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Series by Andrew M. Greeley

I've read several of this Chicago area Catholic priest's "little bishop" series, but this time, I grabbed all but one of his Irish series, Nuala Anne McGrail (which mentions the "little bishop" in passing, but does not use him as a main character). Somewhere along the line, which seem to go in order throughout her life, I skipped her wedding, (which happened in Irish Lace, of course! What else could he possibly call it?) but got in on the presence of three children. Either I missed seeing Irish Lace on the shelf, as I did not take my glasses in (BAD PLANNING!), it was checked out, or the little Corydon library does not have it.

No, I'm not Catholic, but a lot of my good friends are, as well as some of the relatives. He tells upbeat stories, thrillers, with complex mysteries to solve, but with a lot of philosophy, alternating the settings between Ireland and Chicago.

The love scenes are hysterical. Oh, what he must hear in confession! (Or, as a Catholic friend pointed out, priests vow to live celibately, but do NOT have to come into the priesthood as virgins...)

He also works into the text lots of song lyrics, generally of religious origin, but the Molly Malone of Dublin folk song got in the first volume in all its stanzas and choruses twice (Irish Gold). The one I finished last night, Irish Eyes, had this one, which brings back pleasant memories of Mom singing as she worked around the downtown Chicago apartment when I was quite young:

When Irish eyes are smiling,
"Tis like a day in spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter,
You can hear the angels sing.

When Irish eyes are happy,
All the world is bright and gay,
But when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they'll steal your heart away.

(Twice, of course -- as a front piece, and then repeated in the text where Nuala actually sings it in the story.)

Edit: Today, the OTHER nearby town's library actually HAD Irish Lace, so slightly out of order, but better than never, I will read that one, too.


( 7 pithy comments — Say something pithy! )
Aug. 3rd, 2006 01:16 am (UTC)
I thought Greeley had left the priesthood several years ago. But I could be off my twig, there.
Aug. 4th, 2006 12:31 am (UTC)
The Most Recent Thing
The most recent book I've been into was from 2001, and on the back of that, it had a web site and email that seemed to indicate that he was still on board. I'd never read him before last summer, so sure am not a definitive source!

To write as prolifically as he seems to, he must not have been in a very time-consuming parish...

I'll look in Irish Lace and some of the the others I brought home yesterday and see if any of them have the URL/email info, if you're interested.
Aug. 4th, 2006 03:35 pm (UTC)
Re: The Most Recent Thing
Hmm. No, I'd heard this longer ago than that. Must have been someone else.
Aug. 4th, 2006 10:55 pm (UTC)
Good Ole Internet!
Well, now you got my curiosity up! I typed his name into the internet, and got results of about 998,000 English pages for Andrew M. Greeley. (0.25 seconds).

How astonishing! I have NO intentions of looking at that many pages, I can assure you.

The first page of bio was from 2004 and he was still a priest then, and had been publishing books for 50 years! I was quite impressed.

Thank you for prodding me to do my homework.
Aug. 4th, 2006 11:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Good Ole Internet!
Well, now I'm wondering who the novelist priest was who DID leave the priesthood back in the 80s or early 90s.

You solved your mystery, and presented me with a bigger one. Thanks a lot.

Aug. 5th, 2006 12:05 am (UTC)
Re: Good Ole Internet!
Yeah, somehow I don't think you'd get much response from author former priest.

But, hey, there IS one! Former priest-turned-writer James Carroll... (I've never heard of him...)

That'll teach me to make assumptions.
Aug. 5th, 2006 01:25 am (UTC)
Good Ole Internet!
Well, don't you know, you pricked my curiosity, so I just HAD to type his name into Google!

From a bio:
This "Renaissance Priest" celebrates 50 years as a priest in Spring 2004. That is when three of his new books will be released. They are: The Catholic Revolution: New Wine, Old Wineskins, and the Second Vatican Council (University of California Press)—an analysis of sociological and moral issues facing the Church and priesthood in 2004; Priests: A Calling in Crisis (University of Chicago Press)—a statistical and subjective examination of the priesthood; and a much-anticipated novel, The Priestly Sins (Tor)—which spotlights the powerful forces arrayed against an idealistic priest after he witnesses and reports child abuse by a fellow-priest.

That last one is one of the books I just got from the library.
( 7 pithy comments — Say something pithy! )



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