Friday, February 6, 2009

Oldest known American in Canada, at age 105, is Anglican nun

From Episcopal Life Online- (Oh Canada!)

Nothing confirms an old-age expert's theories like a long life well lived. On February 2, Sister Constance, a noted gerontologist, celebrated 105 years of such life, surrounded by her fellow sisters at Saint John the Divine convent in Toronto.
Under the flashing cameras of local journalists, U.S. Consul General John Nay presented a birthday certificate to the tiny sister, who sat primly in a wheelchair, wearing her traditional full black habit. She is the oldest known American living in Canada.

A congratulatory letter from President Obama was also on the way. Sister Constance, whose grandfather was a slave, watched Obama's inauguration two weeks ago in quiet admiration.

In 1904, Constance Elizabeth Murphy was born into a prominent African-American family in Baltimore. One grandfather was a well-known caterer and the other the founder and editor of the Afro-American, a black newspaper. Constance studied education at the University of Pennsylvania, taught school in Baltimore, then answered a long-heard call to religious life. Though her family and most of her friends were lukewarm about the idea, she traveled to Toronto and joined the Sisterhood of Saint John the Divine in 1932.

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