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Federation of Communities in Service (FOCIS) Records

Identifier: AppMs-0526

Scope and Contents

The Federation of Communities in Service Records consist of bylaws, minutes, financial statements, various correspondence, news clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, research files, grant materials, recordings, and miscellaneous printed matter and ephemera documenting the development and history of FOCIS. Early Glenmary documents contain information on the work of the order, while other paper materials express why many of the sisters left the order, evident in newspaper clippings and articles.

In addition to the organizational papers, multiple FOCIS projects are listed such as FOCIS ARTS, University Without Walls, Appalachian Community Arts (ACA), Woodland Community Trust, Epworth Ministry, and extensive records maintained by Lenore Mullarney, a former sister and lifelong FOCIS member. Book files and research materials on the FOCIS Book, Mountain Sisters: From Convent to Community in Appalachia, are included. Interviews of the founding members, Catherine Rumschlag, Marie Cirillo, Anne Leibig, Monica Appleby, and Helen Lewis, provide extensive information as to what happened during the “Glenmary Crisis” as well as what the FOCIS mission was.

Photographs catalog major events, especially those in the early to mid-1990s: FOCIS 25th Anniversary, “In Praise of Mountain Women” regional meetings, and the FOCIS book committee. Audio and video recordings include the radio program, “Changing Habits,” as well as various interviews with Marie Cirillo, Anne Leibig, and Catherine Rumschlag.


  • 1944-2006


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.


45.25 linear feet (71 boxes, 5 oversized folders, 5 reel-to-reels, 3 LPs, 9 CDs, 17 3 ½ floppy discs, 84 audio cassettes, 5 videotapes, 1,474 photographs (negatives, prints, and slides), 15 photographic scrapbooks)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged in six series, as follows: Series 1, Glenmary Years Files, 1959-1967 and undated; Series 2, Organizational Records, 1967-2006 and undated; Series 3, Project and Grant Files, 1967-2005 and undated; Series 4, Book Files and Research Materials, 1944-2006 and undated; Series 5, Photographs and Photographic Scrapbooks, 1948-2006; and Series 6, Audio-Visual Materials, 1966-2001 and undated.

Custodial History

Additional materials were donated by Margaret Gregg, Limestone, Tenn., on August 23, 1999, April 12, 2000, and September 13, 2000. Further additions were donated by Monica Appleby, Blacksburg, Va., on March 2, 2002, April 20, 2002, August 23, 2004, August 22, 2005, November 13, 2006, November 30, 2006, and August 18, 2007.

Method of Acquisition

The initial donation of Federation of Communities in Service records was made to the Archives of Appalachia by Kathleen Hutson, Big Stone Gap, Va., on October 27, 1998.

Related Materials

Digital Exhibit: Common Threads

Separated Materials

Two commercial recordings were added to the Archives of Appalachia media collection:

  • Maureen Linneman Eaton, Times In Between, 1977 (LP)
  • Maureen Eaton/Jack Wright, "This Land is Home to Me"/"Springtime in the Mountains Again", 1977 (45rpm)

Processing Information

Julia Cowart and Adam Fletcher processed the collection, which was completed in March 2009.

Julia Cowart and Adam Fletcher
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of Appalachia Repository

PO Box 70295
344 J.L. Seehorn Jr. Rd.
Johnson City TN 37614 USA