It's now 1968 and life is once again becoming turbulent for Sister Catherine as she clashes with Sister Agnes over an article written in the school newspaper by Frances Heffernon.
Frances is heavily in favour of the use of birth control, most particularly for those like Mary Maloney, the mother of her friend, Brigid, who has six children already and finds herself pregnant with a seventh. With her eldest son, Dominic, off to fight the war in Vietnam, Mary is hoping for a baby boy in case something happens to him but decides that she cannot cope with another child and so, self-induces an abortion. Sister Catherine becomes directly involved when she urges Mary to use birth control and when Mary decides to do so, she finds that she is consumed by guilt and cannot go through with it. Meanwhile, Frances, who wants to be a journalist when she leaves school is expelled near the end of the school year because of her article, which Sister Catherine allowed her to publish, extolling the virtues of birth control. Frances is defiant but Catherine is mortified at the thought that she may have been responsible for ruining a young girl's future. Just when Catherine thinks that she cannot take any more, the academically gifted Brigid decides that she wishes to become a nun and Catherine, finally talks her out of it, much to the fury of Sister Agnes. After a lot of soul searching, Catherine realises that she cannot truly be a servant of God when she is so against a large percentage of what the church teaches. It is with great regret that she leaves the convent and, at the end, we see her returning to showcase her new book "New Prayers For Old Enemies" which she has written under the name 'Catherine Markham', meaning that she hasn't gone back to using the name Diane. Frances is there as a journalist taking notes and the nuns, even Sister Agnes, are delighted when she dedicates the book to her, Mother Ambrose and 'others beginning with "A".'moreless
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