I tried to imagine my way back to early 1936 and to my mother's mind set when she discovered that she was pregnant. She was twenty-four; my father, the recently appointed young pastor of the local Polish Catholic, was twenty-eight.-- Celibacy, A Love Story: Memoir of a Catholic Priest's Daughter by Mimi Bull. You can tell from the title and the teaser that this is an unusual story -- and a very interesting memoir.
I was lucky to get an advanced copy of this fascinating story. Celibacy: A Love Story is available for pre-order and releases in October. Check back here for an interview with Mimi Bull about her book and her family history.
Mimi Bull grew up secure in the love of family, friends, and neighbors, never questioning the unusual circumstances that caused her to be adopted by two women in the late 1930s. It was years before she learned the secret truth: that one of the women was her grandmother, the other her biological mother, and that the story of her adoption had been concocted not only to shield her mother’s reputation, but to hide the fact that her father was the gregarious young parish priest everyone adored. It has only been very recently that the Catholic Church has begun to acknowledge the existence of other children of priests, and Bull writes candidly of the emotional toll that this policy of secrecy and denial took on her—“I should like to have lived a life with my loving parents, knowing who we all were, knowing my father’s family from the beginning, and without the forty years of depression that compromised me and those I loved.”
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