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Conscience Magazine

Letters: More than Words 1

September 17, 2020

I had the pleasure of hearing Marie Collins speak twice on her fall 2019 tour and spent a delightful afternoon with her in Chicago.

While I was delighted that Conscience pursued an interview approach when it profiled Marie Collins, because it centered on her voice, I think there were two aspects of Marie that were difficult to appreciate in this format. Based on my conversations and observations, I can confidently assert that Marie is both convivial and wise in her approach to her work.

Anyone who heard her speak enjoyed some of her wit and sparkle. She reacted with such glee as we approached the church where she was speaking in Baltimore and she saw a poster that had been made of her speaking at a different event. Confronted with her tilted head and raised index finger, she described herself as evidently “pontificating” on some matter. She then insisted several organizers take a picture with her in front of her poster, posing in the same manner.

Another aspect of her genius is an instinct to seek out structural change. This characteristic is evident in the interview when she talks about the sin of clericalism. But Marie also founded Aware, a support group for people in Ireland living with depression, and the Marie Collins Foundation addresses the needs of chil- dren and families whose abuse was perpetrated in part through the use of internet and mobile technologies.

Executive Director, Quixote Center