An Unquenchable Thirst by Mary Johnson

An Unquenchable ThirstAbout An Unquenchable Thirst

“Readers…will find themselves transported into another world by this powerful, revealing memoir. An aspirant to the Missionaries of Charity at age 19, the author spent 20 years living a life both extraordinarily simple and heart-wrenchingly complex. Johnson skillfully demonstrates this juxtaposition through her writing—mundane events, such as gathering eggs or learning to play the piano, often have tragic or miraculous implications. As she progressed in the order and became Sister Donata, the issues she faced became darker: a sexually predatory subordinate, theological disputes, an increasingly rigid system of rules and regulations and a love affair with a priest. Throughout the book, the author describes her interactions with Mother Teresa…with honesty and telling detail…As it became increasingly clear to Johnson that the Missionaries of Charity’s vision and management were diverging from her own beliefs and values, she struggled with her place in the order and eventually made the decision to leave after two decades of service. Johnson’s portrayal of her time as a nun is likely to be controversial; her memoir is exceptional.” —Kirkus Reviews


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Without AROHO’s help, An Unquenchable Thirst might still be a few crumpled pages and a heartfelt vision, my writing space a computer shared with three others in a tiny corner. AROHO women nudged me to believe in myself and to create a room of both solitude and rare support, a room where my story could flourish. AROHO’s wisdom and accompany me daily as my words find a home in the world.Mary Johnson, AROHO Co-Founder, Board member, and Creative Director of Retreats


More Praise:

An Unquenchable Thirst is a candid, generous, and profound spiritual memoir by a woman who chose a life of service alongside one of the great religious icons of our time. Somehow, in the midst of this humbling, austere life of devotion, Mary Johnson found herself, even as her doubts about her faith grew. Johnson’s writing is always gentle yet honest, detailed yet compelling. This is a book that deserves a great deal of thoughtful discussion.”—Anne Rice

“Mary Johnson is brave writ large — very large and very courageously and very simply and very gently and very intellectually and very wholly.” —Breena Clarke, author of Stand the Storm

An Unquenchable Thirst is an eloquent and moving tale that is an extraordinary testament to the enduring power of love—beyond faith and dogma.” —Mira Bartok, author of The Memory Palace

“A heartfelt, personal story of the gradual awakening of a person who comes to see that preferring ‘the human to the perfect’ does not alienate her from authentic spirituality, but allows her to live more fully.” —Kathleen Norris, author of The Cloister Walk

Author: A Room of Her Own

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