Then and Now

Sister Anne Marie Murphy was taught by IHM Sisters at both Holy Name Grade School in Birmingham, Mich., and Marian High School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. She had always wanted to be a teacher and found the sisters to be pleasant and enthusiastic.

Initially, she didn’t trust in her calling, fearing that it was all her idea not God’s. “As you get older there is a refining that goes on, and I think you are called to every part of your life,” she notes. Sister Anne has felt many calls since the initial calling that put her on her life’s path.

With her parents’ support, she joined the community right after she graduated from high school. She recalls embracing the way postulancy encompassed her whole life.

Her first mission was at Gesu in Detroit followed by Marian High School, where she taught for four years and oversaw the school newspaper and yearbook. After a year of renewal prior to taking final vows, Sister Anne went to Stratford, Ontario, for a six-week experience in a community with people who had a developmental disability.

On her return, she attended nursing school and served as editor of the IHM community’s paper. She worked as a nurse in health care at the Motherhouse before going to Syracuse, N.Y., where she worked as a nurse practitioner and lived in a L’Arche community.

She says her time in Syracuse was a real gift; she felt accepted for being herself and free to be what she wanted to be. After eight years, she returned to Michigan to be closer to her ailing parents. She worked in a doctor’s office part time and part time at the Motherhouse. As her parents’ health deteriorated further, Sister Anne moved closer to them. She completed her master’s degree in nursing and ministered at Sinai Hospital for about a year and then at the VA Hospital in Detroit for four years.

After her parents died, she moved to Buffalo, N.Y., where she worked in nursing homes and lived in a group home for two years. She returned to the Motherhouse and worked as a nurse in assisted living. During that time, she attended Wayne State University and completed a master’s degree in library science. Currently, she splits her time between assisted living and the Liguori Library at the IHM Motherhouse.

Sister Anne’s greatest joy since joining the community has been “the richness of the companionship. It’s been very good to have input and direction given by the wisdom of women coming together, figuring out what’s important.

She is most grateful for the “opportunities I have had. I went to nursing school because I wasn’t very good at teaching. For the most part nursing allows you to meet people one-on-one.” She continues to feel needed and her work at the library enables her to continue to help people.


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