Search for Love and an Authentic Life Detailed in New Book
With all the events taking place in the Catholic community, a 2011 book being released in paperback reveals even more controversy. The book details the sacrificial life of Catholic nuns and what it’s like to be married to Jesus. The timing is unfortunate for the Catholic Church, which has filed a lawsuit against the President of the United States and continues to deal with the ongoing catastrophe surrounding the sexual abuse of underage parishioners by many priests.
Author Mary Johnson’s scathing memoir details the 20 years she spent as a Catholic American nun and working with the Missionaries of. She begins her book, An Unquenchable Thirst Following Mother Teresa in Search of Love, Search and an Authentic Life (Bond Street Books, 2011) and ends the book with her love and affection for Mother Teresa.
She writes, “I had first met mother on the cover of Time in 1975, an image that rendered Mother in watercolor under the headline “Living Saints.” When I’d spotted the magazine in my southeast Texas high school library, I’d dropped into a chair to read it, skipping French class, drawn by the magnetic call of the nun’s soulful eyes.”
Johnson writes her first letter to Mother Teresa asking her to take her “as one of her own sisters.” Eighteen months later, Johnson enters a convent in the South Bronx. Her family was objected but let her go.
She spends the summer of 1977 in what she called boot camp where she learned the rules and stringent schedule she was expected to keep. Rules that included how she was allowed to wear her hair, they were never to pronounce the name of anyone in authority and must at all times avoid “worldly conversation” including anything to do with their past lives. Each sister received a new name and was never allowed to refer to their birth name again.
Some of the sacrifices she shares include wearing used clothing, bathing with a bucket, no touching, the only contact with family is through letters “marked by uprightness, clarity and strength of character” and the sisters are told they own nothing not even the plate they ate from.
She struggles with her decision almost from the beginning and along the way she meets other sisters that struggle as well. She was sent to Rome for the first time in 1978. She takes her vows in 1980. Her family comes to Rome for the ceremony where her biological sister tells her she is engaged.
Johnson responds with, “He may be wonderful, but I’ve got the perfect husband.” She is transferred to Washington D.C. in 1981 but returns to Rome four years later. Throughout her story, she spends much time with Mother Teresa most of the time in the company of others but at times alone.Continued on the next page