Sister Mary Elizabeth

mehSister Mary Elizabeth Hanssens was the only woman to ever take me out for a meal other than wife. It was at a time when we were both working as volunteers in the Philadelphia prisons and jails, and we were both facing major problems that demanded resolution. She helped me over the hurdles to start a the only tutoring program for the Women’s Detention Facility. I encouraged her to pursue leaving the convent in order to serve homeless and battered women.

She took a year of discernment away from the convent before being excused from her vows by the Pope. During that year, she resumed her education to become an attorney. She then bought a cheap row house in an at risk neighborhood, took in battered women, and joined the Habeas Corpus Task Force in the Philadelphia public defenders’ office. She helped countless poor and homeless people, especially women. Mary died at age 58, on November 4, 2010. She left behind her parents, siblings and two cats.

The painting is acrylic on 12″ x 12″ stretched canvas.

Price: $150 including postage to US address

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