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The Murderer Who Became a Nun

Selfless Acts The Murderer Who Became a Nun Kjeld Friis, 'Nun in Silhouette'

This story submitted by Dan Fedder of Oakland County, Michigan, who is a member of a Men's Fellowship.


I have been part of a volunteer prison ministry for years at a prison in Washtenaw County, Michigan. While there, I met a woman that everyone knew only as "Granny". She had been in prison for 42 years, and was serving a life sentence without parole for a murder she committed when she was a very young woman. Only in the past year did I discover what her real name was, but for her sake, I won't share it here.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, in her waning days in office (end of 2010) introduced a program which commuted the sentence of certain non-violent offenders serving life sentences. Their sentence would be set to equal their time served. Only a small percentage of those who applied for commutation under their program were granted release Granny was one of them.

In the Michigan Department of Corrections, freed prisoners don't usually just walk out the front door to a waiting car to go home. There is usually a stop at a "halfway house," a supervised facility that verifies the inmate's readiness for release, and assists them in adjusting to life outside the regimented world of prison.

Granny was sent to a halfway house in Saginaw that is run by a group of Dominican nuns. When she reported there to start her probationary period, the nun in charge said, "You have to do something to earn your keep here, so you'll cook for us. We heard you were a cook for most of the time you were in prison."

When her probationary period was up, Granny decided she liked it in this place and decided to stay. She took her solemn vows to become a nun. Today she is still a nun, serving God and his people.

Dan Fedder

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Last modified on May 01, 2014

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