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Vows: The Story of a priest, a Nun, and Their Son.

VOWS VOWS Virtual Office Web Sites : THE STORY OF A PRIEST, A NUN, AND THEIR SON By Peter Manseau (Free Press, 2005)

In this richly textured family history, religion writer Peter Manseau tells the story of his parents' and his own complex Catholic lives.

His mother, Mary Doherty Mary Doherty is an Irish Christian Solidarity Party politician based in County Donegal. She was one of only seven Christian Solidarity Party candidates at the 2007 Irish general election[1] and received only 339 votes.  Manseau, had spent a decade as a Sister of St. Joseph. His father, William Manseau, was an activist Boston diocesan di·oc·e·san  
Of or relating to a diocese.

The bishop of a diocese.


of or relating to a diocese

Noun 1.
 priest who started an experimental inner-city ministry. They met there in 1968 and a year later married. That was not uncommon; more unusual was that William ("quiet in manner but hell-bent on shaking up the ecclesiastical status quo [Latin, The existing state of things at any given date.] Status quo ante bellum means the state of things before the war. The status quo to be preserved by a preliminary injunction is the last actual, peaceable, uncontested status which preceded the pending controversy. ") attempted to combine his two vocations.

"Dad never thought of himself as anything other than a Catholic priest," Manseau writes, and his most important commitments were with church reform movements and what his son calls the "Married Priest People" Mary initially shared her husband's activist enthusiasm, but she eventually wanted a more traditional Catholic life for herself and their three children.

Peter's childhood love for the church faltered under the weight of "teenage dissent" and "a nagging feeling that the church we were raised to place at the center of our lives did not in fact want us." Thus he was surprised to become a religion major in college and even more surprised when, in his senior year, he felt called to discern a possible monastic vocation.

Manseau tells this story well, holding together three familial familial /fa·mil·i·al/ (fah-mil´e-il) occurring in more members of a family than would be expected by chance.

 and religious biographies in their social and historical context, including the sex abuse scandal. Ultimately, though, the book fails because of its lack of modesty Modesty
See also Chastity, Humility.

Bell, Laura

reserved, demure character. [Br. Lit.: Pendennis]


gentle, unassuming sister of Kate. [Br. Lit.
. On the basis of the experience of this one family, a relatively young man draws sweeping conclusions about American Catholicism, clerical culture, ministry, and (his real subject) vocation. Precisely because these themes are so integral to the Manseaus' lives they deserve a fuller and less polemical po·lem·ic  
1. A controversial argument, especially one refuting or attacking a specific opinion or doctrine.

2. A person engaged in or inclined to controversy, argument, or refutation.

 treatment than a memoirist, even a talented one, can offer.
COPYRIGHT 2006 Claretian Publications
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Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Linner, Rachelle
Publication:U.S. Catholic
Article Type:Book review
Date:Feb 1, 2006
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