About the Author
Eileen O'Farrell Smith was born into an Irish Catholic family and grew up on Long Island, New York. After receiving a Bachelor of Science/Pre-Med from Duquesne University, she joined the Peace Corps, teaching science in Zaire, Africa. Upon returning home, she joined the VISTA program where she taught math and reading to Job Corps participants in Cave City, Kentucky. Subsequently, she entered the University of Illinois School of Public Health, where she completed a Master's Degree. In 1986, she married Stephen Smith, a Jewish man from Boston. After giving birth to three children, she became intrigued by the question of how religious faith is formed in children with a Catholic and a Jewish parent. In 1995, she was awarded a 4-year grant from Lilly Endowment to conduct research on that topic, using children ages 7-11 in a Catholic/Jewish Sunday School. This manuscript is a result of that work and of her involvement in the Jewish Catholic Couples Group in Chicago. She lives on the north side of Chicago with her husband Stephen and their children Nora 16, Bennett 15 and Liliana 12. They are proud to be members of Old St. Patrick's Church and Chicago Sinai Congregation.