Michael J. O'Loughlin Previews His New Book, 'Hidden Mercy'


C. S. Lewis said that if you could see grief and it was colored black that the world would be wreathed in black from space. Do you believe that to be the case of the country and the aids crisis? It was a pretty grim time. Like you said in the intro, like I wrote about in the book, it was a time when people were not only suffering, but they were being ignored by so many parts of society government pharmaceutical the church generally. And there weren't a lot of moments for hope, but what I tried to do was profile those individuals who were stepping up and doing the right thing. So there was a lot of grief and darkness, but there were people who for many reasons and in my case I profiled Catholic remote by their face who said we have to do something step top and love their neighbor as they were called to do by the gospel. That's why I think it is very timely. We're going to be dealing with long COVID for a long time, and we're going to be dealing with the deaths of despair and people who are lonely and isolated. But sister Carolyn, sister Mary Allen and Bellevue Illinois, sister Patrice Murphy and New York, father, Bill mcnichols in New York, father, Tony Maguire and San Francisco. You've got a legion of heroes in this book. So tell me why you wrote it. You're a young man. Why did you go back and find all those people who are my age? Yes, so I'm in my 30s and I've been reporting on the Catholic Church and politics and religion in the United States for about a decade. And I really didn't know any of the story. And it was important to me because I'm a religion reporter. I'm also a gay man and I was intrigued by this relatively recent history that just wasn't taught. I didn't learn it from my family. I didn't learn it in schools. I certainly didn't learn to church. And I realized that there was this vast wealth of information from people who were 20, 30 years older than me, that just hadn't been passed down. And I thought there's all this collected wisdom and insight that I think is applicable to all people. A part of our history. And I wanted to capture it before it was too late. And some of the lessons in mercy talk about why it's important to step up and do the right thing. Even if society isn't quite there yet, even if society is pregnant a lot of shame and stigma and people like sister Carol and other Bill really were confident in their belief that they were called to serve their neighbors and they did so through heroic means and with a sense of great humility at the same time.

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