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Meet the religious sister who inspired a U2 song

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Well, what do you know? From The Irish Times: 

The Rolling Stones may have had Sister Morphine but U2’s preference is for the altogether more savoury Sr Anne. A Medical Missionary of Mary, Sr Anne Carr, born in Dublin and raised in Cork, spent 32 years in Malawi caring for the very sick. She is subject of the band’s 2004 song Crumbs from Your Table and is looking forward to attending the band’s Croke Park concert on Saturday night as Bono’s guest.

“From the brightest star

Comes the blackest hole

You had so much to offer

Why did you offer your soul?”

She has since returned to Ireland where her new role involves promoting “mission awareness” of what her congregation and others do in Africa, Central and South America and elsewhere .

…It was while she was in Lilongwe  [in 2002] that Bono happened on the scene in 2002. She took him on a tour of the local 1,000-bed hospital, which was running at 300 per cent capacity. A lot of patients had HIV.

Bono was “wonderful”, she said. She also did a very Irish thing. “I said he was my nephew because strangers weren’t allowed in the hospital.” She was Bono’s very own Aunty Anne. Bono was very kind to the patients and shook hands with everyone.

Where you live should not decide

Whether you live or whether you die

Three to a bed

Sister Anne, she said

Dignity passes by.

Afterwards Bono made generous donations to the hospital.

Read it all. Check out the video of the interview here. And you can watch U2 perform ‘Crumbs From Your Table’ above.

The lyrics to the song:

From the brightest star
Comes the blackest hole
You had so much to offer
Why did you offer your soul?
I was there for you, baby
When you needed my help
Would you deny for others
What you demand for yourself?

Cool down mama, cool off
Cool down mama, cool off

You speak of sights and wonders
I need something other
I would believe if I was able
But I’m waiting on the crumbs from your table

You were pretty as a picture
It was all there to see
Then your face caught up with your psychology
With a mouth full of teeth
You ate all your friends
And you broke every heart thinking every heart mends

You speak of signs and wonders
But I need something other
I would believe if I was able
But I’m waiting on the crumbs from your table

Where you live should not decide
Whether you live or whether you die
Three to a bed
Sister Ann, she said
Dignity passes by

And you speak of signs and wonders
But I need something other
I would believe if I was able
I’m waiting on the crumbs from your table, hey

Deacon Greg Kandra
Headlines and Homilies
Deacon Greg Kandra is a Roman Catholic deacon in the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York. For nearly three decades, he was a writer and producer for CBS News, where he contributed to a variety of programs and was honored with every major award in broadcasting. Deacon Greg now serves as Multimedia Editor for Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA.) He and his wife live in Forest Hills, New York.
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