Fr. Andrew Greeley, Roman Catholic priest, sociologist and author of 50 books, died May 29. Though I didn’t agree with all of his opinions or his politics, he was an inspiration to me.
I enjoyed reading Fr. Greeley’s Bishop Blackie mystery novels, and especially appreciated the non-sensational way he depicted encounters with the supernatural.
The Priestly Sins was a harrowing account of how powerful institutions, whether ecclesial, corporate or political, seek to utterly discredit and destroy legitimately honest whistleblowers.
But most of all, Fr. Greeley’s career convinced me that it is possible, even beneficial, to be a faithful priest AND a fiction writer.
In a 1992 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Fr. Greeley said, “I’m a priest, pure and simple…. The other things I do — sociological research, my newspaper columns, the novels I write — are just my way of being a priest.”
Thank you, Fr. Greeley. You set the bar high for the rest of us.
I pray that, like Johann Sebastian Bach, and by implication Fr. Greeley, I will be able to write “Soli Deo Gloria–Glory to God alone” on all my works, secular and religious.