Nobody Owns Me: A Celibate Woman Discovers Her Sexual Power: A Narrative Journal

Francis Rothluebber, Author Innisfree Press $12.95 (125p) ISBN 978-1-880913-13-0
Sexuality, like spirituality, because of its intensely private nature, lends itself to mythologization. In the Western world, cultural as well as religious forces have certainly combined to create a most powerful ``mythology'' around the priests and nuns of the Roman Catholic Church, people, our myths tell us, who are more spiritual because they are not sexual. But the truth is obviously quite different. Francis Rothluebber has the credentials to tackle the subject of sexuality in Catholic nuns. She has been a nun for 50 years, 20 of them in counseling and service to other nuns and members of her religious community. Rothluebber has created a composite character, a sister named Marilyn, who finds her life eroding and in danger of collapse. Through the fictional Marilyn's journals, we learn of her struggle to integrate her life, to find a wholeness that necessarily includes her sexuality. The journal also chronicles the processes through which Marilyn faces her enemies--those people to whom, for whatever reasons, she has relinquished the power in her life, and those parts of herself that seemingly acquiesce without quarrel. Rothluebber is nothing if not frank. Marilyn's exploration of her own sexuality is not delicate. This is, after all, a personal journal. Yet obedience and devotion are never the question--only obedience and devotion to what--or Whom. Skillfully crafted, this work is a welcome addition to the literature on women in the Church or more specifically, women in religious communities. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
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