Friday, November 6, 2009


This morning, I finished the novel 'Fatherless' by Brian Gail.

Not to give the story away, it is the story of Fr. John Sweeney, a priest of Philadelphia as he struggles to come to grips with the 'hard things' that Jesus asks of His disciples.

I highly recommend the read for those who are discerning the priesthood, as Gail weaves together many of the struggles that young priests face: wanting to preach the truth, but yet also wanting to be liked by his parishioners. Fr. Sweeney is a sympathetic figure and a good priest, who is struggling to be a great priest as he counsels three different families who are experiencing struggles of their own.

But it is not a book just for priests and/or seminarians, as Gail hits the hard topics of Catholic sexual ethics. He presents the arguments as to why the Church teaches as she does in a way that, I think, is at least digestible for those who are open to the truth.

At 530 pages, it is not a short read, and honestly I felt it could have been trimmed by a good 50 or so pages, but it moved well nonetheless and presents the modern struggle of living the faith while being in the world but not of the world. It isn't as easy as it seems, as being serious about the faith has consequences in real life.

Pick it up, read it, leave it for others.

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