Seventy Septembers

By: Mary E. Best

In September 1975, seventy years after Father Heick had tried to open a school for blacks in Merigold, black and white Catholics were taking their first giant steps in dialoguing with one another as equals. For seventy years, the sisters had worked quietly, humbly, but consistently within the system, slowly forming a black Catholic Church in Mississippi and Arkansas that could dialogue and confront the church with its racism.

About the Author

In 1969 when Sister Marilyn Dobberstein asked me to write a history of the work of the Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters in Mississippi and Arkansas, I was reluctant to do so. From the humble attitude of the Sisters whom I had known, I had the impression that their work had been far from exciting and was scarcely newsworthy. Shortly after I began the research, however, I quickly changed my mind. I realized that the history was indeed, worth writing; in fact, had to be written if the history of Mississippi was to be complete.