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In Mysterious Ways: The Death and Life of a Parish Priest Paperback – November 4, 2001
About the Author
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Here are some quotations from this 1990 book:
"And although they were hardly in the vanguard of the spirit that pervaded so many college campuses in the late 1960s and early 1970s, seminarians began to TALK WITH faculty and administration, instead of BEING TALKED TO." (Pg. 47)
"And being priests, who take their days off during the week as Saturdays and Sundays are far too jammed with Masses, weddings, and baptisms, they can indulge their passion (for skiing) without having to deal with the crowds that hamper the weekend skier." (Pg. 80)
"But you don't find too many priests my age standing up and proclaiming celibacy must be maintained. We older priests know that the quality and quantity of men aspiring to the priesthood would be greatly improved and that this tendency toward the feminiizing of the clergy would be checked. I find it very hard to be convincing about celibacy when a young man comes to me, talking about the priesthood. I just can't lie to him that it is all that important anymore." (Pg. 86)
"'A large percentage of the students at Harvard Divinity School are Catholic. The men among them will not be priests, but obviously they are interested in religion. These are the people who very probably would have been in seminary years ago. Now what is the archdiocese doing about them? Nothing,' he mutters, finally sitting down, seemingly driven to exhaustion by the reality." (Pg. 93)
Joseph Greer was a dynamic Catholic priest in Massachusetts who often confessed that he, too, felt 'weak.' His was not a weakness of faith or spirit. His body, at the age of 55, was rife with cancer. In his position as parish priest, no problem was too small for his attention and intervention, such as as a parking-lot dispute. A noise problem and ugly artificial owls GSA has over this town is an eyesore and ear-sore, and yet it is too minor to deal with, a "harassment" charge from the director in Nashville who doesn't have to endure the noise pollution he is emiting over this town.
Ordained at the age of 25, his grave illness thirty years later made him spiritually deeper and more intent on serving his parish will all his strength and ability. Even with a bone marrow transplant, his cancer returned. He has to face his own death, as am I, with suffering, humility, and the power of love -- instead of hate. He was an inspiration to all who knew him.
The author was a visiting writer at the University of Pittsburgh when he wrote this book. Others include THE GOOD ENOUGH CATHOLIC, COMPANIONS ALONG THE WAY, SIX AMERICAN FAMILIES, and A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF AN AMERICAN FAMILY.