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Some of my favorite stories of all time

“As Mother Marianne Cope’s canonization nears, last patients see Kalaupapa as both exile and home,” Syracuse Post-Standard, Oct. 7, 2012.

This was an enterprise story culminating nearly 10 years of reporting on the process of a former Syracuse woman’s elevation to sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church. A key part of Mother Marianne’s life was her 35-year ministry to leprosy patients in Hawaii. I gained permission to visit the former leper colony, on a remote peninsula near Honolulu, and interview the handful of patients remaining at the site where patients had been banished by government rule for more than 100 years.

“Native Americans divided over Mohawk saint, Kateri Tekakwitha,” Syracuse Post-Standard, Oct. 15, 2012.

Many Native Americans were thrilled to see one of their own elevated to sainthood. But my story points out that Kateri’s canonization also represented the centuries-old conflict between Native American traditions and white, European world views.

“Marianne Cope’s journey to sainthood: ‘No woman ever went out of Syracuse on a greater mission,’” Syracuse Post-Standard, Dec. 25, 2011.

Shortly after the former Syracuse Franciscan leader was elevated to sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church, I wrote a profile that described what everyday life was like in Syracuse in the late 1800s.