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In Mysterious Ways: The Death and Life of a Parish Priest
by Paul Wilkes
Originally published to extraordinary acclaim, selected by the Book-of-the-Month Club, and the winner of the Christopher Medal, In Mysterious Ways is widely recognized as one of the best books about Catholicism today -- a modern-day Diary of a Country Priest. Paul Wilkes paints an intimate and affecting portrait of Father Joseph Greer, the pastor of St. Patrick's Church in ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 4th 2001 by Grove Press
(first published 1990)
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This is a haunting book about the final years of Fr. Joesph Greer, the pastor of St. Patrick parish in Natick. In Mysterious Ways is as much about the realities of the Catholic Church in Boston as it is about the illness--bone marrow cancer--that Fr. Greer faces. The author set out to learn about what it means to be the pastor of a large Catholic church, and ended up following Fr. Greer through his ultimately unsuccessful fight for his life. Knowing one priest who I would actually call a friend, ...more
This book has a lot going for it: a good writer taking on the important and interesting topic of how a Catholic priest faces the prospect of his own death as he goes through treatment for multiple myeloma, a normally fatal cancer. The reader learns about daily parish life, the challenges posed to the church and the priesthood by the cultural revolution of the late 60s, and the extraordinary scientific developments that led to bone marrow transplants. The first half of the book was gripping, but ...more
Aug 01, 2012 Carola rated it really liked it
Recommended to Carola by: Will
I admire Wilkes' ability to present Father Greer as a real person, describing both his gifts and his challenges without sensationalizing either. I wanted to understand Father Greer a little better, but believe the author was limited by his subject, not his ability to write. As Father Greer's illness progresses, the story takes a shift from life as a parish priest to life as a person with a life-threatening condition, but both were of interest to me.