The extraordinary life of Sr.Anne Montgomery



Sr. Anne Montgomery died on August 27, 2012 and the funeral, a real Mass of Resurrection, will be celebrated at the Sacred Heart motherhouse on September 15. she was an amazing nun who was truly a resurrected person simply because she mounted the Cross of true discipleship.

Her friend and fellow Sacred Heart nun Fran Tobin aptly described this remarkable nun: “Contemplative and a lover of the poor, Anne stood simply and strongly against that which harmed people and the earth, regardless of the cost to herself,”

In 1980 Sr. Anne’s life accelerate into second gear when she joined the Plowshares 8. The gospel and nuclear weapons cannot co-exist. It was that simple for her. Her final Plowshares action took place in 2009, when she was 83. She served her two-month jail term, and four months of house arrest, last year.

Now pay attention to this. He extraordinary community of the Sacred Hear actually commissioned her at the time of her sentencing

We send you, Anne, on behalf of the Society of the Sacred Heart, to continue your prophetic, educational mission with courage and grace, whether within the walls of prison or without, making known the love of Jesus for our world and all people.”

This is the pure flowering of a Vatican ll religious community.

Why are they such a threat to the Vatican? I and many Catholics find the Vatican;s hectoring of such  people stunningly obtuse and counter-gospel.

Sister Montgomery’s commitment to the nonviolent Jesus of peace and nonviolence led her to journey to global conflict areas.

As a member of the Christian Peacemaker Teams, an ecumenical anti-war nonviolent group, she served as a witness to peace in the 1990s in dangerous conditions in Iraq, the West Bank, Hebron and the Balkans.

In Israel,her ministry was one of “accompaniment and presence”, walking with Palestinian children, harassed and  bullied by the largely American illegal “settlers.” She bravely walked this walk for seven years.

In the case of the West Bank, Montgomery said, “We say we’re on the side of the people who have the biggest guns pointed at them. In this case, we think the (Israeli) occupation is wrong. It’s wrong to take people’s land, to destroy their homes, which is what the Israeli military does. As long as this unjust occupation continues, there can’t be peace.”

Montgomery’s work is the fruit of years of reflecting on the meaning of religious life and her responsibility to the social teachings of the Catholic Church.

“Who’s going to do this if we dont’? If anyone should take a risk, it should be the religious. That’s what many religious orders were set up to do, but we’ve lost that spirit through the ages.

Words of admiration  simply fail when we attempt to come to terms with such a life. Her witness, of course, is not lost.It flows out to peacemakers everywhere.


1 Comment »

  1. 1
    wmgrace Says:

    Wouldn’t the Catholic hierarchy look different if women like Sr. Megan Rice and Sr. Anne Montgomery were allowed to assume their rightful place as leaders of the Catholic church? Wouldn’t our parishes get new life and inspire many who have given up on finding a sustaining connection within the parish, if women were granted pastoral equality?

    There is a recent article in the NYT about an interview with Cardinal Martini (former Archbishop of Milan), given a short time before his death. He stated that the church is “200 hundred years out-of-date” and in need of transformation.

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