“Faith does not give us answers. Faith gives us courage.” (Sister Mary Scullion)

sisterEarlier this year, Sister Mary Scullion was singled out as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. What is it about this modest advocate for the homeless in Philadelphia that makes her seem more like a rock star in the eyes of people like Jon Bon Jovi and others who support her work at Project H.O.M.E? It took me only a matter of minutes to find out. Sister Mary has been blessed with a touch of magic. Really. See if you don’t agree.

A magician is able to make something you think you see very clearly disappear and, in a matter of minutes, replace it with something else. This is what Sister Mary has been doing for more than three decades.

First, she distracts you with her smile. Then, with what appears to be great ease, this otherwise non-descript nun in street cloths unveils the often uncomfortable subject of homelessness, and talks about it in such a way that, not only does the discomfort completely vanish in a snap, but the passion that she holds in her heart jumps into your heart — without so much as an abracadabra!

It’s no wonder Sister Mary has garnered national attention. I’ve seen her act. It’s good. One minute you’d rather not talk about homelessness and the next you’re saying ‘How can I help?’.

The Interview

At first glance, entrepreneurs and advocates appear to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. One strives to make money, the other to make a difference. But, in truth, they are both trying to create change and willing to make almost any sacrifice to do so.

phlogoEven though Project H.O.M.E. is a non-profit, details of the journey Sister Mary shares in her ParmFarm interview – the challenges and the triumphs – could easily apply to any for-profit business that has experienced dramatic growth over 20 years.

In our candid conversation, Sister Mary is reluctant to take personal credit for any of the many awards that have been bestowed upon her, but she does admit to one accomplishment in which she takes great pride (7:41) and talks with bold honesty about her ‘struggle’ to carry on (9:20).

Of course no interview with Sister Mary Scullion would be complete without discussion about her faith, the homeless men and women from whom she draws her greatest inspiration and the ‘miracle’ of her partnership with Project H.O.M.E. co-founder, Joan Dawson McConnon.

Sister Mary’s interview starts with a confession, that religion was not really her reason for becoming a nun (:28) and, surprisingly, it was a choice that family and friends did not really support (1:25). Click to Give-a-Listen. (12:07)

As a measure of gratitude, the ParmFarm has made a donation to Project H.O.M.E.

Have a comment about this post or interview? Please log in and share your thoughts!

Subscribe to all new posts by entering your email in the top right hand corner of this page.

All donations are made possible by Friends of the Farm.

Related Posts