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Married to the Church

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Revised Edition 1.An Unfinished Story 2.The Haven of the Seminary 3.Once a Seminarian 4.Stirring Up Ghosts 5.The Personal Plight 6.Finding a Place in the World 7.Divorced, Still Married 8.A Livable Priesthood 9.A Sense of Story Afterword Acknowledgments Appendix: Introduction to the Original Edition Notes Index

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An intimate portrait of the priesthood, with new material on the impact of the recent abuse scandal

About the Author

Raymond Hedin is Professor of American Literature at Indiana University. He spent his high school and college years at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee.


In 1985, when Hedin returned for a class reunion to Milwaukee's St. Francis Seminary, which he left in 1966, he became intrigued with the similarities in the midlife struggles of his former classmates and their relationship to the church. He spent the next five years interviewing these men. The resulting book, which is written in a cathartic style, deals with issues such as priests' loneliness, money issues, celibacy, diminished status, and self-esteem. Hedin exposes the assumption that Roman Catholic priests are superhuman and separated from normal human existence. He also shows that the issues now facing the class of 1969 have changed. While the Baltimore Catechism has been replaced with more interpersonal satisfactions, and service to the people comes before service to the church, 22 of the original 29 graduates remain in the priesthood. Hedin's book is a good insider's look at the priesthood from the turbulent 1960s, when the radical changes of Vatican II were being introduced. For large popular religion collections.‘L. Kriz, Sioux City P.L., Ia.

Praise for the first edition: "A poignant and powerful truth works its way through Mr. Hedin's stories... These were men of high ideals, of moral passion, and many of them continue to struggle mightily to live honorable and generous lives." Robert Coles, New York Times Book Review "A fascinating portrait of the priesthood today." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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