Mary Fields (1832-1942)

“When her friend [nun, Mother Amadeus] was sick, she rushed to look after her… Mary stayed on to help out. She took care of four hundred chickens and drove a stagecoach to transport visitors to and from the convent. One night, wolves attached the stagecoach. Mary fought them off all night long, and in the morning she made it back to the convent safe and sound…

She spent ten years working there until a man complained she was making two dollars more than him each month… There was a shootout: six guns were emptied in the back of the nunnery, and the man was injured. The bishop fired Mary and gave the man a raise.

Mary opened a restaurant, but because she gave food to everyone, whether they could pay for it or not, she went out of business in just a few months.

At sixty, she applied to be a mail carrier. She got the job because she was the fastest person to hitch up a team of six horses. She was the second woman and first African American woman to work for the United States Postal Service… In her spare time she babysat children, spending all the money she made to buy them presents.”

Mary’s life shone with generosity, courage, and resiliency. In what ways can we grow resiliency in ourselves and those in our care? How might you be an extension of God’s generosity today?

[excerpt from “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2” by Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli ]