An Unquenchable Thirst Review
About An Unquenchable Thirst
An unforgettable spiritual autobiography about a search for meaning that begins alongside one of the great religious icons of our time and ends with a return to the secular world
At seventeen, Mary Johnson saw Mother Teresa’s face on the cover of Time and experienced her calling. Eighteen months later, she entered a convent in the South Bronx to begin her religious training. Not without difficulty, this bright, independent-minded Texas teenager eventually adapted to the sisters’ austere life of poverty and devotion, and in time became close to Mother Teresa herself.
Still, beneath the white and blue sari beat the heart of an ordinary young woman facing the struggles we all share — the desire for love and connection, meaning and identity. During her twenty years with the Missionaries of Charity, Sister Donata, as she was known, grappled with her faith, her sexuality, the politics of the order, and her complicated relationship with Mother Teresa. Eventually, she left the church to find her own path — one that led to love and herself.
Provocative, profound, and emotionally charged, An Unquenchable Thirst presents a rare, privileged view of Mother Teresa. At the same time, it is a unique and magnificent memoir of self-discovery.
An Unquenchable Thirst
Following Mother Teresa in Search of Love, Service, and an Authentic Life
By Mary Johnson
Published by Spiegel & Grau
Hardcover: 560 pages
September 13, 2011; $27.00 US/$32.95 CAN; 9780385527477
About Author Mary Johnson
Mary Johnson, author of An Unquenchable Thirst: Following Mother Teresa in Search of Love, Service, and an Authentic Life, moved with her family to Beaumont, Texas from Ann Arbor, Michigan at the age of twelve. After completing a year at the University of Texas, she joined the Missionaries of Charity, commonly known as the Sisters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, where she worked with the poor in the South Bronx, Washington DC, Winnipeg, and Rome. With the trust of Mother Teresa she rose quickly in the ranks and was sent to study theology at Regina Mundi, a pontifical institute aggregated to the Gregorian University in Rome, where she received a diploma in religious studies. For twenty years, as Sister Donata, Mary Johnson served as a Missionary of Charity until she left her life as a nun in 1997. She went on to complete a BA in English, at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas and an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. A respected teacher and public speaker, she has been named a Fellow of the MacDowell Colony and her desire to write her story was the initial impetus behind the A Room of Her Own Foundation. She lives in New Hampshire.
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