Ghost buster's one sister act hits Newcastle

Nancy Murray, an American Dominican nun and real-life sister of Ghost Busters star, Bill Murray, is in Newcastle this week for her one-woman show on the life of mystic Italian St Catherine of Siena.

Sr Nancy, who belongs to the Adrian Dominican order which has a focus on the creative arts in preaching, co-wrote the play in which she takes on the roles of Catherine and other members of her family with another Sr Kathy Harkins, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Sr Kathy, who was also Sr Nancy's drama teacher, contracted cancer six months after the script was completed in 1994.

"She'd tell me that because I'd worked with poor people, that would make my Catherine more believable. In many ways, the work I had done prepared me more for this role than my drama studies," Sr Nancy told the Herald.

When brother Bill Murray first saw his sister's play about the life of St Catherine of Siena, he didn't say much. But she could see from his face that he was moved.

This year he drove four hours to Boston to see it again before suggesting: "Why don't you cut 15 minutes out of it?"

Sr Nancy and Bill belong to a famous and large acting family, according to a report earlier this year on Catholic Online.

As well as Bill whose credits also include "Saturday Night Live", "Groundhog Day", "Scrooged" and the voice of Garfield in the 3-D movie of the same name, brothers Brian Doyle-Murray, John Murray and Joel Murray also have many credits to their names.

"When I was young, we started out with doing little family talent shows," she told the Herald yesterday. "My father liked musicals and classical music. He did not like teenagers' music, so we couldn't put that on, but he liked being entertained.

Sr Nancy now devotes her life to presenting the play around the world, in English and Spanish. She performs in Newcastle today and in Sydney on 7 October.

In the one-woman show she plays Catherine, her parents, her priest, and several of her 23 siblings.

St Catherine was born in Siena, Italy, in 1347. She became a lay member of the Dominican order and committed herself to caring for terminally ill patients, ministering to those on death row and providing spiritual direction to men and women in search of God. Like St Francis of Assisi she also received the stigmata which remained invisible to others until her death in 1380 aged 33.

St Catherine of Siena will be performed at Santa Sabina College Hall, Strathfield, Sydney on 7 October at 3pm.

One-nun band follows her calling (Sydney Morning Herald, 21/9/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Catherine of Siena (1910 Catholic Encyclopaedia)
Adrian Dominican Sisters
Santa Sabina College

Dominican nun, sister of actor Bill Murray, breathes life into saint (Catholic Online 20/3/06)

21 Sep 2006