is the story of the pioneering work of the Sisters of Mercy in the United States. Strong women, many of significant social status and means, chose to live lives of poverty and service in the United States. Rebuked as "papists" and initially mistrusted by the population, they proved their worth and changed public opinion during the Civil War. Nursing both Yankee and Confederate soldiers, they placed themselves directly in harm's way on the battlefield. Following the Civil War, these women among other orders of sisters established major social institutions (hospitals, orphanages, and schools) where none had existed before. The book is written in a narrative style with strong characterization of the sisters and of the bishops and priests who either aided them or tried to dominate them.
Unswerving in their vision, the sisters continued in their mission, leaving us with social institutions that still exist today. This is an inspiring and very readable study that takes us up to the present day.