Thursday, July 16, 2015

Great Novel Excerpt

I'm reading a novel by a delightful former professor of philosophy from the University of Notre Dame.  Dr. Ralph McInerny, who passed away in 2010, is a person whose work I've admired since the seminary.  Reading philosophy can be extremely tedious, but Dr. McInerny always made it lighter, more accessible, and (dare I say it) fun at times.

When I moved into my current rectory three years ago, there were about 5 items that the previous pastor didn't take with him.  Three of them were books, one of which was a novel by Dr. McInerny.  I'm just getting to it now, but it has been a great read.  It is titled "The Priest".

That it is set around the release of the encyclical Humanae Vitae has only made it all the better.  One exchange between the "liberalish" and a simple mother of 6 kids made me chuckle.

Mother: "So do you think a man and wife ought to sit down with population statistics before they go to bed?"

Father Ascue: "Well, it is a serious problem."

Mother: "In this country?"

Father: "It will be."

Mother: "Have you ever driven around this country?  We're campers, so we've seen a lot of it.  Do you know that most of Pennsylvania is empty countryside, woods, hills?  And that's the east.  People talk as if we were shoulder to shoulder.  Where?  In Manhattan?"

..... the conversation shifts to Humanae Vitae

Mother: "What really kills me is this talk about limiting the size of your family as if that took courage.  You know, virtue.  Nine times out of ten, it's pure selfishness.  The day couples with one or two kids start sending checks to the starving Armenians I'll believe they're thinking of someone beside themselves."


  1. I usually can't stand you or anything you say pretty much, but I'm going to read the book because it sounds interesting. I'll have to see if they have it in my local library.

    What were the other things the other pastor left?

  2. Saint Joseph,
    I present to you this day
    Father John Hollowell, priest of Jesus Christ,
    and beg you to be to him
    advocate and defender,
    counselor and friend.
    Open your heart to him
    as you opened your home to the Virgin Mother
    in her hour of need.
    Protect his holy priesthood
    as you protected the life of the Infant Christ
    threatened by cruel Herod.
    In darkness bring him light;
    in weakness, strength,
    and in fear the peace that passes understanding.
    For the sake of the tender love that bound you
    to the Virgin Mary and the Infant Christ,
    be for him, Saint Joseph, a constant intercessor
    and a shield against every danger of body, mind, and soul
    so that, in spite of his weaknesses and sins,
    his priesthood may bring glory to Christ
    and serve to increase the beauty of holiness
    in his bride the Church.

  3. Haha...
    Mr Anonymous really makes me chuckle 😊.... for someone who really dislikes Father, he sure hangs around, too funny!

    1. Just because I don't like him doesn't mean he's never right. Sometimes he shares some good information. This quote is one of those times. So laugh at me all you want, I really don't care.