Vows: The Story of a Priest, a Nun, and Their Son

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Simon and Schuster, Oct 11, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 400 pages
The 1950s was a boom time for the Catholic Church in America, with large families of devout members providing at least one son or daughter for a life of religious service. Boston was at the epicenter of this explosion, and Bill Manseau and Mary Doherty -- two eager young parishioners from different towns -- became part of a new breed of clergy, eschewing the comforts of homey parishes and choosing instead to minister to the inner-city poor. Peter Manseau's riveting evocation of his parents' parallel childhoods, their similar callings, their experiences in the seminary and convent, and how they met while tending to the homeless of Roxbury during the riot-prone 1960s is a page-turning meditation on the effect that love can have on profound faith.
Once married, the Manseaus continued to fight for Father Bill's right to serve the church as a priest, and it was into this situation that Peter and his siblings were born and raised to be good Catholics while they witnessed their father's personal conflict with the church's hierarchy. A multigenerational tale of spirituality, Vows also charts Peter's own calling, one which he tried to deny even as he felt compelled to consider the monastic life, toying with the idea of continuing a family tradition that stretches back over 300 years of Irish and French Catholic priests and nuns.
It is also in Peter's deft hands that we learn about a culture and a religion that has shaped so much of American life, affected generations of true believers, and withstood great turmoil. Vows is a compelling tale of one family's unshakable faith that to be called is to serve, however high the cost may be.
 

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User Review  - revslick - LibraryThing

When folks get wounded by the church the response is usually bitter resentment or chucking it all; however, for the deeply spiritually connected there's a third choice that one must go on. This is the ... Read full review

Vows

User Review  - metismama - Overstock.com

This is a book that will be of importance to Catholics former Catholics former priests and women religious particularly those who experienced the Catholicism of preVatican II. It is a story touchingly ... Read full review

Contents

Part Two Formation
73
Part Three Reformation
135
Part Four Procreation
211
Part Five Revelation
299
Exiles at Rest
367
List of Illustrations
379
Acknowledgments
381
About the Author
385
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Peter Manseau is the author of Vows and coauthor of Killing the Buddha. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, and on National Public Radio's All Things Considered. A founding editor of the award-winning webzine KillingTheBuddha.com, he is now the editor of Search, The Magazine of Science, Religion, and Culture. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Washington, D.C., where he studies religion and teaches writing at Georgetown University.

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