Sister Margaret Turk retires after 64 years as a Sister of Mercy

By Dan McWilliams

Sister Margaret Turk

Sister Margaret Turk, RSM, a familiar face around Physicians Regional Medical Center (formerly St. Mary’s Medical Center) since 2002, is retiring to Nashville.

Sister Margaret has been working in pastoral services at PRMC, which allows her to visit patients and pray with them. She is retiring for health reasons.

“God said to me, ‘Time to go, Margaret,’” said Sister Margaret, who joined the Sisters of Mercy in 1952.

“I love what I’ve been doing the last six years [in pastoral services]. I’ve been visiting patients, and it’s just been a privilege to pray with people and be with them.”
Sister Margaret has frequently prayed with oncology and coronary/pulmonary unit (CPU) patients.

“The faith of people in this area is just wonderful, so it’s just been a joy to be with them,” she said. “When hard times come, it’s good to have somebody of faith to be with you.”
Will she miss her fellow Knoxville sisters with whom she has lived for many years?

“Of course I will,” she said.

Before arriving at St. Mary’s, Sister Margaret served in the Family Crisis Services department of Clinch Valley Community Action in Lebanon, Va. She was a sexual assault prevention educator, did advocacy work on behalf of victims, and counseled abuse survivors through support groups.

Sister Margaret is a native of Memphis and is one of 10 children: seven boys and three girls.

“It’s been wonderful,” she said of her time in Knoxville. ■

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