Monday, March 2, 2015

Celibacy and Soul Book Launch

On Saturday, 14th February, after the South Australian Regional Day we were invited to attend the launch of Susan Pollard’s book, ‘Celibacy and Soul.’

A large group of Sisters, colleagues, friends and of course, members of Susan’s family gathered to rejoice with her on this remarkable achievement. As we gathered in Bethany drinks and nibbles were shared to the strains of music provided by a group of Susan’s musician friends.

Published by Fisher King Press this book challenges and encourages us at the same time. It is an honest, open and courageous exploration of the living of a celibate life in today’s world. Mary Cresp introduced the book and took us on a brief walk with Susan through it pages. Mary told us ‘there is much to treasure in this book’ and proceeded to illustrate this fact with references throughout. She reminded us that scandal about sexual abuse in Church circles has caused ‘great disillusion and hurt to many of our brothers and sisters.’ As Mary pointed out Susan reminds us that it is the “right time …to try to bring to light another side of celibate love that needs to be told” Susan then pro- ceeds to do just that, often using quotations from religious from around the world. This gives the book a real immediacy and integrity.

Susan reminds us of the love which brings us to a celibate love and points out some of the implica- tions of such a love. As one interviewee points out, “Celibate love is essentially generative: it includes kindness, faithfulness, hospitality, patience, joy and caring for others”, “it is a lifelong learning that leads eventually to profound meaning and spiritual joy.”

To conclude the formalities, Susan thanked all those who have supported her along the path to this joyful day. She pointed out that the Daughters of St Paul had kindly agreed to sell books on the day and that she would sign them. With Mary Cresp and all those present I join in congratulating Susan on the publication of this timely and beautiful book which in itself is a tribute to her professional approach, her scholarly research and her ability to explore a subject which we have all too often kept in the background. We congratulate you Susan and pray that the Spirit of love will imbue those who read and learn from this very special publication.

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