The Turning: The Sisters Who Left


Thousands of women gave up everything to follow Mother Teresa, joining her storied Catholic order, the Missionaries of Charity. But some found that life inside this fiercely private religious order was not what they’d imagined. Former sisters who worked closely with Mother Teresa describe her bold vision and devotion to charity and prayer. But they also share stories of suffering and forbidden love, abuse and betrayal. If you make a lifelong vow, what does it mean to break it? What is the line between devotion and brainwashing? Can you truly give yourself to God?

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Recent Reviews
  • nathansmcnamara
    Complex and Immersive Storytelling
    I was grabbed by this podcast immediately and even though I am only 3 episodes in I am already tempted to start pacing myself! The storytelling is complex and layered but also laser-focused as it tracks its subject(s). I realize upon listening that while of course the story of Mother Teresa and her Catholic order must have had its dirty underbelly, I never would have imagined it as gritty as this. I’m fascinated and can’t wait to keep learning about the dark corners of this private religious order. So amazing!!!
  • taema666
    Very intense
    I really am pulled in by this story. The women seem to go to extreme lengths to excuse the things they endured. It is very gripping to listen to some one do mental gymnastics in order to stay true to their calling.
  • Faceunderahat
    Deep Stories
    My heart aches deeply for the beautiful and sad stories of these women. Incredible storytelling.
  • asbjran
    Well done
    This is a quality podcast and have really enjoyed learning about the Missionaries of Charity.
  • Riskchick1001
    Absolutely mind blowing!
    This podcast truly pulls back the iron curtain! I was hooked about 15 minutes into the first episode! And now Tuesday is my Friday because this show!!
  • CancerBoA
    OMG this is so amazing and I can hardly stand waiting for the next episode. Please, keep this going. I grew up Catholic and always wondered why the nuns at my school always appeared to be miserable and empty. This explains so much ❤️
  • LP8A
    Very interesting
  • Carol_Purcell
    As a woman who entered MCs in 1995 and lived in the convents in Harlem, the South Bronx and Gallup, New Mexico before leaving in 1996, I am absolutely thrilled to hear these stories being told. The Petrie documentary, working with the MCs in their Detroit soup kitchen and my young idealism drew me to the social mission of the order, when frankly, I was too young to make such a significant life decision. My experience proved to be like several of these stories, as the inner workings of the life was revealed to me. When I found Mary Johnson’s book years ago, it helped me to find words and healing for lots of buried emotions and experiences and understand that I was not alone. Thank you for taking the time to share these complex and compelling stories.
  • truecrimebuff03
    Amazing!!! I can’t wait until the next episode!
  • MariamaRaz
    I was trying hard not to “Handmaid’s Tale” this. There is a story of human yearning to God, which is fascinating... a story of women relationship to God.. her movement within religion. It gets you questioning religion.. What makes us human!? Great series!
  • steph_nini
    I’m hooked! Interesting stories from people who were there.
  • TattooedLady801
    Who edits this??
    The story is compelling & well told but the editing is a hot mess. It repeats segments of like 15+ seconds & occasionally skips ahead so much that if becomes confusing. If you can deal with that it’s pretty great.
  • elisesmama
    Thought provoking
    As a Christian myself, and not a Catholic, I am fascinated by this untold story of someone that I honestly knew very little about. This leads me to want to dig even further and learn more about the women that chose, and maybe now I realize, did not choose, to follow her. The editing in this and the addition of music and other noises makes it so fun to listen to and I’m honestly disappointed when it ends and I have to wait another week 🤣 Well done!!
  • Buzz108
    Amazing storytelling
    Captivating and well out together. I grew up catholic and can totally understand. Love the way this podcast is produced and how the story unfolds!!!
  • Martha may whoviay
    Thoughtful and thought provoking
    Well done podcast. Episode 5 has a couple of glitches where some sound is skipped over.
  • Dee62890567
    Insightful and though provoking. Ignore the negative reviews from religious fanatics (aka psychopaths) who call any critical thoughts by actual people who experienced these events. They (the psychos) are why so many people hate organized religion and drive more people away each day. You can still have your own faith and be able to hear what women experienced as nuns (which btw is not all bad, these women are intelligent and speak very thoughtfully and try to remain neutral or limited to their own experience only)
  • MBurbz
    Can’t wait for more eps.
  • Pam-Brockton
    Hope you’ll do more. Inside the mysterious lives of these women.
  • Groupworker
    Good concept. Important story. However, it lost its momentum and focus after the 1st episode and I could barely finish the series.
  • Gemmasstiletos
    So interesting
    And also a reminder of the ridiculousness religion imposes. How is being mean to aspiring sisters, feeding them moldy bread, and denying them the ability to simply wash themselves showing devotion to God? This is why I eschew all religious beliefs
  • galaxiaS701
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  • Victoria cell phone
    This is the worst DRIVEL
    Truly I feel for the women who were lured into this Podcast as they present with an extraordinary lack of personal insight. As much as I tried to listen to all segments only made it through 1/2 of the second one. These women obviously were not counseled or given a battery of psychological tests which would have easily identified them as poor candidates. Their experience does reflect where I think the church was at the time in helping people with vocational discernment yet these women are made to look and sound so silly. Shame on the podcast team for sensationalizing their experience, for what end, one can only imagine.
  • Vaness3154
    Audio documentary the best
    I love this story and the production is excellent. If you love Serial or The Line, this is even better!
  • ex religious sister
    This series is a powerful opportunity for healing for all who have left the religious life!
  • Chapman.L
    So so good!
    One of my favorites since Serial (seasons 1). So well done. An interesting topic done very very well.
  • Princess Di 34
    Eye opening
    Thank you for being so curious, brave, and diligent enough to do great research and opening the eyes to this. I think it says a lot about humans in general and how we idolize people when we never really know people. The western world is no different than a place in the Far East. We all must be aware of truth. Thank you for showing the honesty and those good women; the nuns, with good hearts, who were overlooked. Thank you.
  • LegalAssist1963
    Too Many Ads for Other Pods
    This is interesting and informative re the subject, Mother Teresa, but it feels more like a vehicle for advertising other iHeartRadio podcasts. It’s very disruptive. Too bad.
  • The Accessory Barn
    Enjoyable podcast
    This is a really interesting podcast but I wish the host would slow down a little when she talks. She speaks so fast sometimes it’s hard to catch her sentence.
  • From1791
    Have the guts to do this while someone lives...
    A well produced way to draw you in by people who didn’t have the integrity to do this while she was alive. How you can listen this as a critical thinker and still look yourself in the mirror, I have no idea.
  • Fancydisco
    Absolutely mesmerizing!
    Wow, this podcast has really great storytelling. I wish there could somehow be a hundred episodes, as I don’t want it to ever end! I have been fascinated by all types of secretive societies and cults since I was a little girl at church camp, listening to one of the elderly crafts teachers talk about how the devil worked in hippie communes. I remember thinking, well it sounds pretty fun to me! Haha! Anyway, I agree with some of the other reviewers who commented on the care and warmth of the storytelling. Would be easy to make a more salacious podcast, making this one I’m sure took more time and tenderness!
  • praxis78
    Mother Theresa was a sadist
    I hope they get a psychologist to profile that crazy cult lady.
  • MichaelinRome
    I listen to many podcasts, easily 20 hours per week. So if something can still draw me in then it’s got to be great. This podcast is fantastic storytelling. I had to get through all the available episodes quickly cause I couldn’t wait to hear what’s next. I’ve heard some very conflicting stories about Mother Teresa so hearing from someone who was actually there is a treat. I really hope the next one goes in the direction I’m hoping for. One which could be quite painful for the devout.
  • Ty fybbufd
    I can’t tell which order to listen to the episodes
  • MFVdeB
    I am enjoying it so much!
  • ThisIsDumbOMG
    Now this is storytelling
    This is a subject I know little about, I was only mildly interested when I started the first episode. By the end of episode 2, I was searching for the release date of episode three.
  • nikerns
    So good!
    Told in such a great way and brings light to a very secretive world .
  • puddingstone12
    I was afraid this podcast would be sensational and gossipy like the NY Times Op-Ed it was featured in. I was pleasantly surprised by how well done it was and will be waiting with bated breath for the next episode. As someone who left everything behind to join a convent and later left, I know well the pain and suffering that former religious often endure with very little understanding or support. There is unfortunately a stark contrast between the ideal of the religious life and the actual reality, which has resulted in so many people leaving a life they set out to live with every pure intention and conviction. Thank you for such a wonderful project.
  • JJF63
    Captivating, this stunningly well told story avoids the usual traps and presents a nuanced, in depth and meticulously researched look at Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. Each episode reveals new layers and leaves one wanting more.
  • Kerry Walters
    As the author of a biography of Mother Theresa, I was worried about a hatchet job on her - something along the lines of Christopher Hitchens’ book - when I learned about this podcast. But after listening to the first two chapters, I’m so impressed by the care and sensitivity on display. Thank you!
  • Spookfan90
    Wow, I can’t get enough
    This is so intriguing - but it’s not that salacious crap you usually hear about good things gone bad. It’s thoughtful and absorbing and warm. I’ve learned so much just in the first two episodes. Can’t wait to hear the rest.
  • DahliCat
    Looking forward to the next installment
    A gripping inside look at the the Missionaries of Charity. The podcast is emotional and honest with a view into the rather mysterious world of becoming a sister in Mother Theresa's order. Looking forward to the next episodes.
  • doris3633
    Becoming a Sister….
    A fascinating and beautifully told story. Mary’s experiences develop gradually as the listener waits in suspense to hear what will come next. Mary’s ability to accept her life as a Sister is impressive. She has to become a “new” person with “new” responsibilities. The sound effects add to the suspense of the story. How will Mary cope with her homesickness? her social isolation?
  • Sleeplessinsandiego
    Great podcast. A look into a secret society
    What is it like to be a nun with Mother Theresa. Saintly behavior contrasted with protection of the Catholic church’s worst behaviors. Mesmerizing.
  • Kaia Preus
    Gripping and engrossing
    I have just listened to the first two episodes of The Turning and I cannot wait for the rest of this podcast to release. The show is written and produced beautifully. Even as I listen to and learn about former Sisters’ unsettling experiences during their times as Missionaries of Charity, I feel a warmth and respect diffusing through the podcast. This expert uncovering and storytelling will leave you wanting more, as it has for me.
  • tweedycat617
    Window into a mysterious world
    Fascinating glimpse into a secretive culture with deeply personal storytelling and thoughtful hosting. A beautifully produced series!
  • eleanor_nc
    Thoughtful and nuanced
    An expertly told story!
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