Press Release



Cloistered nun writes novel about cloistered nuns


"A delicate interweaving of so many facets of a young woman's call to be a cloistered contemplative nun." --Julia Ann O'Sullivan



SUMMIT, N.J., October 30, 2003 - Sister Mary Catharine Perry, O.P. announces the release of her debut novel, "Amata Means Beloved". iUniverse is publishing the book, scheduled to be released November 13, 2003.


"Amata Means Beloved" is the story of Sister Maria Amata--the former Emily Barone--who enters newly-established Mater Christi Monastery. She is eager to become a spouse of Christi--to give all she is and has to God. However, Sister Maria Amata finds that living in the monastery with the other nuns radically confronts her understanding of the life itself and her own motives. Why did she really enter the monastery? To give herself completely to God? Or is she instead running from facing her inability to forgive the man who murdered her brother?


Sister Mary Catharine says that portraying a positive, real picture of cloistered nuns was one of the reasons that she began writing "Amata Means Beloved."  "The women who enter monasteries are not pre-packaged saints, but human beings who struggle with problems, fears and the need to grow in maturity and love just like everyone else," she says. 


A member of the 800 year old Order of Preachers, popularly known as the Dominicans, Sister Mary Catharine says that writing is an especially appropriate way for cloistered nuns to express the charism of the Order--"To contemplate and to give to others that which has been contemplated."


"Dominican life is founded on a love of the Truth--that is, Christ as First Truth. Therefore, I also wanted to share with the reader the profound and essential truth of the joy and freedom that comes from responding to God's grace: to live as one destined for the ultimate happiness of sharing in the love-life of the Triune God," says Sister Mary Catharine. "Telling a story like "Amata" is one way to tell about this gift of God's love which He has planned for every person He has created."


Sister Mary Catharine's writing of "Amata Means Beloved" is rooted in a love of writing which began when she was a teenager.  Thirteen years a cloistered nun, she has over the past two years returned to the craft, and published articles in Our Sunday Visitor, Our Daily Visitor and most recently First Things. Her contemplative vocation, however, comes first.


"I am consecrated to be a woman of prayer and penance as a Nun of the Order of Preachers, for the needs of the Church and all people.  This is absolutely the first priority of my life.  Therefore, my writing must first be a way of glorifying God, and also a means of bringing me closer to Christ my Spouse.  Only then can it fulfill its wider purpose of bringing closer to Him those unknown people whom He has entrusted to my prayer. In a way, my writing must be a type of fulfilling the Great Commandment:  Love of God first, and flowing from that love of neighbor for His sake.  If it is not, if my writing turns into something "for its own sake," or gets in the way of living my life in fidelity to my Spouse first, then it doesn't matter how well "Amata Means Beloved" is received.  Nevertheless, I hope and pray that the book does affect a more positive view of cloistered, contemplative life."


Amata Means Beloved  is available for $ 10.95. To order, visit Or, you can call 1-877-823-9235 to order from the publisher.

For more information, contact:

Sister Mary Catharine Perry, O.P.




Posted December 29, 2003