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Keeping the Faith at Harvard 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1879007499
ISBN-10: 1879007495
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is an invaluable memoir, of profound interest to anyone who cares about religion in America, brought to life with tremendous verve by a wise, enormously talented voice." --Philip Zaleski, editor of the Viking Penguin "Best Spiritual Writing" series.

About the Author

Sister Mary Clare is today a cloistered Benedictine nun. Born into the Episcopalian faith, she abandoned all religion while at Radcliffe College. She converted to Catholicism shortly after graduation from Radcliffe at 19, and while studying at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, she became a permanent part of St. Benedict Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts until its disintegration. In 1980 she studied at Weston Jesuit College and Harvard Divinity School, receiving a Master of Theological Studies from Weston Jesuit College in 1985.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: St. Bede's Publications; 1 edition (September 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879007495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879007499
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,116,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Keeping the Faith at Harvard really isn't about Harvard U. It is a memoir of Sr. Mary Clare Vincent, OSB, once a member of St. Benedict Center, currently in Still River, MA, a tiny village of Harvard, MA. Sr. Mary Clare skillfully shares the store of St. Benedict Center, the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the bigger-than-life saga that is the history of these groups. In the second half of the books she draws vignettes of several members of the community (mostly the Brothers).

Sr. Mary Clare is both amazingly compelling in her account of how St. Benedict Center came to be and its "rise and fall", although using that term is probably not the best way to describe what the Center is all about. Her analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the founders and the members is perceptive if not too tragic in some places.

Keeping the Faith at Harvard is a sad book, not because it is a sad story but because in many ways Sr. Mary Clare seems to be mourning what she sought, found and perhaps, not lost, but had to move on from. While her portrayal is accurate (some members will probably not agree but Sr. Mary Clare foresees this, knowing from long experience that there are some who will see only the negative and some who will see only the positive,) it is heavy and misses the joy that continues to be hallmark of St. Benedict Center and the religious communities that are a part of it or have evolved from it.

The members of St. Benedict Center and the people who have been a part of it informally have suffered much, more than most people would believe. For some the scars will always be a permanent part of their lives.
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