Author William J. Donnelly Explores Catholic Identity in New Book

Share Article

“Coping Catholic” captures the duality of humanity and dogma in matters of faith.

News Image

Most Catholics who worship regularly and identify themselves with the religion are not theologians any more than they are constitutional scholars or historians of their own countries. At the same time, they encounter a set of problems and goals that come with being believers, namely: “How does one make practical sense out of faith and useful meaning out of Church teaching?” To aid his fellow believers in their own spiritual journeys, author William J. Donnelly shares his tales of how a faithful Catholic reconciles dogma and morality with the realities of life in Coping Catholic.

In his memoirs, Donnelly recalls life on the farm and in a city parish, his Jesuit education, marriage and children, and through his depiction of life – and the meaning of living it – he argues that while faith requires the submission of one’s behavior to Church teaching, nonetheless, according to him, “the integrity of our self requires that we submit our faith to the honesty of our experiences.” Dogma and knowledge require one to listen meekly, whereas wisdom can only come from living.

The author strives to initiate dialogue within the Christian community, and he also examines various Church doctrines and their relevance to everyday life. The Holy Trinity and the morals of sexuality, the structure of the Church and the meaning of social justice, the Incarnation, the utility of the sacraments, the moral responsibilities of parenting and the role of Mary in Church dogma and practice - these are but some of the matters Donnelly explores and explains in order to enlighten believers and show them the meaning of their faith.

Through the shared stories of Coping Catholic, readers will find a foothold of hope by reading about how another person, who shares much of their experiences and education, has learned to cope with the faith and doctrine most believers were born into. Some might disagree with a few details, but most will agree that Donnelly has not lived an unexamined life or left out anything significant out in his stories.

For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to

About the Author

William J. Donnelly was part of the faculty of Loyola University Los Angeles. He began a writing career with a TV/Film column eventually syndicated in 41 diocesan newspapers. He worked as a magazine editor and film writer before becoming the News Director for KCET-TV. Moving back to New York, he became a senior vice president of Young & Rubicam and wrote “The Confetti Generation (Henry Holt).” He joined the faculty of Temple University, wrote “Planning Media: Strategy and Imagination (Prentice-Hall),” and retired after 22 years as a tenured professor. He graduated from Fordham University and The Catholic University of America.

COPING CATHOLIC * by William J. Donnelly
A Memoir of Practical Faith
Publication Date: March 28, 2013
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 214 pages; 978-1-4797-9288-7
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 214 pages; 978-1-4797-9289-4
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4797-9290-0

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (812) 355-4079 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Marketing Services
888-795-4274 7879
Email >
Visit website