BBC journalist turned trainee nun forced to leave her convent

Martina Purdy joined Sisters of Adoration in 2014, but congregation has become too small

Martina Purdy: ‘I accept God’s will in this matter, in obedience and humility’

Martina Purdy: ‘I accept God’s will in this matter, in obedience and humility’

 

Former high-profile BBC journalist turned trainee nun Martina Purdy has left her Belfast convent after she was told she cannot complete her vocation because the congregation has become too small.

Ms Purdy, who was one of Northern Ireland’s best-known political journalists, announced in 2014 she was quitting the media after more than two decades as a reporter to join the Sisters of Adoration religious congregation.

On Monday the BBC reported its former colleague, and former prominent lawyer Elaine Kelly, who quit her legal career to train as a nun in the same congregation, had left the convent and will not be allowed to take their final vows.

Two other unnamed sisters are in the same position as not enough women have come forward to join the congregation.

In a statement to BBC Northern Ireland Ms Purdy said: “My congregation – Adoration Réparatrice – has grown too small and fragile to meet the standards of governance required in the Catholic Church.

“Consequently my religious vows expired this afternoon and I am no longer a Sister of Adoration.

“This is deeply painful for all concerned.”

Not her choice

Ms Purdy said it was not her choice to leave the Belfast congregation.

She later posted a statement on Twitter: “When I entered five years ago I had hoped and believed that I would, God willing, make my final profession of vows in 2023.

Since entering the congregation in 2014, I have had the time of my life and, without question, I would do it all again

“Unfortunately, the reality is that the congregation, with declining numbers, simply does not have sufficient members to enable any of the temporary professed sisters, like myself, to become fully professed. And in accordance with Canon law, and following consultation with the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life, the congregation of Adoration Réparatrice cannot renew my temporary vows, and I accept God’s will in this matter, in obedience and humility.

“Since entering the congregation in 2014, I have had the time of my life and without question, even with this outcome, I would do it all again.”

She added that she now entered a period of discernment and asked people to pray for her. “My desire to carry out my mission remains undiminished.”