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Notes from the Underground: The Spiritual Journal of a Secular Priest Hardcover – March 1, 2012


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Notes from the Underground: The Spiritual Journal of a Secular Priest + Night Conversations with Cardinal Martini: The Relevance of the Church for Tomorrow + The Good Bishop: The Life of Walter F. Sullivan
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books; First edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1626980063
  • ISBN-13: 978-1626980068
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Speaks directly to Vatican II Catholics and beyond them to anyone who wonders about faith. . . ." --Eugene Cullen Kennedy

"I long for the kind of respectful, honest, adult conversations the Cozzens' book exemplifies. . . . " --Matthew H. Clark, Bishop Emeritus, Rochester, NY

"A book we truly need at this critical time in our Church." --Thomas Gumbleton, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus, Detroit, MI

"I long for the kind of respectful, honest, adult conversations the Cozzens' book exemplifies. . . . " --Matthew H. Clark, Bishop Emeritus, Rochester, NY

"A book we truly need at this critical time in our Church." --Thomas Gumbleton, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus, Detroit, MI

About the Author

Donald Cozzens, a priest and writer, is author of two award-winning titles, Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church and The Changing Face of the Priesthood, and is editor of The Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest, all published by Liturgical Press. He is the former rector of St. Mary's Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in the archdiocese of Cleveland, and currently writer in residence at John Carroll University where he teaches in the religious studies department. Fr. Cozzens has appeared on Meet the Press and has been interviewed on Fresh Air, All Things Considered, The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, BBC radio and television, CNN, and the major television networks. He speaks at Catholic conferences in the U.S. and abroad.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Perhaps he will bring us the opportunity to suffer for change.
Aqua 56
The book is a journal of Cozzens's thoughts, so those looking for a linear argument are likely going to find it somewhat unorganized and meandering.
Michael Boyle
Cozzens opens his personal experience to the reader, positive and negative.
Bradley A. Pritts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bradley A. Pritts on April 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Disclosure: I have heard Fr. Cozzens speak several times and have briefly met him personally. Based on this experience I am favorably biased.

Fr. Cozzens opens his personal experience to the reader, positive and negative. He shares his uncertainties about the Church and his faith candidly. It is clear that he remains a reverent priest committed to the Gospel.

Cozzens begins early in his ministry (during his time in the seminary and ordination) and gives a perspective on the transition of the Church brought by Vatican II. He is humble and open to the reader. Fr. Cozzens openly explores a number of issues and concerns facing the Church, such as priestly celibacy and clericalism. He supports the move to Catholics claiming "adulthood" in the Church.

Thoughtful adult Catholics will find this book helpful and inspiring.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By jofachm on April 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read most of Don Cozzens' books. They are all easy reads and so down to earth. He tells it like it is and in his Notes from the Underground, which was published just about the time Pope Benedict resigned and Pope Francis was elected, he gave a startling but true picture of the work of the Vatican. I would recommend this book to anyone who believes the Vatican is in need of reform. I hope Cozzens will continue writing as he observes changes (hopefully) in how the Catholic Church is governed, and how women, especially nuns, are treated in the Church.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Gadoua on June 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'd encourage all lay persons, students of theology, educators, priests, as well as vowed religious women and men raised and educated in the Spirit of Vatican II to read this encouraging, confirming, elucidating, pastoral book. Cozzens, a professor of theology, writing in a common language, addresses the true nature of faith as opposed to misinterpretations that have led in, large part, to major conflicts in the church with special attention to the issues today. Not a wasted word in this short book, but the ideas will be welcome to all who have kept vigil with Vatican II. It's a wonderful gift to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Council. Students of theology, seminarians, and pastoral women and men will, I believe, find it a worthy read. You may even say of yourself, you are on the same wave length as Cozzens.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter J. Brock on February 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was my first contact with Father Cozzens and it was on a Kindle. The book was an easy read and was informative and relevant to an 80 year old lifetime Catholic who was taught by the Sisters and Priests and I even was convinced the Priesthood was for me. Fortunately I changed my mind. The changes brought about by Vatican 11 were a mixed blessing. On the one hand it became easier; OK to eat meat on Friday; no fasting from midnight to receive Communion; English instead of Latin at Mass. A schoolmate said that when his old Irish mother was told that the Pope said it was OK to eat meat on Friday her response was “ the Pope can go to Hell if he wants to but I don’t eat meat on Friday.” On the other hand, the changes were disruptive. The altar was turned around so the Priest became more of a performer than a celebrant. Community singing became a part of the Mass. This was supposed to enhance the feeling of community. (most people had thought of attending Mass as more of a personal activity and not a group enterprise.) Those who used a Missal at Mass found it no longer appropriate. Mind numbing readings from the Old Testament that you had heard a thousand times and still didn’t understand followed by homilies that would buckle your knees to explain them. Mass became longer. Years ago I attended Sunday Mass in Dublin Ireland. After reading the Gospel, the celebrant said “ as a young priest serving in my first parish, the Pastor offered me a piece of advice“. He said “ keep in mind Father that it was the quick Mass and the short sermon that saved the faith in Ireland. He was a man of his word.

A major impact of the changes was the de-emphasizing of items that were the backbone of being a Catholic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert M. Rowden on July 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This time Father Cozzens adds his personal story and experience from being close to power, to his expected
and valuable critique of current church structure and leadership. It is a masterful expression of the frustrations and hopes
of us in the underground. Again and often he has been in the forefront of the few clergy who dare to tell it like it is-and
he does it with style and grace.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Barbara V. Glasener on July 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book at the recommendation of a friend and took it with me on vacation. It was so on target with so many of my own views about the Church, where we are, where we've been, where we need to be. Any thinking Catholic would enjoy Fr. Cozzens' writing.

Barbara V. Glasener
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Francis Champine on July 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fr. Cozzens has articulated all of my feelings with the recent transition of the Church from a beautiful translation of the English Mass to a truncated transliteration of the old Latin Mass pre-Vatican II. His discussion on Authority and its role in the church today explains so much of how the John Paul II appointed bishops are attempting to move the church backward. He explores the difference between Faith and Belief and helps the reader understand the difference between living a Gospel life and living within the orthodox demands of the church. All I could do is smile and shake my head in ascent. Great read!
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