Atchison Blue, by Judith Valente

Judith Valente’s memoir takes its title from the distinctive color of the stained-glass windows in the chapel of Mount St. Scholastica, a community of Benedictine sisters in Atchison, Kansas. Time, strong light and relentless wind have transformed the original, conventionally bright color of the glass to a striking clear blue-gray reminiscent of the sea. It is said to be found nowhere else.

Atchison blue is an apt metaphor for the general wisdom of monastic life and the specific way it is lived out in one particular place, as well as for Valente’s own transformation, over time, by the light of the Gospels and the lives of the sisters.

 

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