Wisconsin State Journal
"A Look at Nuns' Lives"
By William Wineke
March 21, 2004
"If you see a title like "Unveiled: The Hidden Lives of Nuns," you might be forgiven for assuming the book would contain exposes of some lurid sort. Actually, author Cheryl Reed was just interested in how nuns live. She interviewed more than 300 of them living in 50 different orders and produced an interesting book that anyone with any conceivable interest in Roman Catholic sisters will find profitable."
They range from the Trappistines in Crozet, Va., who rise at 3 a.m. daily, read in the dark early morning hours, chant or pray seven times a day and speak only when necessary, to the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago who run a homeless shelter and who disdain the male structure of the church. Then there are the Franciscan Sisters in Weslaco, Texas, led by Sister Angela Murdaugh, a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary (who also operate St. Mary's Hospital in Madison), who run a birth center for impoverished women near the Mexican border.
"Over the years, the clinic frequently seemed headed toward bankruptcy; then another donation or grant would appear. The sisters needed $6,350 for building insurance; then the clinic received a bequest from an estate for $6,385. The sisters ran out of diapers; the next day a hospital donated boxes of diapers. They ran out of supplies used in delivery; then a friend of a friend gave them a box. One of the clinic's cars fell apart, and a local obstetrician donated a car."
The Catholic Church is receiving a lot of bad publicity these days; this book is a welcome antidote.
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