Author: Andrew Greeley
Born: February 5, 1928, Oak Park, Illinois
Died: May 29, 2013, Chicago, Illinois
Quote: Andy Greeley once said of the nation’s Catholic Bishops that they are “morally, intellectually, and religiously bankrupt.”
Andrew Greeley has definitely turned into one of my favorite authors. I found his books completely by accident, roaming around the aisles of my library looking for something to catch my eye. I believe it was a book from his “Irish” series, and the word Irish is indeed what caught my attention. What turned into reading a couple books over a weekend (yes, over a weekend; life was simpler then!) turned into me reading every single book I could find at my library and buy from Barnes and Noble. That these Irish stories also took place in Chicago, with references to real places in Michigan was just an added bonus for me. He wrote over 120 books, and had 10 that were on the New York Times Bestseller list, starting with The Cardinal Sins, which was published in 1981.
He wrote numerous stories and short series with different priests in the main role, and his stories were very open and honest about how he really felt God felt about his followers. These books had swearing, and sex, and even murder, as they were fiction, but I cannot imagine anyone of any religious background, or none at all, as being offended by what these stories told.
Mr. Greeley was a Priest, Scholar, Social Critic, and avid storyteller. He was very outspoken about demanding punishment for priests who abused children, often finding himself in hot water. He became wealthy from the publication of his stories, and donated his first earned million to charity, and continued to support numerous charities throughout his lifetime.
I have to say, I am not Catholic, I have only witnessed a Catholic wedding once, I have never been to a Catholic Mass, and am only familiar with the fact that Catholics say “Hail Mary’s”, use rosary’s, and confess their sins to a priest. I in no way mean any disrespect what-so-ever. I am a Lutheran (Protestant) and was raised that way, so that is what I know. I am only pointing this out because I grasped these stories with both hands and couldn’t bear to set them down. The storytelling is incredible, and when you finish one, you cannot wait to get your hands on the next. Reading about a priest who solves murders, and has a sense of humor, is fun and refreshing. I can honestly say I was deeply saddened when I began looking into information on Mr. Greeley and discovered that after suffering a stroke, he was no longer able to write, and was incapacitated for several years. I was even more saddened to learn of his passing when it happened last year, and thinking about the happiness his stories have brought me is making this difficult to write as well. There are many, many authors whom I deeply enjoy and will read their numerous books, but there are indeed only a few who truly get their words and stories wrapped around my brain and leave an indelible mark on me forever.