From a young age, Rene Reid knew she wanted to do God’s work and become a nun. Immediately after high school graduation in 1962, she joined the Order of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. With the Second Vatican Council in progress in the Catholic Church, she was drawn to the reform movement to transform the Church of so many laws into one that was a loving and all-inclusive community. Unable to pursue theology as a woman religious and questioning her relinquished opportunity for motherhood, Rene left to work professionally for Church renewal.
Rene met and fell in love with James “Jamie” Kavanaugh, the former Catholic priest and poet known for his controversial bestseller A Modern Priest Looks at His Outdated Church. Having her son from a previous marriage was once a joy that soon became a nightmare as custody battles with the father led her momentarily to do the unfathomable: take her son and run away. Rene’s relationship with Jamie further jeopardized her being awarded custody. As Rene describes their relationship, she unveils the stories behind how many of Kavanaugh’s poems came to be as he struggled for independence but couldn’t live without her love. His incessant leaving and returning over the years and the resulting pain and agony, coupled with this same pattern in her family history, forced Rene from deeply entrenched abandonment issues to finding wholeness as a woman.