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Book details
  • SubGenre:Religious
  • Language:English
  • Pages:192
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9780578243290

My NUNcommon Life

by Patricia Shevlin

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My NUNcommon Life is a personal memoir, narrated in the form of brief vignettes, of a young Catholic girl who became a religious sister at the age of 18. After living that life for 26 years, she made the courageous decision to leave her religious community and begin life anew as a laywoman. With sincerity and sensitivity, the author describes the joys and challenges that were a part of her unusual journey, and introduces the reader to family members and friends who traveled with her on that road.
The author grew up in Chicago, the third of seven children in a happy Irish Catholic family. In the format of short vignettes, she describes the childhood influences on her decision to become a religious sister in the early 1960s. Her stories unfold answers to the three questions she is most often asked: Why did you become a nun? Why did you leave religious life? And what did you do next? Catholic readers will recognize the youthful idealism of the author, and the ongoing search for the ideal in the midst of the realities encountered throughout her life. The author's life spans the "Baltimore Catechism" Church, the Second Vatican Council, and the recent sexual abuse scandals in the Church. She describes an encounter with Mother Teresa, as well as her acquaintance with a KKK murderer. Readers will meet friends and co-workers who taught her lessons about justice, sexuality, alcoholism, and dying. In the end, they will have met a woman whose idealism set her on a unique journey filled with blessings and struggles, a journey about which she peacefully claims, "no regrets."
About the author
After careers as a teacher, parish minister, a fundraiser, and an executive director of a charitable foundation, Patricia Shevlin is now retired. Her spirituality continues to be important to her, and is sustained through her association with The Well Spirituality Center and Catholic Theological Union. Her life is nourished by family and friends, many of whom are mentioned in My NUNcommon Life, and for whom she is grateful.
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