Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester:

Mary Paul Geck or Sister Mary Paul was missioned in Selma from 1962 to 1968 as Convent Superior and principal of St. Elizabeth's School for African Americans. She has since served as secretary general for the SSJR, and recently retired as funeral coordinator for her community in Rochester.

Barbara Lum was known as Sister Eleanor in the years before Vatican II, when Catholic nuns were required to give up their baptismal names.  She was missioned in Selma from 1959 to 1969 as nursing instructor and Director of Nursing Service at Good Samaritan Hospital for African Americans. She now works as Education Specialist for Rochester’s Education Opportunity Center and as a nurse for Daystar Program for medically fragile infants.

Josepha Twomey, or Sister Josepha, was missioned in Selma, 1963 to 1965, as a teacher at St. Elizabeth's School for African Americans.  She has since served as prison chaplain of Elmira Correctional Facility, New York, and as a caregiver at Sisters Care for the Elderly in Elmira.

Marie Albert Alderman, or Sister Marie Albert, was missioned as a teacher and outreach worker in Selma three times between 1959 and 2000. She has since served as Pastoral Assistant of St. Mary’s Parish, Canandaigua, New York.

Mary Weaver was known as Sister Felicitas when she was missioned in Selma, 1964 to 1972, as a teacher and social worker. She served in Alabama until 1991 in roles including Assistant Director of the Community Action Agency in Selma. She later served as transportation coordinator for her community in Rochester.

Franciscan Sisters of Mary:

Antona Ebo was known as Sister Mary Antona when she attracted national attention as the first black nun among the group of six who marched in Selma on March 10, 1965. After a long career in health care, which included running a hospital in Baraboo, Wisconsin and serving as hospital chaplain in Jackson, Mississippi, she is now pastoral associate at St. Nicholas Church in St. Louis, Missiouri. She was one of the founding members of the National Black Sisters Conference and served as president.  She revisited Selma in the 1980s and 90s, and was honored by the National Voting Rights Institute in 2000.

Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet:

Roberta Schmidt was known as Sister Ernest Marie when she was one of the first six nuns who answered Dr. Martin Luther King’s call to march in Selma, Alabama on March 10, 1965.   She is now Director of Education of the Diocese of Venice, Florida.

Rosemary Flanigan was known as Sister Thomas Marguerite. She, too, was one of the first six nuns who marched in Selma. After a long career in philosophy, she is now program associate at the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City, Missouri.

Barbara Moore
was known as Sister Ann Benedict when she went to march in Selma from Kansas City on March 12, 1965. She trained as a nurse, but graduated to health care administration. She was one of the founding members of the National Black Sisters Conference. She is now a member of the leadership of her community, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

Sisters of Loretto:

Therese Stawowy was Sister Ann Christopher of Loretto when she went to Selma in the first group of six nuns. A lifelong co-member of the Loretto Community, she retired after working as middle school director in Corte Madera, Calif. and still volunteers as a hospice caregiver.

Christine Nava was Sister Christine Mary of Loretto when she went to Selma in the first group of six nuns. Also a co-member of the Loretto Community, she retired from full-time teaching but continues to volunteer for the social activist group RESULTS in San Diego, California.

Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

Mary Ann Sommer was known as Sister Mary Leoline and was principal of a high school in Kansas City when she went to Selma on March 21, 1965. She was the only Catholic nun who marched all the way to Montgomery. She continued to be involved with the movement and was among those arrested in Washington, D.C. during the Poor People’s March of 1968. She retired as a counselor and patient advocate at UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.

Other Selmians:

Alston J. Fitts III is the author of “Selma: Queen City of the Black Belt” (1989).  He recently retired as communications director of the Edmundite (Alabama) Missions Office in Selma.

Maurice Ouellet, S.S.E, was pastor of St. Elizabeth’s Parish in 1965. The Archbishop of Alabama transferred him out of Selma because of his support of the movement. After a career of teaching and ministering, he has recently retired to move back to Selma.

Frederick D. Reese was a science teacher at Hudson High in 1965 and led the Teachers’ March, which ignited the students. He retired as principal of Hudson High School, served as city councilman, and is now pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Selma.

Jean Martin
worked at the Air Force base outside Selma in 1965. Now she is a member of the city council and curator of the Old Depot Museum.

Carl Morgan
owned a farm equipment business in 1965, which was boycotted because of his moderate views. He served on the city council from 1964 to 2000 and retired from his business in 2004.

Etta Perkins
had graduated from the nursing program of the Good Samaritan Hospital and worked as nursing supervisor in 1965. She retired as a health care administrator for the state and remains active in voter education.

James Perkins, Jr. owned a software company before he was elected Mayor of Selma in 2000.


EXECUTIVE PRODUCER  Celia Carey, Alabama Public TV, Birmingham

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