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An unlikely friendship

Sister Margaret Farrell and Leane make a cheerful pair: the Irish nun and the transgender woman.

Leane was kicked out of  the house at 13 and spent years cycling between group homes and the streets.

Sister Margaret, 51, grew up on a farm in southwest Ireland. County Cork is known as the “rebel county” for its history of resistance to English Protestant rule. But her Catholic parents insisted that their children be respectful of their Protestant neighbors.

Both Margaret and Leane say their unlikely friendship has been a source of strength and inspiration.

Read Alexandra Zavis’ article: Compassion creates a family


  1. September 7, 2011, 5:43 pm

    Very nice article and video; you just brought tears to my eyes. However, the headline is wrong. Sister Margaret is not atypical at all in her love for everyone as a nun, and her relationship with beautiful Leane is anything but unlikely. As an HIV-infected gay man living in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco (fortunately without AIDS, thanks to Medicaid and a 3-drug cocktail), I spent 12 years working for the Shanti Project on an outreach project to homesless gay men funded and staffed by Mission Dolores (Catholic) Church 4 blocks away. I can assure you that AIDS victims in San Francisco have many, many friends in the Catholic community.

    By: Paul
  2. September 8, 2011, 12:21 pm

    What a wonderful article! Words do not do it justice. Thank you Margaret for LIVING and LOVING without counting the cost. Thank you Leane for letting us all be a part of you journey.
    Much peace to you both


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