A Nun with a Gun, Sister Stanislaus
THIS is the story of a rare human being, a dynamo of a woman who devoted her life, joyfully, humorously, expertly, uniquely, to others.Orphaned at 3, brought up by the Sisters of Charity in Nevada, a nun herself at 20, Sister Stanislaus, after several months of nurses’ training in Baltimore, was sent to work in New Orleans. She never really left. Her first, last, and only assignment was Charity Hospital, New Orleans. In time, the two became virtually synonymous.She spent over fifty years there. When she arrived, Charity Hospital comprised one antiquated building; modern medicine was in its swaddling clothes; nursing was an even more hit-or-miss affair. When she left, Charity Hospital was one of the finest in the land and nursing had become a highly professional career.Sister Stanislaus played a large part in the development of both. She brought to nursing a great and joyful zeal, an originality, and a love which affected everyone she came in contact with. Constantly perfecting herself as a nurse, she became one of the best known nursing-sisters in the country.But she did not stop there. Changing, innovating, wheedling money from a string of politicos—from Huey Long and his predecessors by Earl Long—she built Charity Hospital into the great modern institution it is.Yet her fame and her influence were not a result of her public achievement; they were based upon something more immediate, more spiritual. They grew from her all-embracing charity, her lifetime of devotion to the sick and the troubled. She was beloved as a person; the rest, an incredible array of activities and duties, accomplishment and concern, simply happened. Or so she pretended.An extraordinary personality merges from this brisk, expertly written biography, a lively and highly original nun, nurse, and human being, full of surprises but indefatigably on the job, bringing relief and consolation to thousands who passed in and out of a great hospital.
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