Myra Poole converted to Catholicism in her early 20s, and has been a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur for nearly 60 years. She belongs to a 19th century Congregation founded in France, during the French Revolution, by St Julie Billiart, a peasant woman, with her co-founder Françoise Blin de Bourdon, a rich aristocrat.
Myra’s adult religious life can be divided into two parts: the first of these being her career as a history teacher and as a Head Teacher in Northampton and Southwark, London. She then left formal education in her early 50s as she felt called to explore, with others, why women were treated like second class people in the Church. This led her to study feminist theology and spirituality in a variety of places, including Boston, USA, and to use the methodology of Titus Brandsma – TBI, Carmelite Spirituality – at Nijmegen, Holland. Her first book Prayer, Protest, Power: The Spirituality of Julie Billiart Today (2001) (Canterbury Press), was based on the TBI ‘structural dynamic’ methodology as a way to examine how she had become a Christian Feminist out of a 19th century religious charism. This was followed by Women’s Ordination: a Catalyst for Change in the Roman Catholic Church (2003), co-written with Dorothea McEwan (Canterbury Press).