A nine-year-old girl, a strict Catholic upbringing, a zealous missionary and a perceived “calling” eventually bring Patty O’Donnell to the doors of a convent in 1963.
Poignant and insightful, The Red Skirt gives an unflinching glimpse of one woman’s internal and very human struggle to leave behind the fearful girl who could not shake the words of a missionary.
Sad as well and joyous, inspiring as well as unsettling, we wonder if she will ever manage to find her place in the world.
Patricia’s memoir gives readers a rare glimpse into the process used by the Catholic Church to prepare young women for religious life in service to God and the church. Through a series of vignettes, we walk with Patricia during her years of training and teaching, and hear the inner voice of a woman desperately seeking her true calling.
Patricia had dabbled in writing in her many notebooks for years. When she retired from teaching, she was able and ready to write in earnest. The Red Skirt, Memoirs of an Ex Nun took eleven years to write. Many of the vignettes in the book came from poems that she had written.
In addition to writing, Patricia loves to read (of course!), enjoys gardening and both watching and feeding the birds in her backyard. She also enjoys bridge, which challenges her mind and talents. She is the mom of two grown children, the stepmom of 5 adult children and grandmother of fourteen.
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