Special Intentions

Mary Pat Kelly, Author New Island Books $15.95 (380p) ISBN 978-1-874597-71-1
Depicting the special tribulations, mysteries and joys of the convent, Kelly (Home Away from Home) explores the transformation of a young idealistic ""religious"" into a secular political activist during the 1960s. The product of an affluent suburb and parochial education, Margaret Mary Lynch is convinced of her vocation and dedicates her life to God by joining the Sisters of Redemption. Her actual experience of life in the occasionally hidebound, arbitrary order gives her second thoughts. After the welcome reforms of Vatican II, the deaths of MLK and the Kennedys, the demonstrations against the Vietnam War and social injustice, and her teaching of black inner-city youngsters, Margaret Mary (now Sister Maura) must decide whether to stay and take final vows or return to the outside world. Margaret Mary is a fine invention, bubbly, dedicated, annoyingly self-righteous and fascinating. Not intended to be even-handed, this treatment gives the reader no opinions or views other than those of the protagonist. However, the vital and uproarious times come through clearly and with humor, as does the bittersweet life of the convent. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1998
Release date: 10/01/1998
Genre: Fiction
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