She Grew Up In An Isolated Religious Group In Cambridge In The '60s — Until Her Exile At 17

Download Audio

In the 1950s and 60s, Patricia Chadwick grew up in a religious community-turned-

"Little Sister: A Memoir," by Patricia Walsh Chadwick (Courtesy of Post Hill Press).
"Little Sister: A Memoir," by Patricia Walsh Chadwick (Courtesy of Post Hill Press).

social-experiment outside of Harvard Square.

Later, the St. Benedict Center, a sequestered Catholic community, moved to Still River, where it continued to develop its mission: "to create a pure-hearted community in which no material thing, no cultural influence, not even the bonds between family members, could impede the path to God."

But after growing up in "the Center," Chadwick was forced out in the 1960s at only 17 years old. At that point, she had never read a newspaper, watched a television, or made a phone call.

Her new memoir, "Little Sister" tells the story of what it was like to grow up in the group and what happened after, when she tried to put her life together.


Patricia Chadwick, author of "Little Sister: A Memoir."

This article was originally published on April 08, 2019.

This segment aired on April 8, 2019.

Headshot of Deborah Becker

Deborah Becker Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.


Headshot of Eve Zuckoff

Eve Zuckoff Freelance Producer, Radio Boston
Eve Zuckoff was a freelance producer for Radio Boston.



More from Radio Boston

Listen Live