For two decades, Eugene Kennedy was one of the church’s fiercest critics in the sexual abuse crisis, with frequent articles in National Catholic Reporter. This book—written as an appreciation by one of Kennedy’s former students at Loyola University of Chicago—recalls and assesses his huge literary output throughout fifty years of active research and writing. Kennedy’s entire career can be seen as an extension of Vatican II. Topics in the tremendous arc of his career include a career-starting book on improving seminaries, inspiring books about faith in the twentieth century, leadership in the 1972 study by United States Catholic bishops, books on how to do counseling at the parish level, ongoing reviews of how the church put Vatican II in motion, and his last book, which is a gentle collection of blogs as he fondly reminisced about his life. In the middle of all this, he was a successful novelist and political commentator whose editor was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. And much, much more.
Endorsements & Reviews
"Eugene Kennedy lived a life that mirrored the great change in the Catholic church in the twentieth century: at various times a psychologist, author, and activist, sometimes all three. His rich and varied life is beautifully recounted in this new book—the first biography of Kennedy, and a worthy one, of this important and inspiring Catholic layman."
—James Martin, SJ, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage
"With skill and passion, Eugene Kennedy penned insight and reason to countless issues of our time. He gave us a view of truth and a glimpse of his good soul.”
—Kenneth Velo, Senior Executive of Catholic Collaboration at DePaul University
"This book is a concise and compellingly tribute to a man whose contributions changed understandings about what it means to be a Catholic priest, a counselor, and a human being. Eugene Kennedy will appeal to a wide audience as it captures the multifaceted and vibrant life of a scholar of the mind and spirit whose writings and interests transcended academic disciplines, political labels, and faith traditions. As a former student of Kennedy, I was riveted by Van Ornum’s rich and incisive compendium of our mentor’s paradigm-shifting work.”
—Arthur J. Lurigio, Dean and Professor of Psychology at Loyola University Chicago
About the Author:
William Van Ornum is professor of psychology at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. He has written A Thousand Frightening Fantasies: Understanding and Treating Scrupulosity and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (1997), which includes an introduction by John Cardinal O’Connor of New York. He is the author, coauthor, or general editor for over thirty books, many of them on the relationship between psychology and spirituality.