I was dying inside and I chose freedom. In my years in the convent, where was the love of God? Where was the pope's accountability? Why was a cover-up culture allowed to fester?
Magdalena, N.M. (Vocus) November 10, 2010
The Vatican has ordered an investigation into the Catholic Church, focusing on the victims of clerical sex abuse. But Patricia Grueninger Beasley has a different story to tell involving the Catholic Church. As a former nun, she points out the outstanding contradiction between the free and open lifestyle of priests and the submissive and self-sacrificing lives of nuns. The Tears I Couldn’t Cry: Behind Convent Doors (published by AuthorHouse), tells the true story of her suppressed life after entering the convent in 1955.
“My book is about injustice to women by women who enforced antiquated rules, like the frequent kissings of the floor, created by men. My true story depicts how we Sisters were stripped of any individuality, decision-making, family ties, even the enjoyment of nature. We were brain-washed into absolute obedience to our superiors in every situation. Rigid rules forbade us from questioning anything,” says Beasley.
After years of suffering, Beasley left the convent in 1978 to return to her loving family. “I was dying inside and I chose freedom. In my years in the convent, where was the love of God? Where was the pope’s accountability? Why was a cover-up culture allowed to fester?” asks Beasley.
While Beasley is thankful for the ongoing investigations and the September CNN special “What the Pope Knew,” focusing on the Pope and his accountability, she continues to take a stance against the centuries of abuse to women in God’s name.
The Tears I Couldn’t Cry was a winner of the 2001 Excellence in Writing Award for memoirs and biographies from the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference. “Pat Beasley has written her story that is both terrifying and beautiful…and very moving,” says Barnaby Conrad, author, artist, co-founder and co-director (for 35 years) of Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference.
About the Author
Patricia Grueninger Beasley was born in Baltimore in 1937. At the age of three she was promised to God during a near-fatal illness. She attended Catholic schools for 12 years and entered the convent at age 18 where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Religious Studies.
At the age of 41, she left the convent and returned to North Carolina as a laywoman. She was a Winston-Salem human relations specialist before marrying her husband Karl and moving to New Mexico. She began teaching again and attended the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference for seven years to improve her writing. She has lived in rural New Mexico with her husband for 21 years.
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