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Reviews

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Susan’s story of rediscovering her Catholic faith after a 40-year walk in the spiritual desert will inspire you. There is much for all of us to learn from how she became reacquainted with what matters most and what matters least in life. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

— Allen Hunt, Senior Advisor, Dynamic Catholic

"The journey of many fallen-away Catholics is captured in Susan Dolan’s account of wandering from the fullness of the Faith.  Likewise, her long journey, ending in a happy return to the Church, will undoubtedly pique the interest of those whose experiences resonate with her own. Among the most enjoyable aspects of her book were the various words of wisdom from her extraordinary parents. Sown as seeds in her youth, they matured over the years and helped bear the fruit of a fresh encounter with Christ and a renewed appreciation and love for His bride, the Church. Placed in the hands of those whose experience echoes that of Susan, her book will likewise serve as a seed and, by God’s providence, will hopefully bear a similar fruit."

—  Father Matthew Nicks, Pastor, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, St. Patrick Catholic Church, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church—all in Walla Walla, Washington.

I found myself wanting to read Mass Confusion again! (which I did) Whether you are a devout Catholic, have fallen away, or were never introduced to the Catholic Church, this book offers a wealth of wisdom! Kudos to the author for taking the time and having the courage to share the spiritual speed bumps in her life. May they smooth the path and light the way for the rest of us on our journey to eternity.

— Sylvia Stinson, Life-long Catholic

Susan Dolan gives a moving, first-person account of her transformation from being a fallen-away Catholic to being alive and thriving in her faith. This book is relatable and accessible, and will encourage people of all ages who are looking for a path to a vibrant, personally enriching Catholic faith. Dolan takes up hard issues like boredom at Mass and the sex abuse crisis. She offers hope to those who are searching for an authentic relationship with God.

​— Kathryn Rombs, Ph.D., Founder and President
Mighty Is Her Call, a Catholic mothers’ ministry Author, Motherhood: An Extraordinary Vocation

Susan’s story motivated me to re-examine my faith. To be honest, I knew very little about the Church, despite being baptized Catholic. After reading Mass Confusion, I became curious and inspired to learn more about the “The Genius of Catholicism.”

— Carrie Dattilo, re-engaging Catholic

Many experiences have set me back in terms of my relationship with the Catholic Church so I was intrigued by how someone who rejected the Church for so long could be so excited about returning. If you've been hurt, disillusioned, or alienated by the Church and could use a guide to help you rethink Catholicism, Mass Confusion is a must read.

— Kathleen Dee, re-engaging Catholic

Refreshingly honest and beautifully humble, Susan's book was a joy to read, leaving me with a to-do list I am eager to pursue!

— Sandra Labouvie

Blue Skies

Googling the words “Why I am Catholic” turns up 627,000,000 results. A search for the opposite phrase, “Why I am not a Catholic,” yields a mere 582,000,000. This suggests that all the negative publicity of recent years surrounding the Catholic Church hasn’t driven everyone away, though it also implies that scandal after scandal have led a lot of current and former Catholics to write extended defenses on their decisions to stay or go.

 

Susan Dolan is one such apologist. In the vein of Thomas Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain, G.K. Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man, and Garry Wills’s Why I Am a Catholic, her slim volume, MASS CONFUSION (Why I Rejected The Church For So Long And What Changed), which won both an IndieReader Discovery Award (IRDA) and an Illumination Award bronze medal, is Dolan’s soft-spoken manifesto. “If anyone should not be a Catholic, it’s me,” she begins, and then explains her reasons: she is a divorcée; she has dabbled in other religions; she has ridiculed the Church (for example, by likening Mass to a game of Twister: “kneel, stand, sit, repeat”). She became an attorney, and then a hospice nurse, helping patients die with dignity. One thing she was not was a practicing Catholic.

Forty years after drifting away from the church, Dolan has come back. Growing up, she chafed against her parents’, and especially her father’s, devotion. Now, she celebrates that devotion, as well as its corollary: her father’s sense of justice, fairness, and peace. These qualities gave him his purpose, which is what Dolan has searched for all her life. She finds it in a return to her Catholic roots. Dolan knows the Church has countenanced or concealed horrible acts, yet she asks her readers to bear with her while she describes its warts-and-all appeal.

Veteran narrator Susan Bennett has recorded audiobooks for a number of bestselling writers–Charliane Harris, Diane Chamberlain, Jude Devereaux–and she reads MASS CONFUSION with a sense of majesty and wonder, which is perfect. To listen to this book is to imagine oneself in a lecture that is equal parts intellectually stimulating and personally comforting. Anyone who is on a similar journey of self-discovery, even if it isn’t a religious one, will derive inspiration from Dolan’s plain-speaking, yet artful memoir.

Short but salient, Susan Dolan’s MASS CONFUSION (Why I Rejected The Church For So Long And What Changed) makes a strong case for embracing Christianity in spite of its many flaws.

~Anthony Aycock for IndieReader

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