Mary Johnson: Passionate Advocate for Civil Discourse about Life's Big Questions
- I'm so pleased that my memoir, An Unquenchable Thirst, the story of my twenty years as a nun with Mother Teresa and why I chose to leave that order, is now available as an attractive, affordable paperback, with a reader's guide and an author interview. The hardcover, electronic, and audio versions are available as well. An Unquenchable Thirst has been translated into French and Dutch and was named one of the year's best books by Kirkus Review. Book groups always find plenty to talk about when they discuss this story. Order An Unquenchable Thirst by using the widget on the right.
- The anthology Beyond Belief: Women in Extreme Religions closes with my essay "Nun Hands."
- The story of how I happened across an unexpected Jesus appeared in the Easter edition of The New York Times Magazine.
- Click here for more of my writing on the web, including pieces picked up by The Washington Post, USA Today, O the Oprah Magazine, The Huffington Post, Bloomberg View, Religion News Services, Soujourners, and National Public Radio.
- I love to talk with groups of all sorts and have spoken in venues as diverse as The Rosie Show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art in the Brooklyn Museum, the Harvard Humanist Community, yoga studios, Catholic and secular colleges, writers retreats, public libraries, and private homes. Videos of several events are available here.
- My next appearances are in Philadelphia and Hobart Village, New York. Check out other upcoming events here.
- If you'd like to be notified about upcoming events in your area, please be sure to fill out the "address" section when you sign up for my e-newsletter.
- Arrange for me to speak to your group.
Teacher and Workshop Facilitator
I also teach and lead workshops. For possible topics, click on the headings below.
On Personal Growth
- Living an Authentic Life: Big Concept, Practical Steps
- When Everything Changes Overnight
- When and How To Let Go
- The Joys of Doubt
- Useful Uncertainty
- An Unquenchable Thirst: My twenty years with Mother Teresa, and my decision to follow a new path
On Interfaith/Secular Themes
- Adopting Traditional Christian Meditation for ALL
- How My Family does Holidays: Eight Belief Systems around One Turkey
- Mass Media and Religion: Concerns
On Social Systems, Women's Issues
- When Beauty and Oppression Walk Hand in Hand: My Story from inside one of the World’s Most Revered Religious Systems
- Commitment Mechanisms of the Missionaries of Charity
- Women and Community: Strengths and Dangers
- Adolescence: The Explosive Passions that Shape Adult Life
On Mother Teresa
- Mother Teresa's Dark Night of the Soul: Unexpected Lessons
- People Always Ask Me What Mother Teresa was REALLY Like
- Mother Teresa and Princess Diana Met at My House: Learning from Two of the World’s Most Admired Women
- Mother Teresa as both Model and Portent
For Secular Groups
- Herding Cats: Building Secular Community
- Constructing YOUR Purposeful Life: Tips from One who Lost Mother Teresa and Found Herself
- Life and Mystery
- Godless Heathen within a Religious Family: Avoiding Domestic Armageddon
- Dealing with Those Who Disapprove: An Ex-Nun’s Perspective
- This I Believe, This I Hold Dear: Draft Your Personal Creed (best as a week-end workshop)
For Religious Groups
- How Best to Serve Our Neighbor?
- Was Mother Teresa a Good Christian? Why it’s important to talk about this
- Adventures, Missteps, and Growth: My Experiences Within and Beyond Consecrated Chastity
- An Unquenchable Thirst: My Twenty Years with Mother Teresa
- The Questions that Scare Us Writers Most
- Writing about Transcendent Experiences
- Construct a Faithful Narrative from Your Life’s Million Little Pieces
- Freedom and Support to Finish Your Next Big Writing Project
- Writing Through Fear
An Unquenchable Thirst
An Unquenchable Thirst is the story of my twenty years as a Missionary of Charity, a nun with Mother Teresa of Calcutta. People tell me that the book is more than a fascinating story about nuns; they say it’s a book about being human. That pleases me.
Mother Teresa always used to tell us: “God made us to love and to be loved.” An Unquenchable Thirst is the story of the many ways love surprised and challenged me, and of how I came to understand myself as a woman with body, mind, desires, and what some would call soul. I hope you’ll enjoy my stories, and that my book will spark lively, honest discussion. Click here for more details and here for a Readers' Guide.