As a kid I knew she had been a nun in France now a mother of two and living in New Zealand, I frequently wondered why? How come? "We don't talk about that". Now I know why. Please read Away... For Gods Sake from my lovely Aunty Kathleen Byrne - author, from our home town of Balbriggan, Born in Drogheda Street, went to France to become a nun, came home many years later, lived and loved in an eventful but ordinary life. A wonderful journey through a life lived, a great read. A childhood in an industrial town in the northeast of Ireland, Balbriggan a town famous for underwear and hosiery. Very easy to read begins with growing up and teenage years in the 50’s in Balbriggan. Then a vocation/mission to a different world of the religious orders in France, with some harrowing tales of life and inner conflict. A very brave teenagers mission to find herself and to understand why and how. Then a sudden return to an emerging modern Ireland. A truly lovely storey.
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Born into an Irish Catholic family, Kathleen entered a religious order in France when she was 17 years old. Working and living in the prison of La Roquette, she was thrown into the Parisian underworld of crime, drugs and prostitution. Without any training and very little knowledge of the language, she struggled with homesickness, despair and loneliness. She found consolation in her faith and in knowing that she was doing God's will.
But was this enough to sustain her mental and physical strength? How did this experience affect her future? Years of living with low self-esteem, fear of God and authority, together with doubts in faith and religion took its toll. However, hoping and praying for better things to come, love found a way.