In Due Season: A Catholic Life / Edition 1

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Overview

Praise for In Due Season

"Paul Wilkes's memoir is a love story—and also a story of a struggle with the lover, in his case, God. The son of an immigrant, Wilkes felt that he was called to a priestly vocation, indeed a Trappist vocation. God sent him many signals that this was not his calling. So Paul had to settle for what he thought to be a second-best vocation—a very successful writer. God heaved a sigh of relief. Paul had finally 'got it.' He has written a memoir of the century."
—Andrew Greeley, author, The Catholic Imagination

"Paul Wilkes is that rarest of people—a deeply spiritual man who is also an absolutely exquisite writer. His absorbing new memoir reveals the wonderful things that can happen when you allow God to lead you along life's often bumpy path—whether or not you know where the journey will lead. This is a beautifully written, frequently haunting, and always fascinating story of seeking and finding, serving and loving, and—ultimately—dying and rising. Highly recommended."
—James Martin, SJ, author, My Life with the Saints

"Paul Wilkes's biography takes us through Paul's life, but through the stages of our own lives as well. As a result, at the end of it we can see how we, too, have become more than we ever thought we could be. Wilkes is a great writer–he has a refreshing style, a direct voice, and a stark and unfurbished honesty, even about himself. In Due Season has all the marks of Augustine's Confessions or Merton's Seven Storey Mountain. It gives the rest of us, whatever we've done, wherever we've been, hope. It helps us see the forest of our lives despite the trees.

Read this book. It can put the seasons of your own life into better, broader perspective."
—Joan Chittister, author, Called to Question: A Spiritual Memoir

Paul Wilkes' In Due Season takes the reader on a moving journey through an extraordinary era's thickets of American Catholic life and belief—opening at last into wisdom, affirmation, and hope.
—James Carroll, author, Practicing Catholic and An American Requiem, winner of the National Book Award

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In an exquisite memoir that often reads like a novel, writer Wilkes (In Mysterious Ways: The Death and Life of a Parish Priest) recounts and reflects upon his life as a Catholic. Although his journey includes a decade as a Protestant and ongoing discomfort with certain aspects of Catholicism, Wilkes deftly mines its imagery and its figures, particularly the Trappist monk Thomas Merton, a major and recurring influence. As Wilkes meanders through a life that begins in a working-class Cleveland neighborhood, he candidly relates his passages of sin and saintliness, including a conversion-in-reverse when he gains fame as a writer and an interlude following the end of his first marriage in which he lives among the poor, caring for society's castoffs. Readers will experience his confusion, the "decaying smell of [his] dying soul" and his triumphs as they wonder if the "it" he seeks will find him and whether he will marry again or become a monk. This is fine, engrossing reading for all who appreciate the struggle inherent in the spiritual quest. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Longtime freelance writer and reporter Wilkes may be best known for his 1976 PBS documentary Six American Families and books on the contemporary American Catholic church (e.g., Excellent Catholic Parishes). Here, he describes his traditional Catholic upbringing in Cleveland and departure from it, naval-officer service, study at Columbia's journalism school, a failed marriage to a Methodist missionary, and his attempts to find spiritual meaning through community service in Brooklyn, NY. He became conflicted about his lifestyle when writing success led him to contact with celebrities and drinking and drugs. His accounts of attempting to find balance through periodic stays in monasteries reflect a changing American society. Wilkes eventually found joy and stability as a husband and father in a second marriage. He details how he finds fulfillment in hospital lay ministry and selective church teachings, and he analyzes himself spiritually with frequent dramatic verboseness. Recommended for religion collections to represent current lay perceptions on seeking the divine.
—Anna M. Donnelly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470423332
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/16/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 750,847
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Wilkes is an American writer, speaker, and filmmaker who is best known for his focus on religion, especially Roman Catholicism and its monastic tradition. Wilkes has written for the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, and Atlantic Monthly. His book, In Mysterious Ways: The Death and Life of a Parish Priest, won a Christopher Award. In addition to Merton, his PBS documentary, Paul was host and writer of the acclaimed television series Six American Families, which won a duPont-Columbia award for documentary excellence.

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Table of Contents

Author's Note.

Introduction.

Formation.

1. The Seventh Child.

2. A Vision.

3. High School: The Man in the Ten-Way Suit.

4. Coming Home, Leaving Home.

5. College: Red Arrow Park.

6. At Sea.

7. One Hot Day . . . and Night.

Making It.

8. A Young Reporter.

9. The Big Time, More or Less.

10. Home, Again.

11. On the Streets.

Unmaking It.

12. CHIPS Days.

13. Present.

14. The Pilgrimage.

15. Not Present.

16. The Sofa.

17. 80 Winthrop.

18. The Scent of a Woman.

As Good as It Gets?

19. On the Playing Fields of the Hamptons.

20. The Perfect Girl for You.

21. Tracy.

Getting Bearings.

22. The Hermit.

23. Almost.

24. A Place to Park.

25. Father Greer.

Life, Lived.

26. The Writing Life.

27. A Monk, at Last.

28. Why? Why Not?

Returning.

29. Kolinovce.

30. Worthy or Not.

31. Return to St. Peter's.

32. A Light in the Window.

Acknowledgments.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2011

    Highly Recommended - Excellent on all levels.

    If you are the product of a Catholic household and have struggled with being human ... not being perfect ... failing to live up to the demands of the Religious Order personnel who have suggested that a life can be lived with perfection and, you're not doing it - absorb this book. We are all on a journey. What a journey Paul Wilkes has lived ... one in which he delivers to our hearts and heads in spades. I could not put this book down. Mr. Wilkes writes with honesty and candor ... humble in his delivery. It is not an overstatement to say the book is brilliant. What a good man ... he who has shared himself with us. I laughed and cried. I have purchased this book many times for friends. It is unlike any I have ever read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted July 6, 2011

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