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December 3, 2022
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God Knows Why
Produced by: Julie Kimberley
Why does a woman give up her life to enter a world that many of us cannot comprehend, the closed order of the Carmelites? Outgoing, attractive Aunty Janny knew 42 years ago, at the age of twenty, that she had a special calling, to lock herself away from the modern world and leave all that she knew behind. She entered the closed order of the Catholic Carmelite nuns where she swore herself to three vows, Chastity, Poverty and Obedience, and never to live in the outside world again. Janny has physically hugged her brothers once in 42 years and her sister on only a couple of occasions. Aunty Janny or Sister Johanna of the Cross, as she is formally known, has chosen a world that many of us cannot comprehend, a world totally devoted to God in which she prays for the salvation of us all. Her brother Denver struggles with his sister's decision and feels she could have been the head of any corporation had she, in his eyes, not wasted her life behind those walls. However, her younger sister Maryanne understands the faith that drove her sister to do what she has done and believes the power of prayer could be the salvation of us all.

Program Credits

God Knows Why was produced by Julie Kimberly of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, with technical production by Roy Huberman. Special thanks to Claudia Taranto, and the Carmelite nuns of Lismore. This program airs as part of the international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.


The Choice Between Dating and Devotion
A recent TIME article about this crucial decision. Follow Katharine Johnson, a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who is seriously considering becoming a nun.

Carmelite nuns of Lismore
This is where Aunty Jenny or Sister Johanna of the Cross, (the subject of this program) resides.

The Lamb's Supper: Experiencing the Mass
by: Scott Hahn 1999
Of all things Catholic, there is nothing that is so familiar us the Mass. With its unchanging prayers, the Mass fits Catholics like their favorite clothes. Yet most Catholics sitting in the pews on Sundays fail to see the powerful supernatural drama that enfolds them. Pope John Paul II described the Mass as "heaven on Earth, " explaining that what "we celebrate on Earth is a mysterious participation in the heavenly liturgy."

Don't Chew Jesus!: A Collection of Memorable Nun Stories
by: Danielle Schaaf 2007
These tales from hundreds of contributors pay tribute to nuns--those monochromatically clad monitors of the right, the wrong, and the holy. Catholic nuns are portrayed as devoted and passionate women who, armed with an arsenal of educational weaponry ranging from creative storytelling to psychological terrorism, had the massive responsibility of molding children into model citizens of God.

Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles
by: Raymond Arroyo 2005
You might think of Mother Angelica as "The Little Nun Who Could." In 1981, this feisty, devout woman launched the world's first Catholic cable channel in a Birmingham, Alabama, monastery. She began the Eternal Word Television Network with a leap of faith and a paltry $200 in seed money. Against all predictions, the EWTN prospered. ETWN news director Raymond Arroyo's biography of the energetic, angelic Angelica bears testimony to her faith and her fervor.

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Programs by Julie Kimberley

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