Orphaned at eight, the nuns take Dorothy Muriel in at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Manhattan, New York. Thanks to journals, her tenure at the adjacent orphanage is well documented. At age ten, her journal details a visit by an older woman believed to be Eleanor Valentine. The only notes regarding the interaction are a young girl excited by the adventure of Dorothy in the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Dorothy finishes high school with top marks and continues onto the Columbia University to study psychology. During her sophomore she returns to the convent, seeking Sister Beatrice to explore God’s calling. Upon graduating, she works with battered women and during a group therapy session, feels the presence of His divinity. She returns to the convent, prepared to take her vows and follow this sense of inner peace.
Having taken her vows, Muriel notes in her journals the many trials and tribulations she faces in a Church turning their attention inward. In a changing church, she struggles to find purpose within the walls of the convent. While taking a stroll along the Hudson, she encounters an exchange between a prostitute and her John. Intervening and delivering the woman to the hospital, Sister Muriel finds her purpose.
In 1990, a newborn child is abandoned on the doors of the church. Despite the closing of the orphanage, Sister Muriel announces God has a plan for the child and the sisters of Sacred Heart. The Church protests, but the arrival of Eleanor P. Valentine confirms Sister Muriel’s suspicion that the infant has a higher calling. Naming the girl Vanessa Morrigan, Sister Muriel treats her as a daughter and houses her within the convent. Pages from Sister Muriel’s diary have been removed, requiring information about her relationship with Vanessa to come from church documents.
An incident report between Vanessa and Father Damon details the girl’s involvement in the his death. However, before a formal complaint is filed, Vanessa vanishes. It is suspected Sister Muriel hid her away, but no charges are brought against either woman. Threatening isolation, the church ultimately decides to let her keep her post at Sacred Heart.
Commonly referred to as a Saint of the Streets, Sister Muriel ensures working women find shelter and food. She notes a particular fondness for a young woman living on the streets named Skits Ayer. Against the Church’s decision, she maintains a presence on the streets, spreading and claims it is the will of her God.
Sister Muriel died on July 14, 2033. She is laid to rest in the cemetery next to Sacred Heart.