Charity Alive: Sisters of Charity, Halifax, 1950-1980 is the sequel to Sister Maura Power's chronicle of the first one hundred years of the congregation's history (Ryerson, 1956). Based on congregational records and interviews with members of the order, the book traces, describes, and assesses the events which moved the Sisters from the traditional patterns of religious life over the first century into the 1980's. It shows the Sisters' response to the documents of Vatican II and the economic, cultural, and religious challenges during three decades of adaptation, renovation, and renewal. Charity Alive also presents the transformation effected within the congregation which liberated the Sisters and empowered them to reach beyond their traditional ministries of education, health and social services to embrace new forms of ministry such as serving the less visible needs of the economically poor on the fringes of society.
McKenna is a scholar, an insider and a key observer of historical events. The resulting study reflects these qualities and is a significant contribution to Canadian social, educational and religious history. It is a fine model of the history of an organization and uses a high level of documentary analysis to explore the collective experience of which the author is a part. Atlantis ...refreshingly candid... The Catholic Historical Review