Judith Scully; Coventry Press, 2020, (p149) ISBN 0780648804413
In A Gentle Unfolding, Judith Scully traces her lifelong vocation. She takes the reader from her days as a lovestruck teen postulant, to the present as a mature woman still enamoured of God but less so of religious regulations and male-centric hierarchy.
Scully was born in 1937 to an Australian Methodist-Catholic family. Initially with teacher training in her sights, in her mid-teens she entered the religious order Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.
As Sister Mary Andrina, she later taught in remote Northern Territory Aboriginal settlement schools. Although she eventually left the order, her passion for teaching and exploring spirituality never left her.
Once she emerged from the religious order she had to adjust to life ‘on the outside’ again. Marriage, motherhood and widowhood followed, as did nearly 20 years as a pastoral associate in Catholic parishes.
She later became a spiritual director and, in her retirement, continues to explore issues of faith and spirituality on her blog Words from the Edge.
A Gentle Unfolding is an eminently readable book, even for one unversed in Catholic traditions and structures. Given its personal nature, I felt the addition of a few photos from the various stages of Scully’s life would have enhanced the storytelling. However, it does not take away from what is a fascinating read.
Reviewer: Linda Grigg