'From Hysterical to Holy': Memories and funny stories from two Catholic women named Ann
TRYON — What do you get when two Third Order Carmelites receive a direct calling from the Blessed Mother?
The delightful book "From Hysterical to Holy."
Filled with musings and memories of Anne Strozzo and Ann Marie Rowe, affectionately known as the "two Anns" to those who are blessed to know them, the book entertains from the first page. Both women, born in Georgia, led productive lives enriching those around them through their original vocations. Eventually they both came to be settled at St. John the Baptist Parish in Tryon, where they found a shared calling that would become the basis for many of the stories in their new book.
Strozzo first worked as an operating room private scrub nurse before getting her degree in electrolysis and opening her own business in Spartanburg, S.C. Rowe was a registered nurse and certified registered nurse anesthetist. After both retired from their respective nursing careers, they got together to open a Catholic bookstore in Spartanburg – an experience they describe as "the Blessed Mother took us on her 'wild ride'."
Pictured: Ann Strozzo and Ann Marie Rowe are pictured with Father John Eckert, pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Tryon. (Kathleen Schmieder | Catholic News Herald)
Filled with stories that span from their childhoods through the years of running their Catholic bookstore, the book penned by the "two Anns" provide readers with vignettes of faith, community and friendship.
"The Lord uses people who don't know anything, to get things done," Rowe says. "The bookstore became a calling, ministry and vocation."
Their outreach expanded into the community not only for Catholics but also to other faiths. Their store afforded them with an opportunity to teach others about Catholicism in small ways that made a great impact. Often the door opened and those entering the shop offered the Anns the chance to "entertain angels," they said.
"From Hysterical to Holy" offers a full dose of both fun and faith, as promised in the title. The book received its introduction to the public at St. John the Baptist Church's second-annual Italian festival held recently. The authors will continue the promotion for the book at signings to be held from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 12 at St. Anthony's Catholic Store, 443 Congaree Road, Suite C, in Greenville, S.C. (864-288-0335), and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 13 at St. Anthony's Catholic Store in Spartanburg (864-576-2777). Arrangements are currently being made for a future book signing at Seven Gifts in Gastonia.
"From Hysterical to Holy" can be also be ordered by contacting Rowe and Strozzo through P.O. Box 37, Columbus, N.C. 28722, or through St. John the Baptist Church at 180 Laurel Avenue, Tryon, N.C. 28782 (828-859-9574). The book costs $10, with $3 more for shipping.
— Kathleen Schmieder, correspondent