Sister Mary Winifred

Gus, the author of most of our blog posts


Sister Mary Winifred was born and raised in Houston, Texas. For many years a Life Professed member of the Community of the Holy Spirit in New York, she later lived in the Community of the Ascension and as a solitary Religious at Ascension Hermitage and Sanctuary in Upper Fairmount, Maryland, in the Episcopal Diocese of Easton.

She is no longer a Religious Sister and has now resumed using her legal birth name, Emily Shepherd, but retains Sister Mary Winifred as a pen name.

She is the author of numerous articles and other works.

If you would like to receive the quarterly newsletter from Ascension Hermitage & Sanctuary, send an email via the contact page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Selected Works

Short Stories
Stories of some of the cats and kittens who call or who have called Sanctuary House their home.
True stories of the dogs who live at Sanctuary House.
Stories of the cats who live at Sanctuary House.
This is a book of inverse haiku - brief glimpses of the animals who live at Sanctuary House.
This little book includes poems for Advent, Christmas, and other liturgical seasons, as well as other topics: bagpipes; nature; letters to great friends and relatives; and of course, cats, dogs, and a horse.
Picture Book
A children's alphabet book illustrated with photos of Sanctuary House animals.
Pamphlet of prayers and blessings to use with companion animals, published by Forward Movement Publications, 2014.
A delightful, simple guide that draws on ancient prayers, hymns, and tradition.
". . .a perfect Advent book. . ."
--Madeleine L'Engle