Jackowski, Karol (A.) 1946(?)-
JACKOWSKI, Karol (A.) 1946(?)-
Home—New York, NY. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Random House, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
Nun, 1964—; Alphabets gift store, New York, NY, chief operating officer.
(And illustrator) Let the Good Times Roll, Ave Maria Press (Notre Dame, IN), 1980.
(And illustrator) Home on the Range: Another Incredible Cookbook, Ave Maria Press (Notre Dame, IN), 1982.
Ten Fun Things to Do before You Die, Ave Maria Press (Notre Dame, IN), 1989.
Podbijanie Ameryki (Reportaze), Ludowa Spóldzielnia Wydawnicza (Warsaw, Poland), 1989.
Divine Madness: Why I Am Still a Nun, Ave Maria Press (Notre Dame, IN), 1996.
Sister Karol's Book of Spells and Blessings, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2001.
Jetzt oder nie, Droemer Knaur (Munich, Germany), 2001.
The Silence We Keep: One Nun's View of the Catholic Priest Scandal, Harmony Books (New York, NY), 2004.
A nun since 1964, Sister Karol Jackowski belongs to the Sisters for a Christian Community, an order within the Roman Catholic church that is based in New Jersey and has no convent. As she told Alex Witchel of the New York Times, "If you're self-supporting, taxpaying and taking care of each other, you don't need that central location.… It's a nontraditional lifestyle, but we still take the vows of celibacy, poverty, and obedience." For Jackowski, "nontraditional" means that she works as the chief operating officer for a group of four Alphabets gift stores, which are owned by another former nun, and that she has written a number books, most of which have little or no connection to her religious life.
Jackowski's two cookbooks, Let the Good Times Roll and its follow-up, Home on the Range: Another Incredible Cookbook, blend humor and cooking along with drawings Jackowski did herself. The daughter of bakers, Jackowski learned to cook when she went away to school and found herself on her own for the first time. Since that time, she has collected recipes through the years, always sharing them with friends and the members of her order. She started giving out recipes bound in twenty-page booklets for Christmas one year, and each year the volume's popularity increased until, in addition to her gifts, she was selling as many as 500 copies, with the proceeds going to help Vietnamese refugees. Sharon Sanders, in a review for the Chicago Sun-Times, commented, "Maybe not in letter but certainly in spirit, Jackowski's books resemble community cookbooks."
In Ten Fun Things to Do before You Die, Jackowski offers advice ranging from finding somewhere to escape reality to making yourself more interesting. Sister Karol's Book of Spells and Blessings has a more religious feel, but as Debby Waldman pointed out in a review for People, It's a "New Age take on prayer." The Silence We Keep: One Nun's View of the Catholic Priest Scandal is a change from Jackowski's usually lighthearted material. The book addresses the troubles plaguing the Catholic church. She criticizes both the structures that have allowed and protected such abuse, and the people who stood by and submissively allowed their superiors to run roughshod over propriety. She also offers an insiders historical account of how both the priesthood and the sisterhood developed to their modern-day incarnations. A contributor to Publishers Weekly noted that Jackowski "sees celibacy as a culprit" of the sexual abuse scandal, and goes on to say that perhaps "it should not be required, noting that even St. Paul did not impose it on the early church." Jackowski indicates that relaxed celibacy rules would reduce the incidents of abuse among priests. Margaret Flanagan, in a review for Booklist, stated that Jackowski "makes a tremendous leap of faith by arguing that the overdue acknowledgment of these physical and spiritual crimes will eventually revitalize believers."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 2004, Margaret Flanagan, review of The Silence We Keep: One Nun's View of the Catholic Priest Scandal, p. 793.
Chicago Sun-Times, March 3, 1988, Sharon Sanders, "Delightful Cookbook Is Sheer Nunsense," p. 1.
Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2003, review of The Silence We Keep, p. 1392.
National Catholic Reporter, January 17, 1997, William C. Graham, review of Divine Madness: Why I Am Still a Nun, p. 16.
New York Times, March 26, 2000, Alex Witchel, "Ways to Have Fun: A Nun's Tale," p. 9.
People, April 24, 2000, "Happy Habits: Heaven Can Wait—and Sister Karol Jackowski Offers a List of Ten Fun Things to Do before You Die," p. 92; November 26, 2001, Debby Waldman, review of Sister Karol's Book of Spells and Blessings, p. 55.
Publishers Weekly, February 21, 2000, "Think about Nuns," review of Ten Fun Things to Do before You Die, p. 40; December 15, 2003, review of The Silence We Keep, p. 69.
Hyperion Books Web site,http://www.hyperionbooks.com/ (September 27, 2004), "Karol Jackowski."*