Patty Kogutek, also known as Sister Mary Kateri, stopped by SmartFem to share about her life journey and accomplishments.

With an award-winning book under her belt, and numerous public speaking appearances, Patty has had a lot of success. But that’s not the only side to Patty. Her experience and journey has molded her into the wonderful individual she is today. For Patty it has been to live life guilt free, and she might have just achieved it.

patty1Patty Ptak Kogutek was born in Omaha Nebraska, where she attended all catholic schools. Right out of high school she decided to enter the convent. While her parents were against it, they ultimately supported her in her decision and finally approved. Patty felt that she needed to be of service to God, and a good way of doing that was to enter the convent, where she would dedicate all of her time to him.

According to Patty the first two years at the convent were the toughest, as they were the most strict. “They want to mold you into a wonderful nun…leaving the material world behind,” said Patty. They were not allowed to talk about anything personal. She felt that they were trying to take away her personality.

After spending seven years of her young life in the convent, Patty decided it was time for a change. She was ready to live her life. She moved to California with her parents and brother. As she had already been teaching in the convent, she had a college degree, but decided to go back to school to be able to teach in the state of California.

Education became a huge part of Patty’s life. She received her Doctrine at USC and worked as a principle. She later worked at the San Diego County office. She retired 12 years ago, but only to do bigger and better things.

Patty’s life is far from perfect, but she knows how to make the best of it. She has been divorced, broke off an engagement, and then married again, but she doesn’t let that define her. She lets all those imperfections let her grow and learn as she lives her life one day at a time.

bookThe once nun did not completely leave God behind, she simply learned that she could live her life and serve God at the same time. Patty’s first secret from her 7 Secrets of Guilt-Free Living reads, “Don’t let religion get in the way of your relationship with God. “That is what living guilt free is. It is being OK with with saying no, being OK with living for yourself, and being OK with looking after you before anybody else.

It took Patty about four years to write her book A Change of Habit. Not because it wasn’t a priority, but because it became difficult to dig back into her memories. Patty and her husband split their time between Phoenix and Montana. They are hoping to relocate to Phoenix permanently.

While it seems like Patty has done it all, she is not done yet. She says she wants a bigger platform to accomplish even bigger goals. Could writing for SmartFem be one of them? Stay tuned!