Sister Wilhelmina

Two perennial questions which human beings cannot resist tend to go together: “Why is this happening and what does it all mean?” We ask them in repeated groanings in times of crisis, whether personal or experienced with the world. We ask it in whispered awe at moments of sublime, unfathomable joy.

We quite understandably ask them when confronted with a straight-up mystery — one of those unanswerable events that occur from time to time within the shared life of the church.

The apparent incorruptibility of Sister Mary Wilhelmina Lancaster, the former resident of Baltimore and African American foundress of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, prompts these same questions.

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