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In the 1950s and '60s, Cathleen is being raised by her non-religious, single mother in rural Tennessee. But after getting a scholarship to Catholic school, she soon finds herself drawn into the mystery and romanticism of a life devoted to the worship and servitude of God and decides to be a nun. With the dawn of the Vatican II era, radical changes in the Church are threatening the course of nuns’ lives. So as Cathleen progresses from the postulant to the novitiate stage of training, her faith is repeatedly challenged by the harsh, often inhumane realities of being God’s servant, and she finds herself struggling with issues of faith, sexuality and the recent changes in life of the Church.