Father Bill: Reflections of a Beloved Rebel

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9781881896333: Father Bill: Reflections of a Beloved Rebel
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Father Bill was a charismatic Catholic priest, advocate for the poor, for workers, street alcoholics, drug addicts, and a conscience to politicians. A true patriot, one who loved his church and country enough to speak truth to power; and to exhort its leaders to serve the people according to God's will. Arrested close to 300 times for picketing in the cause of peace and justice, he spent 6 months in Atwater Federal Penitentiary in protest of the torture taught at the School of the Americas/WHSIC. He was confident of the possibilities of encountering God. Nature has created us with the capacity to know God, to experience God, just as it has created us with the capacity to know speech. The experience of God (which is grace) or in any case the possibility of experiencing God, is the innate mystery of God-with-me and I-with God, and depends wholly on God to the extent there is no I without God. When i am with God, then I am who and what I am. When I am against God, I am struggling to destroy who and what God creates and saves me to be. This struggle is futile: I cannot rid myself of God's presence in my being and life. To persist in it is madness and hell. This vacumn feeling is an opening to our deepest mystery, to a sacred place, where God can be experienced, a place where we can reach out from deep inside ourselves to take in the wonder and strength and help that surrounds us. This can keep us going for today . . . Keep us hoping for today . . . Loving for today. For Father Bill belief was not static certitude, but trust in guides on a mysterious journey: by trusting spiritual wisdom and living it, God could be known. The book includes Father Bill's reflections on the topics of: Wisdom, Humor, Prayer, Faith, Hope, Love, Peace, Forgiveness, Protest and Nonviolence and writings in prison. Father Bill knew, taught and lived the power of love. His motto was, Show up, make a friend, and have fun.

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About the Author:

Mary O'Donnell was born in Livermore California. Earned a BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. A poet and writer she won Honorable Mention in the Maui Writers Contest Poetry contest out of 19,000 entries. As founder and Director of a womens alcohol and drug Recovery facility she won awards from various civic and social organizations including the Soroptimist International and recognition from the United States Congress and City of Hemet. For three years she lived at Saint Joseph's Rectory when her brother Father Bill was pastor. Currently retired she is an Associate of the Sisters of the Holy Names and serves on the Social Justice Committee and on the Fr. Bill O'Donnell Peace and Social Justice committee.

Review:

Fr. Bill O'Donnell's prophetic witness and indomitable spirit were well known. At his death, his storied actions for justice led the local mayor to dub him the saint of Berkeley. This book recalls not only his action on behalf of justice, but also his wisdom, humor, and vision. Such a gift! . --Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ author of Dead Man Walking

Father Bill was so exceptional. He wasn't your run-of-the mill everyday Catholic priest. When he delivered the message, it wasn't just by word, but more often by action. He fought for the Lord and Catholicism, but he also fought for workers, the poor, the downtrodden, and the addicted. And it was never about him, it was never about ego . . . probably the most unassumng man since Jesus Christ. --Chuck Mack, President, Teamsters Union Joint Council No. 7

If you need inspiration, hope, and more meaning in your life, read this book. Father Roy bourgeois, MM Founder of the School of the Americas/WHSIC Watch. Wonderful book on Father Bill, Congratulations. Martin Sheen, Actor --Back cover of Father Bill, Reflections of a Beloved Rebel

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O'Donnell
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