After becoming a nun at age 17 and remaining in the order for almost 12 years, I eventually became very alienated from the religion of my youth. My book traces some of these deep changes, but that story ends in 1970. A great deal has happened since then.
Saturday I attended the memorial for Bill Callahan, a Jesuit priest who devoted his life to relieving poverty in Central America and challenging sexual inequality in the church. He founded the Quixote Center, which shipped millions of dollars of humanitarian aid to Nicaragua during the Contra wars. He challenged his religious order and the church on many levels. I was privileged to work with Quixote Center years ago, so I participated in his service with gratitude and joy at having been part of his community. Two nuns there- whose political actions got them in “hot water” with their original religious orders- found acceptance in my old order, the Sisters of Loretto. They are part of my community and my life.
I find that my old antagonisms melt in the face of believers of any faith who are able to sing in their grief and celebrate beautiful lives.