SML was a Catholic nun. Odd, for this very southern family who had been active in the Primitive Baptist Church for generations. SML converted to Catholicism in her 40s, after having run away from Johnston County, NC in her teens to become an entertainer in New York City. Although when we asked her what sort of "entertaining" she did in NYC, she wouldn't answer. Hmmm. She did provide an answer when we asked her why she converted to Catholism and then became a nun. Her answer was "I was tired of running from the Lord." I'm sure it was all quite the topic of conversation within the family.
I met SML when she was in her 60s. We became virtual friends when we found one another on Ancestry.com researching the same family. We became real life friends when she traveled several times to NC to visit my family and I traveled to Connecticut to stay with her at the Sisters of Charity mother house in Baltic, Connecticut. We were a sight to see when we drove to Smithfield for BBQ one day. Many southerners have never seen a nun in full habit. She was a source of great comfort to me as I experienced the trials of raising a teenage son with an aversion to authority and then later when I divorced.
She was a very kind woman. My family and I loved her very much. She wrote a very loving and touching essay of her life with the STANCILs, which follows. Anyone related to this family will enjoy reading her memories of life with the STANCIL family.
--Sister Mary Lourdes JOHNSON