• Title: The Calling: A Year in the Life of an Order of Nuns
  • Author: Catherine Whitney
  • Released: 2000-02-22
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 272
  • ISBN: 0609805827
  • ISBN13: 978-0609805824
  • ASIN: 0609805827
Like many Catholic baby boomers, Catherine Whitney left the Church in her late teens, turned off by its dogma and apparent oppression of women. And like many wayward Catholics, she returned to the Church at midlife, yearning for a deeper spiritual understanding and meaning.

It was her father's funeral that brought Whitney back to her Seattle roots as an adult journalist, and back to the doors of the Sisters of Saint Dominic of the Holy Cross--the same order of nuns that ran her childhood school. As a Catholic rebel, Whitney had dismissed her childhood teachers as archaic and out of touch with reality. But now as a seeker and wiser soul, Whitney was "completely disarmed by the women I found there.... They were smart, engaged, spiritually grounded, visionary women, remarkably at ease with uncertainty and change." Through interviews with the nuns and yearlong observations, Whitney explains how women hear this unique calling, and why they answer it. She also examines why some women break their vows and leave, becoming "Rebel Brides." Nonetheless, Whitney's writing is at its best when she tenderly explores her own heartfelt reckoning with God and Catholicism. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to the edition.

From Publishers Weekly Whitney grew up steeped in strict Roman Catholicism and was fascinated by the nuns who educated her. Estranged from the Church and a self-professed "radical feminist non-believer," she returns to the sisters of Saint Dominic of the Holy Cross to write an expos? of the "piety and pretense" of religious life. She traces the lives of several nuns from childhood to their entrance into the novitiate and, in some cases, their decisions to leave the order. She describes Sister Claire, who emulates Jesus' suffering on the cross by wearing a girdle of thorns under her clothes; Sister Carmen, who escaped abusive drunken parents to join a loving convent school; and Sister Elizabeth, torn between her vows to the Church and her love for a man whom she finally decides to marry. These women, her teachers at Holy Angels Academy during the 1960s, had inspired the adolescent Whitney to become a nun. But, when Mother Dominic told her to wait, go to university and make sure she was hearing God's call, the young girl was stunned, and thus she began a journey away from the Church toward disbelief and cynicism. To a great extent, this memoir is Whitney's attempt to unravel her feelings about Roman Catholicism, faith and the nuns who encouraged and challenged her creative spirit. As she rediscovers the nuns of her youth, she finds a group of women who, like her, struggle to live in community, to love one another and, committed to a single purpose, do the work they feel called to do.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the edition.

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