Sister and Communism

I found a compilation of newspaper articles dating from the years 1949 to 1955. The article that interested me most was about Sister Mercita Reginata C.S.B. who traveled from a Communist country to further her education at College Misericordia. The title was Sister Speaks on Russian Life. I was so impressed that Sister Mercita came from a difficult situation, a Communist country, she survived, persevered and valued education so much that she made her nursing the focus of her life. I went to an international high school with students from Vietnam, Rwanda and Kosovo and I always admired their strength when I heard their individual stories about their struggles.

Sister Mercita described her hardship at ten years old when her father, because he was a politician, was sent to a prison camp. She and her brothers and sisters were also sent to a prison camp in Siberia that was ironically called “Home.” They were being indoctrinated to not believe in God and Sister Mercita led a protest, because she was being taught “false doctrine.” She was severely punished and put in a frozen room without food, water or clothing for twenty-four hours. She barely survived. But in 1942, she fled Communism and joined the Bernadine Sisters in 1947. In 1949, she furthered her education as a nursing student at College Misericordia.

At the end of the article, Sister Mercita Reginata expressed how wonderful American freedoms are. It made me realize how fortunate we are to be educated and to have religious freedom, and how much we take for granted in the United States.


“Sister Speaks on Russian Life,” Miss Recordia (November 1949 – May 1955). University Newspaper Collections RG 830, Misericordia University Special Collections, Dallas, PA.

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