and I continue to pray for his beatification. And I think people should continue to pray for Fr Mazzuchelli's intercession.

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  4. I was educated in central WI by the FSPA and heard they split into left and right factions, with the liberal side of the house dissolving and the traditional sisters joining another group of Franciscans. Is that true?

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    1. Yes, that is true Laurie. The order broke apart in 1973, the "conservative" sisters started the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, a beautiful order, but unfortunately all of these sisters moved out to Connecticut at that time.

      http://www.fsecommunity.org/founding.htm

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