Growing up in the Midwest, Judy Grathwohl never felt she belonged. “I belong out west,” she remembers telling her father. After joining the Sisters of St. Francis in the early 1960s and becoming Sister Marya, she came to realize that she craved a life beyond the traditional path of a Catholic nun. “Something other than dedicating my life to God was summoning me, some other life purpose,” she writes.
It took several years and several detours, but when Sister Marya eventually was assigned by her order to the Northwest, she felt an immediate connection to the place and to its Native people, the Crow and Northern Cheyenne. Little by little, she was invited to become part of their communities, to share their customs and rituals, and eventually was adopted into one of their families. She came to understand that the blending of Catholic teachings and Native traditions helped build within her a deeper respect for the Earth—this wheel of rocks—that she could not have built on her own.
In this intimate, revelatory memoir, Sister Marya recounts her own spiritual journey, her settling in Montana, how she—a Catholic nun from Ohio—came to be embraced by the Crow and Northern Cheyenne, and how their traditions prompted in her an expanding devotion to the land, its resources, and its connections to faith and God.
Honest and eye-opening, funny and heartfelt, This Wheel of Rocks shows how living a spiritual life committed to preserving nature and community can be both fulfilling and productive.SEE LESS