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Sister Carol Holahan, O.C.S.O.


Each Monday in Lent, SOAR! will share a reflection about one of the Cistercian (Trappestine) Sisters living in Raphael’s Wing, the small infirmary at Mt. St. Mary’s Abbey. 

Sister Carol Holahan

First profession: June 4, 1950

Now 93, Sister Carol is the now the only survivor of the original four foundresses who started Wrentham after their formation at the Irish abbey of Glencairn.  She is also the only sibling left from a once-large family.  Sister’s name before entrance to the monastery was Ann Holahan.  She’s a native of New Brunswick, Canada. and grew up in a big family who owned a large chicken farm; they also raised minks for fur!  She later joined the Royal Air Force and served during the World War II years. Through nearly 70 years of monastic life, Sister Carol has had many experiences and can tell many stories. She remains devoted to potatoes, despite having had a diet of them in Ireland!  She knew Richard Cardinal Cushing who escorted the foundresses on the boat from Ireland and got them settled in his diocese in Massachusetts.  She ran Wrentham’s barn when we had a dairy herd, and also was in charge of the candy factory. Sister Carol has a great love of Gregorian chant, and taught it for many years.

Reflection for the Second Monday of Lent

Scripture verse of the week:

Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you. (Psalm 33)

God is always faithful. God’s plans can take us to many places. As we see in Sister Carol’s life, she went from Canada, to Ireland, to the USA; from working on a farm to serving in the Royal Air Force, to becoming  one of the founding Sisters of her order in Wrentham. This week, reflect on your journey. Look at where God’s grace was present in each place. Be aware of God’s grace touching your life each day this week.

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