An Unquenchable Thirst

An Unquenchable Thirst

Following Mother Teresa in Search of Love, Service, and An Authentic Life

Book - 2011
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For readers of Karen Armstrong and Kathleen Norris comes a powerful, unforgettable spiritual autobiography.

An Unquenchable Thirst is the story of Mary Johnson's twenty years as a Missionary of Charity -- working alongside Mother Teresa in service to the world's poor -- and a fascinating depiction of the daily struggle to live a life of religious service. At 17, Johnson experienced her calling when she saw a photo of Mother Teresa on the cover of Time . Eighteen months later she found herself in religious training in a South Bronx convent. This boisterous, independent-minded teenager adapted, eventually, to the austere life of poverty and devotion, but faced daily the struggles of any young woman -- the same desires for love and connection and meaning and identity. After 20 years, Johnson left the order and has since left the church, but the story of this complicated, extraordinary woman will speak to atheists and true believers alike.
Publisher: Toronto : Bond Street Books, 2011.
ISBN: 9780385666978
Characteristics: xv, 526 pages ; 24 cm


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Jul 06, 2016

Mary Johnson writes about her call to a vocation and her love for Mother Teresa. Yet the undercurrent of politics in the church keeps her wondering if she did the right thing.
The book goes on and on. It would have been better if it had been shorter.

Sep 10, 2014

At the start of the story, Mary Johnson is a nineteen year old, who inspired by a Time article about Mother Teresa, joins the Missionaries of Charity. Twenty years later, she leaves in disillusionment and some time after that discovers she is an atheist. This is a remarkable inside story about an ostensibly charitable organization - and without doubt it has helped thousands of people in the inner cities of both the developed and developing worlds. But it is also a group driven by politics and its idea of what Teresa said even though there is proof she never did say those things or if she even wrote the "Rules". Furthermore, it is the home of several women who deliberately broke their vows of chastity and seduced other sisters, including Johnson herself, with impugnity. Most troubling is how the general council of the order forced Teresa into another six year term as Superior General in 1990, even though she made it clear she wanted to retire after a lifetime of service. The conclusion one sadly draws is that the group is, like Opus Dei, a cult inside the Catholic Chuch and a power unto itself and is not willing to deal fairly with its critics. As a Catholic, I can't say I blame Johnson for wanting to quit God - after all, as she makes clear, the Church quit her.

Jul 11, 2012

A well written and thoughtful approach to the difficulties of living a life of unquestioning obedience. Hopeful and heartbreaking at the same time.

Jun 27, 2012

An awesome book. Extremely well written. Thanks Mary Johnson for this glance into the nunnery.

JMFlaherty May 16, 2012

An awesome book. Extremely well-written. Couldn't put it down. What you don't know about Mother Teresa's nuns. Wait til you get to the chapter entitled "Sexaholic." Marvelous mix of pathos and humor. Real it!

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