Sunday 4 December 2016

'People think I'm crazy' - Former BBC reporter Martina Purdy 'living the dream' as a nun

Allan Preston

Published 18/10/2016 | 08:14

Sister Martina giving her address in St Anne’s Cathedral last night
New vision: Martina Purdy turned her back on television to become a nun
Martina today as a nun

Former broadcaster Martina Purdy has revealed how her BBC colleagues thought she was crazy when she announced that she was becoming a nun.

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Addressing an audience in St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast on Monday night, she opened up about her unlikely journey from the newsroom to the Sisters of Adoration Convent on the Falls Road.

Weeks after making her life changing decision in 2014, the former BBC political correspondent said journalist friends tried to stage an intervention.

"More than one reporter in Belfast thought the story was a hoax," said Sister Martina.

"And when they checked it out and realised it was true, they thought I must have had some kind of mental breakdown.

"But when they saw how happy I was they decided not to bother. They couldn't argue with the joy. I'm not sure they understood it but they couldn't argue with it. Of course some people still think I'm crazy."

Martina Purdy with some of her former BBC colleagues
Martina Purdy with some of her former BBC colleagues

She also revealed how a cyclist shouted at her from his bike last year: "You were mad leaving that job to go in there!" But Sr Martina said: "I just put my hands in the air and said, 'I am living the dream. It's amazing'."

Born in Belfast and raised in Canada, she returned to Northern Ireland where she worked for the Irish News and the Belfast Telegraph before landing her "dream job" in the BBC.

While fondly remembering "a very privileged job," she said "the greatest privilege of my life is being at the Lord's table every day in Adoration, sitting at his feet and adoring him. So yes I am living the dream."

Belfast Telegraph

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