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Left: Frances and Ethel "Mil" Miller governess 1934, East Long Meadow, MA. Right: Fran with her father Jerome Nevins at New London, CT 1939.

Thus Frances was faced with the only alternative — to obtain a divorce and begin a new life as a Catholic. At first her husband was adamant in his refusal to consent to a divorce. However; he finally yielded for the sake of her happiness. It was a great ordeal for her; but she went through it courageously. She obtained an annulment, which left her free and her former husband went to Canada to continue his teaching profession. Since that time she embraced the Catholic faith with intense fervor and found in it the deepest happiness.

Five years of intense and persevering spiritual activity ensued for Frances. She felt as though she had “come home” at last. Daily Mass, Holy Communion, prayer, spiritual reading occupied a good part of her time. From the time she came into the Church she began to experience a great desire to enter Carmel. She confided this attraction to her spiritual director. However, considering her unusual background and also her excellent teaching ability, he advised her to enter an active Community where her God-given talents could be employed for God’s glory and for the service of the Church. She thought this was a sacrifice God wanted of her; to relinquish her strong attraction to the contemplative life, to serve Our Lord in the souls who needed her assistance.

Therefore, Frances entered the Convent of the Good Shepherd Sisters. She made a valiant effort to embrace their generous way of life. Frances’ worth was recognized by her Superiors, who were very fond of her and most anxious for her to persevere if it was God’s Will. As a postulant she was given the obedience to teach not only the young girls there, but the Sisters in the Community as well.

However; it became all the more evident to Frances that she was not in the right place. She felt a great need and desire for solitude and silence which could be had only in a contemplative order. After much prayer and consultation with her Superior and her Spiritual Director, Frances decided that it was not God’s Will that she sacrifice what was most fundamental in her spiritual life, her desire for Carmel, with the opportunity it would provide for living the purely contemplative life.

Heaven is being with all those you love at the same time.

– Frances Nevins

frances nevins biography home

Home of Frances Nevins. East Granby, CT 1947-1960.

frances nevins biography charles reardon sj jesuit theologian

She was the holiest person I ever knew.

– Charles Reardon, S.J., Jesuit Theologian

© 2016 Joan Ward Mullaney