Susan begins with what it was like coming to the Community just post-Vatican II. She discusses the changes of Vatican II from a personal as well as a theologian's point of view. She talks about beginning her missions in the Community as a teacher but not finding she was strong at it. She then speaks of having her epiphany that she wanted to work in theology and her path to get there. She also talks about feeling connections to charisms from other Communities as she works and finding deeper meaning in the Community through that.
Sister begins by describing her childhood in Ireland and the importance of faith in her family?s daily life. She talks about learning of the SCLs through an older brother, a priest already working in the States. She speaks of the novitiate fondly, recalling the sense of community and how these relationships eased the culture shock of moving from Ireland. Her mission work begins in education; she describes learning to be a teacher and working in many different places, eventually becoming an administrator. The closing of her school in Helena became the catalyst for change, and she shifted her focus to pastoral ministry. She describes working with married couples and women, followed by time spent on a Native American reservation. She finally describes working with the Good Samaritan Project in Kansas City. She discovered a need for spiritual support among the organizations patients. A position was created for her, and she spent many years offering this support to those afflicted with AIDS in the Kansas City area. Sister consistently talks about how the people she encountered in her mission work taught her valuable lessons and strengthened her own spirituality.
Sister Mary Carlo speaks quite a bit about her family history as both parents were immigrants from Italy. She also talks about how she encountered the SCLs and joined the Community. She discusses her 27 years teaching but how it was the creation of the Caring Ministry and her work with AIDS patients in the 1980's which were really meaningful.
Sister sends an audio letter home to Leavenworth from her time in Peru. She describes life in Piura, a small city, and some of the families she has met and worked with. She talks of her work with a program designed to help provide some religious education to the local Catholic community. She mentions other Sisters working in programs related to health, food kitchens, and helping locals start businesses or find employment. She also describes the challenges of working in this area. There were relatively few priests and religious for the land area and population served. Electricity was often unreliable, and there were times of political and civil unrest, notably leading to a small bomb left at the gates of their home.
Sister opens her interview by speaking about her family and upbringing in Nebraska. She mentions that the teachers at her local school were SCLs, creating an early introduction to the community. Initially resistant to the idea of religious life, she clearly remembers the moment she was called to the community during a school trip. In her reflections on her early days in the community, she speaks about the modernization brought about by Vatican II and the difficulties of losing close friends as they chose to leave the community. Her initial posting at St. Vincent's home taught her about the struggles people face as a result of social injustices. She later worked at the Topeka State Hospital, trained as a chaplain, and worked in prison ministry. The trajectory of her mission work illustrated how people can become trapped in the system and drew her to be involved in the Social Justice Committee. While working in Topeka, she also became involved in political issues such as immigration and the death penalty. She also speaks of her adopted son, Gary, and the lessons he has taught her.
She begins with a description of her childhood in Nebraska. She belonged to one of very few Catholic families in a small town. Because her family did not have a lot of money, when it came time to get an education, she took advantage of the Cadet Nurse Corps program. She describes meeting SCLs for the first time at her training hospital. Her admiration for their spirit and work ethic drew her to the community. Initially reluctant to be an educator, she tells of becoming the Director of the school of nursing at St. Vincent's and how she grew to love her role there. Eventually, she studied for her Masters in Health Administration and became the Executive Director of St. John's hospital in Santa Monica. She describes the great support for the hospital from the local community and the aftermath of the Northridge Earthquake.
She tells stories about growing up in Butte, Montana. She discusses her career in teaching in depth as well as her later parish work. She also speaks about her impressions of the changes from Vatican II.
She speaks warmly of her family. Her father was overjoyed when she joined the Community. Her mother had reservations, but grew to be very proud of her daughter's call to religious life. Initially, Sister taught in elementary schools and struggled with this age group. As she speaks of her transition to high school students, you can hear her voice change. She loved working with these students and inspiring them to overcome their fear of math and science. Her stories illustrate a lifelong commitment to educating herself. As math and science research progressed, she did graduate work in mathematics, chemistry, and physics in order to better teach these subjects. She talks about her love of languages. She studied German earlier in life, and in retirement, she was tackling Russian on her iPad. Other topics include her transition to school administration, college teaching, and Leadership positions as Secondary Education Representative on the Personnel Board and a Chapter representative. Sister also spends a good deal of time speaking about her relationship to prayer throughout her life.