During her 55-year career at Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minn., Sister Mary Brigh Cassidy remained a common person with uncommon capabilities. Even though she worked tirelessly, she found time at the end of her busy days to write poetry and reflect on spirituality, nature and a life dedicated to service. Composed between the years of 1928 and 1968, the poems in Gifts of Her Spirit paint a picture of life through the Great Depression, World War II and postwar events. Her poetry often uses images from nature to capture the beauty and poignancy found in the seasons of the church and in the seasons of life — each with its own purpose, challenges and rewards.
Gifts of Her Spirit is a curation of approximately 60 of Cassidy’s poems, arranged according to the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. From limericks to meditations, they gesture gently to the beauty of nature’s surroundings, provide strength for life’s challenges, and encourage the reader to look within themselves and to eternity. For those who knew Cassidy, her life itself was a gift of the Holy Spirit. For those who read these poems, the wonder of that gift is revealed through her words.
2021 • 112 pages • Mayo Clinic Press