Mother of Good Counsel in Chicago, 2002.
Sister Paula Shire folding the laundry (left)

Beyond the Veil Series portrays the private moments in the lives of Catholic Nuns in Chicago. At the end of the XIX century, Polish Nuns arrived in small numbers to greet the growing wave of Polish immigrants and their families. The Felician Sister, the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth and The Sisters of the Resurrection opened schools, hospitals, orphanages and retirement centers. They provided much needed assistance to emigrants and played a major role in preserving the heritage of the Polish immigrant community in Chicago throughout the XX century. Many of the Sisters in the photographs have known each other and lived together for the majority of their lives. They were teachers, nurses, political activists, chefs and artists. “They served the need of their time” and now the number of sisters is growing smaller and older. The Sisters I have met are women who made the choice to serve God by serving others through contemplation/prayer and work. Getting to know the Sisters and following the rhythm of their daily activities – from moments of contemplation, prayer or religious service, to moments of afternoon bingo or an evening card game – revealed glimpses of our shared expression of humanity.

Beyond the Veil: Nuns at Home series was a creative collaboration with Laura Husar Garcia. The project was funded by the Illinois Humanities Council and exhibited at the Polish Museum of America.

Mother of Good Counsel in Chicago – Sunday Mass at the chapel.
Sisters of Holy Family of Nazareth celebrate the 104 Birthday of Sister Mary Columbine Kowalska, 2002.
Sister of Holy Family of Nazareth enjoys an afternoon of BINGO
Mother of Good Counsel in Chicago
Sisters of Holy Family of Nazareth – the chapel at Holy Family Province, Des Plaines, IL.