Mary Kate Holman is Assistant Professor of Theology at Benedictine University in the suburbs of Chicago. Her current book project explores the life and thought of the French theologian Marie-Dominique Chenu. Her writing has appeared in Theological Studies and Commonweal.
We contend that in this time of increasing disaffiliation, the stories of “the women who left” in the twentieth century offer valuable insights about familiar Catholic experiences for those who know the pain of disillusionment, who have yearned for holiness outside of the church, and who have sought to reclaim what is of value in the tradition that formed them.
This essay traces the story of Marie-Thérèse Lacaze, a French woman whose experience of Catholic communal life in solidarity with the poor and disenfranchised in Palestine eventually led her to denounce both the state of Israel and the Catholic Church as unjust institutions failing to live up to the ideals on which they were founded.