Forever and Ever, Amen: Becoming a Nun in the Sixties

Karol Jackowski, Author
Karol Jackowski, Author Riverhead Books $23.95 (306p) ISBN 978-1-59448-937-2
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-101-17581-1
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-101-17689-4
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Jackowski, a Catholic nun who tackled the Churchs pedophilia scandal in her 2004 book The Silence We Keep, offers a funny, revealing memoir about her early years as a nun. As the subtitle makes clear, she joined holy orders during an era that saw upheaval in both American society and the Roman Catholic Church. After the Second Vatican Council, Catholic liturgy changed, nuns habits were modified, young nuns like Jackowski were allowed to keep their birth names, and the rigid hierarchy of religious orders gradually gave way to a kind of egalitarianism. Still, conforming herself to the intense community life of the sisterhood was difficult for Jackowski (whose high spirits recall another lively young woman in a convent, The Sound of Musics Maria). Humorous stories enliven her strugglessuch as the time high school friends snuck Jackowski a bag of vodka-laced oranges, and the fruit was intercepted by one of Jackowskis superiors. Jackowski came to love both the close-knit community and the prayerful silence that punctuated her life. Some of her most moving writing considers the fruits of meditative solitude. [I]n solitudeI was given a divine sense of what was rock under my feet and what was sand. More evenhanded than Karen Armstrongs Through the Narrow Gate, this account will both entertain and edify.
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