About Marion

Marion Dante

Marion Dante

Marion was born in Limerick in 1944. Despite her parents being married at the time, she was conceived out of wedlock. The Catholic Church considered this to be sinful so maybe this convinced her mother to atone by offering Marion to God as her sin offering.

In the aftermath of war and for other reasons, her branch of the Dante family left Limerick for Shepherds Bush in 1955. As Marion relates: “There was neither a shepherd nor bush in sight and we were confronted with signs stating: ‘No dogs! No blacks! No Irish!”

In 1959, at the age of 14, Marion entered the Salesian Sisters Convent in Surrey. Life in the fifties was not easy and there were many more privations in the convent. In 1965 she took vows of chastity, poverty and obedience in Friar Park, Henley on Thames (later to become the home of the Beatle, George Harrison). After training to be a teacher she eventually taught in schools throughout England and in Scotland. So many changes within the church and in her family resulted in Marion suffering a nervous breakdown. The Sisters offered many a solution but she courageously left the convent in 1991 with practically nothing and no real concept of the ‘outside world’.

Marion with her brother Desmond

Marion with her brother Desmond (1950 – 2010)

Marion is single, has never married or even dated. She built a life for herself as a member of a Writers’ Reading Group and National Women’s Register. Having had breast cancer, Marion also belongs to The Fountain Centre Supporter’s Club and helps raise funds for cancer patients who frequent St Luke’s Cancer Centre in The Royal Surrey Hospital. In 2004 she climbed Machu Picchu in Peru for this cause and has only recently returned from 100 mile trek to Santiago Compostela, this time helping to raise over £35,000. Being single she involves herself with her two sisters and their extended families, plays the guitar and sings, gives talks on her autobiography, writes, enjoys playing badminton, swimming, walking, yoga and many other activities. She is also a member of the Kindred Spirits Choir, a choir for women who have received treatment for breast cancer.

For Marion, writing her biography as therapeutic, helping her to deal with a number of issues that have troubled her since leaving the convent.