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March 21, 2019, Niles, Illinois – Sister Nancy Murray, OP, was one of five recipients of the 2019 Coordinating Board Award from the Association of Chicago Priests and Deacons (ACPD). She received the award March 3 during the organization’s 52nd Annual Mardi Gras Award Celebration, at St. John Brebeuf Parish in Niles, Illinois.

The award is given to individuals and groups in the Archdiocese of Chicago “in recognition and appreciation for their outstanding contributions to the life of the Church of Chicago,” according to the ACPD website.

A native of Wilmette, Illinois, Sister Nancy graduated from Regina Dominican High School, sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters and located in Wilmette, and then entered the Adrian Dominican Congregation. Among other ministry, she was a teacher and pastoral minister at an inner-city Chicago parish. 

Since 2000, Sister Nancy has traveled throughout the world performing “Catherine of Siena: A Woman of our Times,” a one-woman portrayal of St. Catherine of Siena, Dominican mystic and church reformer. In other performances, she portrays Venerable Mary Potter, founder of the Little Company of Mary Sisters, and Sister Dorothy Stang, a U.S.-born Sister of Notre Dame de Namur who was murdered in Brazil in 2005 after years of social justice work with farmers in the Amazon and advocating for the environment.

Sister Nancy said she first heard about the award through a phone call from Father Martin Marren, Vice Chair of the ACPD Executive Committee. “I said I didn’t live [in Chicago], but since I shared my ministry around the Archdiocese, they wanted to acknowledge it.” Her next performance as St. Catherine of Siena in Chicago will be March 23-25, 2019.

“I gave a one-minute thank you,” she said, adding that she then addressed the crowd as St. Catherine of Siena. In Italian-accented English, she spoke the words of a famous quote by St. Catherine of Siena, “God wants us to walk on two feet – love of God and love of neighbor."

Sister Nancy said she appreciated the award and the festive setting for the Mardi Gras Awards Dinner. She also enjoyed the opportunity to invite eight guests, which included her long-time friend and Chapter Prioress Sister Kathleen Klingen, OP. 

Most recently, Sister Nancy – based at the Motherhouse in Adrian, Michigan – performed as St. Catherine of Siena March 13 at a special National Catholic Sisters Week event at Siena Heights University, sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Read an article on her performance by Associate Arlene Bachanov. 

The 2018 recipient of the Dominican Institute for the Arts’ Fra Angelico Award, Sister Nancy is also active portraying St. Catherine of Siena at events for the U.S. Dominican family, particularly the Dominican Colleges Preaching Conference and the Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference.



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