Hattiesburg nun celebrates sixty years of service

By Colleen Donovan - bio | email

HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - St. Thomas Catholic Church in Hattiesburg has been Sister Carmelita Stinn's home since 1975.

"I was 25 years in a traditional community and in 1975 I joined the Sisters for Christian Community, my present community and it's been wonderful," said Stinn.

Sister Carmelita is originally from Iowa and in 1949 she became a nun to live a deeper, more religious life.

According to Stinn she has, "No complaints whatsoever, I've had some bumps but have certainly been very happy and I feel extremely blessed. St Thomas Church has added a lot of joy to my life. Father Tommy has helped me extremely through a lot of different things but however, like I said, I've had a happy life."

Father Tommy Conway is the Pastor at St. Thomas. He said, "The people that have never set foot in the church know who Sister Carmelita is. Rich people know who she is, the poor people know who she is right across the board."

Sister Carmelita started St. Thomas Catholic Social Services and she works with needy people throughout the Hattiesburg area.

"Many of our people do not even have beds, I give them mattresses to sleep on and food, clothes, household goods, but people are very good in donating," said Stinn.

On Saturday, August fourteenth, both St. Thomas and the Pine Belt community are honoring Sister Carmelita's sixtieth anniversary as a nun.

"And I always tell people you know one of the things that will happen when Sister is around is that there is no waste of food. No matter what party we have, she will pick up the food the next day or that night and she brings it to all the poor people in the Hattiesburg and surrounding areas. So that in itself is a great ministry," said Conway.

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