<i>A Change of Habit</i> recounts a spiritual journey that started starts when a religious eddy hurls 17-year-old Patty Kogutek into a convent in the 1960s. Her deeply embedded guilt drives her to obey the Catholic Church, please her earthly father, and say â€œyesâ€ to her heavenly Father. But in the convent, she fails to find happiness in religious rites and rules. Her personal experience, including changes of name and attire, parallels broader changes wrought in religious life by the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II). After leaving the convent following seven years of service, Patty assumes that she can pick up her life and move on. But once the religious habit comes off, long -practiced habits of poverty, chastity, and obedience dog her into married life. She needs to face the reality in the mirror to break out of the debilitating patterns learned in the convent.In finding true spirituality and finally listening to the God within, Patty shakes the destructive habit of guilt. Her story speaks to like-minded â€œguilt sponges,â€ offering hope on their personal spiritual quests. She shares the seven secrets to guilt-free living learned on her journey. <i>A Change of Habit</i> is not the story of a girl breaking from the convent to live happily ever after; the storyâ€™s memoirâ€™s uniqueness hinges turns on illuminating how an ingrained sense of duty becomes lodged. This story of personal reinvention and empowerment that takes place over 40 years shows that itâ€™s never to late to change oneâ€™s future.
After leaving the convent, Patty has continued to work in education, including earning a doctorate degree from USC. Dividing her time between Montana and Arizona, Patty she serves on the North Valley Hospital Foundation Board and works with the writersâ€™ group Authors of the Flathead.