From alcoholism and agnosticism to converting to Catholicism: a conversation on faith with Mary Karr

Photo credit: Antonio De Loera-Brust

“Any way I tell this story is a lie.” Mary Karr opens her memoir “Lit” with a warning about the inevitable unreliability of memory. But don’t be fooled. Mary Karr delivers many truths that you need to hear.

Advertisement

Mary Karr is an award-winning poet and New York Times best-selling author. Her poems have been published in the New Yorker, the Atlantic and the Paris Review. Her trilogy of memoirs, The Liars Club, Cherry and Lit, chronicle her traumatic childhood in southeast Texas, her turbulent coming of age as a woman and poet, her marriage and motherhood, alcoholism and recovery and conversion to the Catholic faith.

We were grateful to chat with Mary about all of this and more during our live event at America’s headquarters in New York City, sponsored by the Catholic Travel Centre.

Before we delve into the live recording, we’re reunited with Olga (who missed the live event, succumbing to a nasty fever) to discuss the week’s top Catholic news: A surprise parish visit from a Catholic NBA all-star; Pope Francis gives out free gelato on his name day to Rome’s needy and appoints three women to consult the Vatican’s oldest congregation; a nun is being deported for living out the Gospel in the Philippines; and we discuss an alarming trend of the killing of priests in Mexico.

As always, check us out on Twitter @jesuiticalshow, and send us some feedback (or just say hi! We love that too.) by emailing jesuitical@americamedia.org. You can support the show (and get exclusive swag and bonus content!) by joining our Patreon community.

Links from the show

Trust the prayers: Embiid surprises churchgoers near Philly
Pope Francis offers free gelato to Rome’s poor and homeless to mark his feast day
Be fruitful and multiply: Threatened trees planted in Vatican Gardens
Pope Francis appoints three women as consultants to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Philippines to deport 71-year old Australian nun who advocates for farmers
Lay down your weapons, say Mexican bishops after second priest murdered

What’s on tap?

Sugar Hill Golden Ale, courtesy of Harlem Brewing Company

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Bishop Lawrence T. Persico of Erie, Pa., speaks during a meeting in late January at the headquarters of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
“I think we need complete transparency if we’re going to get the trust of the people back,” said Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico.
Mélanie Thierry as Marguerite Duras in “Memoir of War.” © Music Box Films
The film tells the story of a woman who worked for the German-controlled Vichy government but secretly joined the Resistance movement.
A. W. Richard Sipe (photo: Facebook)
Sipe's research into celibacy and priestly sexual behavior helped guide the work of church leaders and others responding to the clergy sexual abuse crisis.
Catholic News ServiceAugust 17, 2018
Did Pope Francis depart from Scripture and tradition in declaring the death penalty "inadmissible"? Or was his declaration rooted deeply in both?
Tobias WinrightAugust 17, 2018