February 26, 2017
Heroes are often not seen or known. Good deeds are often not recognized, nor or they necessarily dramatic. I share this story with you to remember that simply doing the right thing can be heroic.
The war is over. Connie's story draws to an end...
Connie returned home to the Chicago area. She said she was in great need of a stop at the beauty shop. Before her hair was dry Connie could hear a conversation between two women, and one of them remarked: “I don’t believe the Jews suffered as much as they are saying.” Connie responded by jumping out of her chair, and said, “They most certainly suffered as much as they are saying. I saw it.” She was so upset she then left with her hair still wet. She marched home down the street with her wet hair still in a towel.
These memories are only part of the life experience of a remarkable woman. She went on to marry a man named Warren Majors and they adopted two children. Warren passed away some years later. She went on to marry Robert Morris. She inherited five stepchildren and many grandchildren.
“Connie” was her familiar name. She was born in 1920 in Woodstock, Illinois. Her given name was Mary Elizabeth Conway. She attended St. Pius X Church in Dallas, Texas, for over 30 years. That is where we first met. She worked at a local hospital and helped train nurses. My stepsister was one of them. Later she attended St. Jude parish in Allen, Texas, where I became her pastor for the second time.
It was during this period in the 1990’s that we persuaded her to make a short video of her experiences during the war for use with small groups. She often worried about giving these presentations. She could not sleep the night before thinking about things that happened. The use of a video helped not only archive her experiences, but also assisted her when giving presentations. She could simply show the video and answer questions. She was amused that young people would ask her if her experiences were like “M*A*S*H*”. She always responded they were certainly not.
Her daughter in New York knew someone who was associated with the “Shoah Archives”, sponsored by the film producer Stephen Spielberg. The Shoah Archives preserve the memories of the survivors of the Holocaust during WWII. They came in 1998 to interview Connie and that interview can be found online on YouTube listed as “Liberator: Mary Morris” (
) It is a three-hour presentation that details her experiences in her own words. Connie passed away in April 2005.
The story of a young woman who loved her country and fellow human beings even during the horrors of war is worthy to remember. She was on the front lines of war and risked her life that others might live. Connie would conclude her story by saying that she hoped that humanity would learn to never harm one another again.