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An American Nun Responds To Vatican Criticism

The Vatican recently announced that it would completely make over the Leadership Conference of Women Religious because of its "radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith." Sister Pat Farrell, who heads the organization, says many of the charges are unsubstantiated.


A Family of 'Vows': Reform by Marriage

Bill Manseau 's wife, Mary, left the convent in the late 1960s. But Bill Manseau believed then, as he does today, that he was called to be a married priest -- and his actions might help to end the requirement of celibacy. The church felt otherwise.


Religion Scholar Karen Armstrong, 'Climb Out of Darkness'

When Karen Armstrong left the Roman Catholic Convent where she was a nun in 1969, she entered a world vastly different from the one she abandoned 7 years earlier. She had no idea what was going on in Vietnam and had little idea who The Beatles were. Her memoir, The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness about her life in the convent and the spiritual quest that followed has just been published in paperback. Her other books include The Battle for God and A History of God.


Actress Jodie Foster

She produced and acts in the new film The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys. Foster has won two Oscars for performances in The Silence of the Lambs and The Accused. She was also nominated for her work in Taxi Driver and Nell. She's also served as producer or director on numerous films.


Dr. David Snowdon

Epidemiologist and one of the world's leading experts on Alzheimer's disease, David Snowdon. In 1986 he began what he calls the "Nun Study," following a group of aging nuns to better understand why some of the sisters were able to age gracefully, retaining their mental faculties, and others were not. He studied 678 nuns who belonged to The School Sisters of Notre Dame. His study was published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.


Sister Wendy Beckett: A Contradictory Nun

Sister Wendy Beckett has a new book out for the holidays, "Sister Wendy's Nativity" from Harper Collins. Beckett is a member of the Notre Dame order, a teaching order of nuns and a celebrity. In 1980 she began the serious study of art, and since has written the books several books and hosted many popular PBS series.


Sister Cecelia Clegg On Forging Peace In Northern Ireland.

Sister Cecelia Clegg, a Scottish Roman Catholic nun, works for peace in Northern Ireland by way of her project: "Moving Beyond Sectarianism," a workshop for Catholic and Protestant congregations to speak about their lives and their differences. In the three years she has lived and worked in Belfast, Sister Cecelia has been viewed as a British outsider to Irish Catholics as well as a Catholic outsider to Protestants.


A Paradoxal Nun.

Sister Wendy Beckett is a member of the Notre Dame order, a teaching order of nuns and a celebrity. In 1980 she began the serious study of art, and since has written a number of books on the subject and hosted the popular PBS series "Sister Wendy's Odyssey" and "Sister Wendy's Grand Tour." This week PBS begins airing her newest 10-part series, "Sister Wendy's Story of Painting." There's a companion book (published by DK Publishing)

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