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Lathrop, Rose Hawthorne (20 May 1851–09 July 1926), writer and founder (as Mother Alphonsa) of the Servants of Relief for Incurable Cancer, writer and founder (as Mother Alphonsa) of the Servants of Relief for Incurable Cancer, was born in Lenox, Massachusetts, the daughter of ...

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Merton, Thomas (31 January 1915–10 December 1968), Trappist monk and writer, was born in Prades, France, the son of Owen Merton, a New Zealand–born painter, and Ruth Jenkins, an American. In 1916 the family returned to the United States. Following Merton’s mother’s death of cancer in 1921, his father took him to Bermuda for a year and, after a return to New York, left for France where he enrolled Merton in the Lycée Ingres at Montauban in 1925. In 1928 Merton’s father moved to England to exhibit his paintings. Merton himself left Montauban to enter Oakham School. In 1931 Merton’s father died of a brain tumor while still resident in England. In 1933, thanks to a scholarship, Merton entered Clare College, Cambridge, where he remained until 1934....

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Powers, Jessica (07 February 1905–18 August 1988), poet and nun, was born in Mauston, Wisconsin, the daughter of John Powers and Delia Trainer, farmers. She counted the Scottish poet, Robert Burns, among her ancestors. During her lifetime over three hundred of her poems were published in journals, magazines, newspapers, and in six volumes of verse. While she was still in her teens, her poems began appearing in newspapers (which typically published poetry on the op ed pages in the early decades of the twentieth century). For financial reasons, her formal education ended after one semester at Marquette University’s School of Journalism in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1922–1923), the only school in the Jesuit university open to women at that time. Soon after leaving Marquette, she found work in Chicago as a secretary, but her real work remained poetry. She participated in an informal salon that met regularly at the Dominican Priory in River Forest on the outskirts of Chicago. Young men studying for the priesthood and young writers exchanged books and discussed poetry, drama, and theology. The first journal to publish Jessica Powers’s work was ...