Waiting for the Apocalypse

A Memoir of Faith and Family

Veronica Chater (Author)

Overview | Inside the Book

Growing up Catholic in a family where the reforms of Vatican II are seen as the work of Satan.

It is 1972, and Veronica Chater's parents believe that Vatican II's liberalization has corrupted the Catholic Church, inviting the Holy Chastisement—an apocalypse prophesied by three shepherds in Fatima, Portugal. To spare his family this horror, Veronica's father quits the highway patrol, sells everything, and moves the family of eight from California to an isolated village near Fatima.

But Portugal is no Catholic utopia, and the family schleps home penniless to join the nascent Catholic counterrevolution: attending the Latin Mass in truck garages and abandoned buildings, serving meals to religious soldiers, breeding a new member of the faithful every year. As Veronica comes of age on the fringes of the American Dream, she rebels against a fanaticism that forbids anything modern—clothes, movies, or music. This is the story, both sad and funny, of a family torn apart by religion and brought back together in spite of the injuries it inflicted on itself.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • February 2009
  • ISBN 978-0-393-06603-6
  • 5.8 × 8.6 in / 336 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Endorsements & Reviews

“Affecting and unsparingly honest.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Beautifully written and deeply affecting memoir…moving and, ultimately, so powerful.” — Debra Ginsberg, Shelf-Awareness

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