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Sister Florence Cloonan

catholicnuns_icon2On November 1, 1930, a stocky, black-bearded young man entered St. Vincent Hospital in Billings, Montana.  He was in agony, holding his left arm, shattered in a car crash.  Soon, he found himself being charmed by his nurse, a young shy nun, Sister Florence Cloonan.  She was continually fretting over whether she had done enough for her patients, most of them a rough lot of cowboys and gamblers.

Her bearded patient was Ernest Hemingway.  He later immortalized her as Sister Cecilia in the short story “The Gambler, the Nun, and the Radio.”

excerpt from

Sisters: Catholic Nuns and the Making of America—John J. Fialka.

St. Martin’s Press. New York, NY. 2003

Those who wish to read more about these incredible women and their gift of service to the church and the world can do so in John’s book, which you can order from Amazon.com or receive directly from SOAR! for a donation of $50. This donation will support retired religious sisters and brothers through the work of SOAR! To receive the book for your donation, please contact Danielle Bell directly by email or by phone at 202.529.7627.

January 2014

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