Date: 04/16/2011 11:56 PM Title: Chapter 1
This is a wonderful read, complex and multi-layered. I like how you've slowly resolved some of the tension and addressed some of the unspoken issues between the team and Joe through these stories. I hope we get to hear more from Father Joe someday. :)
Author's Response: Thanks. Father Joe went mainstream as Father Jay. :-) I don't know if you get notified of responses to reviews, but if you didn't see the other response, I changed Father Joe's story around and published a novella called The Boys Upstairs (through MuseItUp, http://tinyurl.com/jlebak ) THank you so much for reading and letting me know. :-)
Date: 06/16/2007 5:48 PM Title: Chapter 1
This one it’s been difficult to know what to say about. Difficult to know what to say more than ‘this is neat! I like it!’ I could talk about all the bits I liked, the characterization, your style, the various events of the story, but that's not what makes this story outstanding to my mind.
It's its theme that's the show-stopper. Someone wiser than myself once said that one of the major struggles of our lives is the one that happens when our unreformed selves meet the world about us. It’s rarely pretty and usually we have to make some adjustments. We hate changing who we are in response to the world. Most of us do it only under duress and stop as soon as we can, feeling that we have changed quite enough.
That’s the struggle I see Joe in here. He has had to change a lot to become a priest in the first place and that was a good story you told then. Now you continue it and we realize that the struggle isn't over and that is great.
Joe has done a lot of good for his once thought of as hopeless congregation, but now his pride, his prejudices and his much-loved independence are going to have to be seriously tamed if he wants to keep doing the good he has. He has to change more and he fights it. Over and above all, it’s that struggle and how he resolves the crisis he’s in in his characteristic way that makes the story.
Along the way too, this story provides another, more subtle, yet just as pointed lesson: that rituals are intended as aids to faith, not shields behind which to hide from needs or responsibilities.