BY LINDA KRAUS
On Friday, November 16 at 7 p.m., the Shelter Island Library will welcome Carol Galligan to discuss her book, “Collision Course: The Vatican, the Nuns of America and the Meaning of Obedience.”
“Collision Course” recounts the conflict between the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, representing more than 80 percent of the 52,000 nuns in the United States and two congregations of the Roman Catholic Curia, the governing body of the Catholic Church.
This book is so much more than the struggle between the nuns of America and the Vatican. With its extensive, thoughtful research, the book provides a timeline of relevant events in the conflict including interviews with iconic nuns.
The reader is introduced to strong women who were at the forefront of not only the women’s movement but involved in issues including abortion, women’s ordination, views on homosexuality and issues on social injustice. These women were also a huge progressive intellectual influence on American education.
In speaking with the author, Carol Galligan, a Shelter Island resident, I learned that her interest in writing this book began not with a desire to become a nun as a child or being religious. Carol tells the story with a chuckle, how it began when at 80 years of age she took a quiz on longevity. The quiz indicated her life expectancy into her 90s. At 80 years of age, Ms. Galligan, who holds a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from New York University, started research on what would become “Collision Course.” She not only researched the subject online, she also travelled extensively, meeting with nuns in hopes of documenting their struggle fairly and accurately.
When asked if there are future projects in the works, Ms. Galligan alludes to a book in progress tentatively titled “Class of 53.” The idea for the book was sparked after conversation around a table filled with some amazing grey-haired women who spoke of their lives and roles, not just as nuns, but as women.
Please join us at the Shelter Island Library on Friday, November 16, at 7 p.m. as we meet this remarkable author and listen to Ms. Galligan share with us this fascinating account of dissent that was viewed by the Vatican as defiance.