Library Journal

January 5, 2022

“A Medical Mission Sister, Winter . . . writes on Czech-born Ludmila Javorova (b. 1932), a Catholic who ministered to the underground church in Czechoslovakia under communism. During the long, complex process of spiritual survival, Javorova was ordained in December 1970 by a friend of her family, Bishop Felix Davidek (1921-88), himself clandestinely consecrated. A scholar and physician, he served a large hidden network of believers, despite his imprisonments and illnesses, and ordained several unnamed women and some married men. The book combines Winter’s own commentary, lengthy texts from her taped interviews with Javorova, and the story of controversial Bishop Davidek. An official Vatican statement in February 2000 declared the ordinations invalid while compassionately recognizing the severe circumstances under which they occurred. The humble Javorova never celebrated mass publicly and accepts official church teaching. This informative personal record of suppression of basic human rights is recommended for academic and public libraries.

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