Life stories of spiritually committed six Catholic nuns: A life course study

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology Major in Human Development


College of Liberal Arts




This paper presents a qualitative study that examined the spiritual development of a group of six spiritually committed Catholic nuns who were nominated for their exemplary life of spiritual commitment and service. The aim of the study was to gain insight into the significant interactions, experiences and psychological processes behind their extraordinary spiritual commitment. Using the life course paradigm, the study examined common themes that emerged from the life stories of the respondents along the key elements of life course theory, namely, linked lives, agency, and transition. The study also examined the definitions of spirituality they offered and their spiritual experiences from childhood until the present. McAdams Life Story Interview Protocol was used to gather the data. Analysis focused on the common themes emerged in childhood, adolescence and adulthood, along the key elements of life course paradigm. Findings revealed that religious socialization, along with bonding within family and the exemplary life of parents in spiritual activities were dominant themes of childhood narratives, while spirituality was mainly getting to know the sacred through a significant adult and in the participation in religious activities and rituals. During the adolescence, main themes focused on participation in religious and spiritual activities in groups, deepening of faith, reflection on the transcendent, discernment on the direction of life, and other important events that led a turning point and entry into convent. The adulthood themes were mainly on experiences of struggles and life in the community, overcoming a crisis, looking at struggles as sources of inspiration and deepening of faith, awareness of the presence of God in struggles, and final union and surrender to God that deepened their commitment to spiritual life. Lastly, spirituality was defined as having a deep union with sacred, connectedness to humanity and spirituality as manifested in ones own good disposition and positive qualities.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer optical disc ; 4 3/4 in.

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