Kathmandu: Sister Mary Elizabeth (Lisa), a nun from northern England and a monk, Robert got married.
Sister Mary Elizabeth had imagined the reaction of her family, or of her bishop, if she left. She also wrestled over whether her relationship with God would change.
But the interaction with her superior caused her to do something uncharacteristically impetuous.
Robert grew up in a region that recently transitioned from Germany to Poland, with a Lutheran father and Catholic mother.
But it was a dark period after a failed relationship that led him to continue his search for fulfilment in England where, in spite of the Lutheran Protestant theology he had settled on, it was in a Carmelite Roman Catholic monastery where he found his solace.
Robert had been a Carmelite friar for 13 years . He was a thinker, academic and theologian who came to monastic life in a search for meaning during what he describes as a crisis of faith and identity.
He says the order taught him how to embrace darkness, difficulties and crisis to the point where he felt settled. However, the encounter with Lisa, who he barely knew then as Sister Mary Elizabeth – turned his life upside down.
They both did get married, and now share a home in the village of Hutton Rudby in North Yorkshire where Robert has been made a vicar of the local church.
They are still on a journey to adjust to life outside the monastery.