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Mary Johnson - Former Nun Speaks on Her Time with Mother Teresa

For twenty years, as Sister Donata, Mary Johnson was a Missionary of Charity, a nun in Mother Teresa’s order, until she left in 1997. A respected teacher and public speaker, she has been named a Fellow of the MacDowell Colony, and is on the board of A Room of Her Own Foundation.

Ms. Johnson will read excerpts from her book, and answer questions at The Book Passage in Corte Madera. This event is FREE and open to the public, but space is limited.

At seventeen, Mary Johnson experienced her calling when she saw a photo of Mother Teresa on the cover of Time magazine; eighteen months later she began her training as a Missionary of Charity, a nun in Mother Teresa’s order.

Not without difficulty, this boisterous, independent-minded teenager eventually adapted to the sisters’ austere life of poverty and devotion, but beneath the white-and-blue sari beat the heart of an ordinary young woman who faced daily the simple and profound struggles we all share, the same desires for love and connection.

Eventually, after twenty years of service, Johnson left the church to find her own path. In An Unquenchable Thirst: A Memoir ($16.00), her magnificently told story holds universal truths about the mysteries of faith and how a woman discovers herself.

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  • Sheldon W. H.

    Dave: I think we have to realize that she's selling a book, not lecturing. So, she needs to be more cognizant than your and I about the "mixed" audience she's addressing. Some people are likely attracted to her memoir because she knew and worked with Mother Teresa. It's not a good business model to explicitly announce your atheism to those folks, since they probably wouldn't buy her book. If you were there until the end, though, you heard her say that she lives her life without religion now, and lives a "secular life." That's tantamount to saying that she's an atheist, without using the buzz word.

    Moreover, this wasn't an official AASF meeting. I simply posted it here (along with a detailed description) because I thought it would be of interest to atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, and skeptics. I'm an atheist, and I enjoyed her talk very much. She takes a more "Eugenie Scott" approach than a "Richard Dawkins" one, but I can live with that.

    2 · March 13, 2013

  • Dave H.

    I enjoyed her as a speaker, however nothing that was said implied that she was atheist, agnostic, or even a freethinker, which I found a bit odd at an AASF meetup.

    March 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I've committed to attend NBOP's Transportation Justice in Santa Rosa and may find myself in extended conversation there at the time this meets. I wish I could be at this meetup too. I hope to meet you all at a later date.

    March 12, 2013

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