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Alumna (‘77) to read from her new book at HerStory event

Mar 03, 2020

Bonnie Abadie made history at OLLU. In 1977, she became the first non-religious or “lay person” from the University to earn a bachelor’s in Religious Studies. She also became the first recipient of the Rick Lewis Award in Religious Studies.

 Forty three years later, Abadie returns to OLLU to read from her new book, “Believing While Grieving: A Journey to find Blessing in Brokenness,” on Friday at the Our Lady of the Lake Convent: Regan Community Room.

The reading, a HerStory Month Event, begins at 6:30 p.m.

“What led me to write my book was the death of my husband, Maurice in 2016,” said Abadie, Theological Field Education Director at the Oblate School of Theology. “I began working my way through grief by noticing and expressing my thoughts and feelings through prose, prayers, poetry and art.”

She collected her writings and art and put them in a book that was published in 2019. The response has been positive.

“The feedback I have received,” Abadie said, “can be summarized as, ‘This is a beautiful book.’ All tell me they are deeply touched by my ability to articulate what they are also feeling in loss.”

Abadie has served at the Oblate School of Theology for the past 16 years. She remains grateful for her education at OLLU.

“The biggest gift OLLU has given me is confidence in God’s Providence,” Abadie said. “God provides all the gifts and talents that are needed to embrace life in its fullness -- the good, the bad, the easy, the difficult, the peaceable and the contentious moments in life. There is no darkness that is too dark for God, no light too brilliant to exclude God. Every day is an opportunity to abandon myself to Providence and to stand in awe at what God can do in and through each of us who believe.”

A book signing and reception will follow the reading. Books will be available for purchase as well as her artwork. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Congregation of Divine Providence and Our Lady of the Lake University.

Women’s HERstory Month events are hosted by the OLLU Center for Women in Church and Society, in collaboration with the OLLU Saints Productions Board, Alumni and Family Relations Office, Center for Mexican American Studies and Research, CMASR Research Collections, Sueltenfuss Library, International Folk Culture Center, Historical Society and the Associates of the Congregation of Divine Providence.