This is one of those stories that was too good to pass up. At 99 years young today, Sr. Mary of the Incarnation Kiernan is the oldest sister belonging to the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.
She was in the order’s first group which formed 56 years ago.
There are now more than 120 sisters around the world — including five at Most Holy Trinity School and Parish in the Sunnyslope area of Phoenix — and 130 priests. Two of them are at MHT.
Archived article: SOLT sisters profess vows in Phoenix
The order also has hundreds of lay members.
While it doesn’t look like Sr. Mary of the Incarnation served in the Diocese of Phoenix, she did spend many years working with Navajo and Hopi tribes in Arizona. She also worked with the poor in urban areas such as Kansas City.
Older Catholics may have encountered her — or at least spotted her habit — among the thousands of nonviolent demonstrators walking in Alabama in 1965. Sr. Mary of the Incarnation joined hundreds of other religious from various faiths and races in a scaled down walk inside the city of Selma one week prior to the larger “Walk from Selma” to the steps of the capitol in Montgomery, Ala.
Sr. Mary of the Incarnation is from the same Massachusetts parish where Fr. James Flanagan, the future founder of SOLT, served. He was her spiritual director. It was their conversations about the need for the Church to work in teams that caused Sr. Mary of the Incarnation to ultimately join the SOLT order where ecclesial family teams of priests, religious and laity serve together.
Sister’s birthday will be just another day for this sister called by God for service in the Church.
JULY 21 UPDATE:
A deacon sent me a picture and video from the party. There was a princess theme with two “nine”-shaped candles that flickered in a colorful LED display.
JULY 24 UPDATE:
Days earlier, an Ursuline sister apparently turned 100. The newspaper for the Diocese of Charleston, S.C. just Tweeted the story.