Book Reviews of Extraordinary Lives: 34 Priests Tell Their Stories

Extraordinary Lives: 34 Priests Tell Their Stories
Extraordinary Lives 34 Priests Tell Their Stories
Author: Francis P. Friedl, Rex Reynolds
ISBN-13: 9780877936565
ISBN-10: 0877936560
Publication Date: 7/1998
Pages: 270
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.

4.5 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Ave Maria Press
Book Type: Paperback
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Helpful Score: 1
The lives of 34 Roman Catholic priests are detailed in this anthology. Priests in special situations, bishops, priests of religious communities, parish priests, those who suffered through self-doubts and unusual difficulties, and those who came from different faith traditions all find a voice here. I was reluctant to read this book at first because I felt it would only compound that curious feeling of alienation I feel as a woman in the Catholic church; that feeling that suggests since women are not to be ordained, women's gifts remain secondary. Once I chose to read these stories I could not put the book down. The authors did a wonderful job of bringing out each man's struggles with normal human issues, like pride,lust, burn-out, along with the joys of their vocations. Many of the priests mention Marriage Encounter as inpacting their vocations at a deep level. They mentioned how humbled and edified they were by the couples they met who were deeply committed to making their marriages work. A few priests caustiously explored the issue of ordaining married men, or accepting back into the fold priests who had left to marry. The subject of the recent child abuse scandals was tackled head on. A surprising number felt there is a place for married priests and that this option should be explored. One priest delighted me with his view that married women would make excellent priests. I can recommend this book for anyone curious about what makes priests tick. I still remain female, I still have my doubts about how a heirarchical church can answer the needs of the female half of the population, but after reading this book I am glad to know that most priests live and feel as if they were given a great gift in their vocation, one that they humbly pray will continue to serve all of humankind.