From a nun to a child of God!

Sister of Mercy: From Serving God to Knowing Him
By Wilma Sullivan
Emerald House Group, 1997, 80 pages

In this short book, former nun, Wilma Sullivan, testifies of her journey from being a Roman Catholic nun to salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Sullivan was born into a Catholic family and educated by the Sisters of Mercy at St. Agnes Catholic Grammar School in Towanda, Pennsylvania up until the sixth grade. The dedication of the nuns made a huge impression on her. Being an athletic girl, she chose to attend public schools from seventh through twelfth grades because of their superior sports programs and facilities, but continued with her CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) religious classes for Catholic children attending public schools. Sullivan desired to become a nun following high school, but fulfilled her father’s wish that she first go to college.

After graduating from a two-year college, Sullivan entered a Sisters of Mercy convent in 1967. Shortly afterwards, she was assigned to teach a second-grade class at a Catholic grammar school. The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) brought many changes into the church including changes in religious orders. Nuns were given greater independence. Sullivan was disillusioned with what she saw as the disintegration of community life in her religious order and left the convent in 1971. But she remained faithful to the Catholic religion and volunteered for various assignments at two Catholic parishes.

During a hospital stay, Sullivan struck up a friendship with another patient, a born-again Christian. The two discussed spiritual matters often. Sullivan bought a Bible (her first) and attended weekly services at both the Catholic and the Baptist church of her friend. She eventually understood that salvation is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone and accepted Christ as her Savior. After several months, Sullivan found that she could no longer continue to attend the Catholic church services because so many of the beliefs and practices were contrary to God’s Word, including the false gospel of sacramental grace and merit.

For many years, Sullivan traveled across the country speaking to women’s groups about her journey from legalistic, institutional religion to a relationship with Jesus Christ.

I enjoyed this short book quite a bit and read through it in only a couple of sittings. I was also taught by the Sisters of Mercy in Catholic grammar school. I praise the Lord that Sullivan accepted Christ as Savior and came out of Catholic legalism. Faithful Catholics and ecumenical evangelical Judases don’t know what to do with a testimony like Wilma Sullivan’s. If she is right, they are wrong and that just won’t do according to their way of thinking.

Order the Kindle edition of “Sister of Mercy” here.

Read a shorter version of Sullivan’s testimony here.

10 thoughts on “From a nun to a child of God!

    1. Thanks, sister! My soul danced as I read her testimony because of all of my memories. I entertained the idea of becoming a priest maybe around 4th or 5th grade but it didn’t last long. Her story about being a nun reminded me of the poor nuns who taught me. So much sacrifice, all as a means to earn God’s salvation. It was all about the legalistic rituals and ceremonies, nothing about the Lord embracing a repentant sinner and making him/her His own.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It begins to amaze me that anyone could mistake the clear call for grace by faith in Christ alone…but then I remember I was once caught up in my own form of legalistic rituals. I praise God for testimonies like hers, what encouragement it brings! And it can renew our focus on bringing that light to more of those living in darkness.

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      2. RE: And it can renew our focus on bringing that light to more of those living in darkness.

        Exactly. Her hospital mate shared the Good News with her. BTW, I had initially included a link to Wilma’s WordPress blog, which she hadn’t contributed to in 19 months. I read her most recent posts and she had a lot of health issues (she’s 73), but she was also quite positive about her Sarah Young “Jesus Calling” devotional. Sigh. That stuff has permeated deep into the church.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Jim! I was very happy to read the testimony of this former nun who was a member of the same religious order as the nuns who taught me. I often think about those poor souls who tried so hard to earn their salvation and who passed along to us a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. Thinking back, they were so particular about all the details of the church’s rituals and ceremonies. It was all about the system, climbing the long ladder to salvation.

      Liked by 2 people

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