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

by Karol Jackowski

A funny, poignant account of a young woman's experiences becoming a Catholic nun during the tumultuous 1960s.<P> In 1964, Karol Jackowski was an eighteen-year-old girl just out of high school. But while her friends were heading off to college or finding their first jobs, Karol was following a different path. To the surprise of her family and friends, she decided to enter the convent of the Sisters of the Holy Cross in South Bend, Indiana, and spend the next eight years studying to become a Catholic nun.<P> Those years were a time of enormous change in the country and in the Church. They were times of joy, dedication, and a great deal of fun, set against the Second Vatican Council and the reforms it fostered, many of which remain controversial today. In this playful and candid memoir, Jackowski pulls back the curtain on the mysteries of convent life, as she recounts her rocky transition from worldly teenager to cloistered postulant; the trials she faced in coping with the restrictions of convent life ("nun of this and nun of that"); and the lessons she learned from the elderly nuns she was assigned to, who weren't nearly as pious as people thought. In prose that's as lively, insightful, and wise as she is, the author of Ten Fun Things to do Before You Die brings us a touching and heartfelt memoir of a woman following her true calling.

The Silence We Keep: A Nun's View of the Catholic Priest Scandal

by Karol Jackowski

A Catholic nun speaks out about her life and vocation, women in the Church, the sexual scandal in the priesthood, why the Catholic hierarchy won't fix it, and how Catholics will take back their Church. Karol Jackowski joined the sisterhood forty years ago and remains a devout Catholic, but she is also an activist who now considers the reformation of the Church to be a part of her calling. InThe Silence We Keep, she takes an honest look at the priesthood throughout history and reveals a culture of privilege and sexual permissiveness that is as old as the Church itself. She turns a critical eye on a spirituality that she describes as hypocritical in its condemnation of the sins of others, while far worse behavior is perpetrated by the condemners. She also discusses the sisterhood and its culture of submissiveness to the male clergy, a passivity that has prevented a system of checks and balances that could have stopped the abuse. The Silence We Keepis hard-hitting in its frank discussion of the Church, but ultimately Sister Karol's message is an uplifting and empowering call to action for all believers to seize upon this historic opportunity, break a centuries-old silence, and take back the Catholic Church.

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