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What happens when two women commit to serving the Catholic Church as nuns-Brides of Christ, taking vows of chastity-but fall passionately in love? They must defy the Church’s rules against same-sex relationships and blaze a bold trail for a joyous, adventurous life together- at a time when LGBTQ people could be killed for being gay and same-sex marriage was decades in the future.
“Carol and I had great trust and faith in ourselves and in our higher power to confront, tackle, and live a life of prayer, hope, and joy. Love always wins!
Today I’ll share our positive outlook for humanity. I will talk about being gay, keeping it secret, coming out, and how all of that wrapped around are Catholicism as nuns and as believers. We eventually married, officiated as a sacrament from an Episcopal priest.
There is enormous beauty inside each of you. Let it shine! Be a lamp on a table — not hidden under a basket! Prayers, hugs, and love, -Joanie.”
Joanie Lindenmeyer is the co-author of Nun Better: An AMAZING Love Story. She’s a former Catholic nun and retired teacher and coach who enjoys playing and watching sports, traveling, fishing, gardening, playing guitar, listening to music, hiking and walking, baking treats and hanging out with family and friends.
Filled with joy and hope, she believes Jesus is her best friend. In 1982, she met Carol Tierheimer and they married on August 5, 2020. Raised in San Diego, California, she taught Physical Education and Health in public high school for 25 years, after teaching Religion and P.E. for four years in Catholic elementary schools.
She coached boys and girls sports teams for 20 years. Joanie worked at two nonprofits and a county Department of Health in areas of community health, addictions, teen pregnancy, sexuality, child abuse prevention, HIV/AIDS prevention, STI testing and counseling, and wellness.
A San Diego State University graduate, she was a member of the university volleyball team and has a California teaching credential.
She was a Catholic Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, ministering in many ways. Her dedication shines to people of all ages, making their lives brighter, happier and healthier. She was committed to her one and only, lifetime lover and spouse of 40 years and is a recent widow.
Joanie and Carol Tierheimer began writing “Nun Better: An AMAZING Love Story” together in the Brookings, Oregon home they shared for 31 years.
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