Two people in love,
Only their religion stands between them
At sixteen Mary Gilligan (Valerie Bertinelli) said goodbye to her family for the last time. She would never be allowed to come home again, unless one of her parents died. It was 1962, and a young girl choosing to serve God as a Nun faced a rigorous, disciplined, cloistered life. Based on the true story of Mary Gilligan, Shattered Vows is the struggle of a woman trying to find her faith, her love, and herself.
Mary has to conquer her own independent spirit and learn the ways of convent life. But changes in Church policy send her out to do mission work in a children's center where she meets Father Tim (David Morse), a young priest. They build and run the center, their growing affection for each other turning into an unspoken love. When Father Tim is reassigned to New York City, they are hopelessly separated. Mary intends to carry on his work at the center, but is offered an alternative assignment - University studies in New York - and a chance to be reunited with Father Tim.
In New York they are both plunged into the mid-sixties youth revolution which calls for freedom, new ideas, and new lifestyles. Mary is hungry for the experiences she never had - love, romance, and children. She renounces her vows hoping Father Tim will do the same. He will not.
Hurt and angry, Mary meets Rick (Tom Parsekian), who becomes her first lover. Together they explore the boundaries of sensuality. But the affair ends suddenly when Mary meets Father Tim again at a reunion of old friends, where she learns Father Tim is to marry a former nun and priest. Mary runs away in anger and sorrow, knowing it could have been her and Father Tim getting married. She returns to the convent seeking an answer to her confusion, and decides to attend the wedding and confront Father Tim.
After the ceremony Father Tim confesses that he loves Mary, has always loved her, but his calling as a priest is the path he has chosen. Smiling through her tears, Mary finally understands and forgives him for his feelings. She is now free to go on with the rest of her life.
Running Time: 97 Minutes