Sister Terry Martin, CND, and I have known each other for fifteen years, and in the past ten years, we have become good friends. While spending some time here in western North Carolina, I am able to visit and catch up with Sister Terry and listen to her reflections on having just received the "Archbishop Edwin V. O' Hara Advocacy Award for Rural Ministry. Sister Terry will be the first to tell anyone that she meets, it is she that is the fortunate one to be of assistance to others-those people who are struggling at the margins in the far western Appalachian counties of North Carolina.
I have witnessed Sister Terry, over the past ten years on many occasions: bring food, clothing, and other essential items to migrant farm workers, serve as a team member of Catholic Charities family strengthening services, visit those who are sick, and work with victims of domestic violence shelters in our town of Hayesville, North Carolina and our neighboring town of Murphy, North Carolina. Sister Terry has also made it her personal task to help children in struggling families have decent shoes, warm coats, and supplies for schools. Over the years, in the states, she has helped many adults succeed in completing their GED programs. It then, is no wonder that this national award given by Catholic Charities with Catholic Rural Life has recognized and honored a leader who has been a strong advocate for rural communities and social justice in the spirit and tradition of Archbishop Edwin V. O' Hara(1881-1956), who founded Catholic Rural Life in 1923.
This Sunday, February 1, I am looking forward to preparing a meal for my dear friend Sister Terry, and having her sit at my dinner table. As we have done so many times in the past, we will share happiness, reflect on our own personal faith, and speak about those that we love.
Most grateful, Glenna.