by Patricia Walsh Chadwick
They promised her heaven, but there was no savior.
Imagine an eighteen-year-old American girl who has never read a newspaper, watched television, or made a phone call. An eighteen-year-old-girl who has never danced—and this in the 1960s.
It is in Cambridge, Massachusetts where Leonard Feeney, a controversial (soon to be excommunicated) Catholic priest, has founded a religious community called the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Center’s members—many of them educated at Harvard and Radcliffe—surrender all earthly possessions and aspects of their life, including their children, to him. Patricia Chadwick was one of those children, and Little Sister is her account of growing up in the Feeney sect.
Separated from her parents and forbidden to speak to them, Patricia bristles against the community’s draconian rules, yearning for another life. When, at seventeen, she is banished from the Center, her home, she faces the world alone, without skills, family, or money but empowered with faith and a fierce determination to succeed on her own, which she does, rising eventually to the upper echelons of the world of finance and investing.
A tale of resilience and grace, Little Sister chronicles, in riveting prose, a surreal childhood and does so without rancor or self-pity.
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About the Author
Patricia Walsh Chadwick was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1948. She received her BA in Economics from Boston University and had a thirty-year career in the investment business, culminating as a Global Partner at Invesco. Today she sits on a number of corporate boards, and she blogs on issues social, economic and political. She also mentors middle school girls at Our Lady Queen of Angels School in Harlem. In 2016, she founded and is the CEO of Anchor Health Initiative, a health care company that serves the needs of the LGBTQ community in Connecticut. She is married and lives in Connecticut with her husband. They have a daughter and a son.