Blue Hole Wisdom: My Journey with the Sisters

About a decade ago, I started interviewing Incarnate Word Sisters to capture their unique perspectives and wisdom with the idea of writing a memoir. In May 2020, Blue Hole Wisdom: My Journey with the Sisters, will be available in paperback and e-book formats. A Spanish translation will be published in June 2020. I’ll be adding information about book signings as well as a link for ordering the book in April.

When I tell people I work with the Sisters, people are intrigued. What are they like? Who are these mysterious women in a time when sisters are fewer and far between, no longer instantly recognized by their unusual dress. They seem so different – set apart.

In this memoir of connection and common humanity, Bridget McDermott Flood reflects on the women behind the mystery and souls once veiled by habits, uncovering the wisdom, wit, and the indomitable spirits that have formed the charism of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.

In a series of reflections, remarkable women come to life, illustrating the presence of the divine in the ordinary and extraordinary missions each sister has undertaken. Their stories form the heart of Blue Hole Wisdom.

From their traditional work in hospitals and schools to outreach among AIDs patients in Zambia and hospices in Peru, these women have garnered the wisdom that comes from decades dedicated to facing life’s greatest challenges not as passive observers, but as active agents of the change they wish to see in the world.

Flood welcomes readers on a journey of self-discovery, reflection, and connection across time and space. Beginning with her earliest relationships with the Sisters and the difficult journey of the first Sisters from France to the arid shores of nineteenth century Texas, Blue Hole Wisdom traverses the globe, following the Sisters and Flood as they navigate an evolving spiritual landscape and deepening bonds of fellowship.

Each story centers on a theme that applies to a reader’s daily life and spiritual growth. As a touching spirituality memoir, Blue Hole Wisdom draws upon the Sisters’ humor and ability to cultivate joy in those with whom they connect to drive home the necessity of embracing their frontier charism. Flood and the Sisters discover the answers to the question, “How are you in your heart?” among Ch’ol communities in Chiapas, Mexico. They create spaces for creativity to flourish and foster healing among live oaks and cypress trees around the book’s namesake watering hole.

Through trials and tense moments as the Sisters engage with Vatican investigators, concerned about the ways orders of women religious in the United States adhere to Church teaching and direction, Blue Hole Wisdom considers how the Sisters’ spirituality and call continues to evolve to meet 21st century challenges. This is particularly pertinent as lay individuals find themselves drawn to the spirituality of Catholic Sisters and the resurgence of interest in Catholic women religious and their place in the twenty-first century. In moments of jubilee and sorrow, Flood and the Sisters continue to pursue their paths, not always knowing the destination but bringing readers along on the quest for peace and fulfillment.

Blue Hole Wisdom combines vivid storytelling with deep faith, inviting readers to consider the ways in which the Sisters can serve as touchstones for how to live out one’s vocation, to relate to others, and to follow God’s call with passion, certainty, and grace.

cover art by Carolyn Flood Hellmich