Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Volume 1, August 27, 1998

Making A Transition between Elective Asceticism and Secular Life:
A Life-Narrative Study of Former Roman Catholic Nuns.


  The first person I must acknowledge is my mother Lena Griffin, for embodying the power of pure determination.  It was she who at the age of forty eight became the oldest student nurse in England, graduating at age fifty.  She also gave me a steadfast belief in the power to achieve anything I set my heart on.  This paper is a memorial to her indomitable spirit.

  In particular I would like to thank Dr. Barnaby Barratt for his endless patience, guidance, loyalty and genuine friendship.  Without his soothing words and jovial pushing, this work would never have seen the light of day.  Thank you to the remainder of my committee, Dr. Kathleen Moore, Dr. William Stayton and Dr. Jerry Zientara for their willingness to assist me.  My virtual sister Alicia has been my steadfast support and friend in the past year.  For that and all she is in my life, I thank her from my heart. My special thanks go to Halley for her warmth and compassion.

  Without the help and support of my family I would not have been able to contemplate this endeavor.  My daughter Kate showed her maturity and ability as the strong woman she would become by keeping our home running while I had to be in San Francisco for extended periods.  Thanks to my husband Richard for his support and assistance, especially with the statistical analysis.  Thanks to my son Ian, for his pride in me and for keeping my mind alert to other important issues.

  A special acknowledgment to the staff and students of the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality who have been so supportive.  Finally, my sincere thanks to Dr. McIlvenna for encouraging me to transfer to the Ph.D. program.  For his belief in my capabilities, I will be forever grateful.

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