An Unquenchable Thirst: Following Mother Teresa in Search of Love, Service, and an Authentic Life

An Unquenchable Thirst: Following Mother Teresa in Search of Love, Service, and an Authentic Life

Mary Johnson

Spiegel & Grau, Sept 13 2011, $27.00

ISBN: 9780385527477

 

At nineteen, Mary Johnson aspired to become a Missionary of Charity in Rome as she felt her purpose in life was to help the poorest on the planet.  She became Sister Donata and spent the next two decades working closely with Mother Teresa in the latter’s order.  However, Sister Donata struggled with adjusting to the rigid rules and even more the impossible to achieve religious code that Mother expected of her followers.  After twenty years of “failing”, disenchanted Sister Donata left the Missionary and soon after her faith. 

 

This is stunning insightful memoir that follows a journey into and away from the spiritual realm and also provides a rare look inside the Missionary of Charity especially Mary Johnson’s work as Sister Donata alongside of Mother.  Although a tryst with a priest and dealing with a sexual predator and bullying nuns add fascinating scandalous depth, it is the impact of everyday occurrences that make this a winner as second order effects of kindness can prove deadly to the recipient; no one will look at an egg in the same way.  The glimpses of Mother make her seem even more saintly as she comes across as human with problems of balancing her need to tend to the impoverished with her Order’s needs.  Readers will appreciate An Unquenchable Thirst: Following Mother Teresa in Search of Love, Service, and an Authentic Life as Mary Johnson argues that for her and she believes most people “having an authentic life” denotes not joining the church.

 

Harriet Klausner

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