“For I Have Sinned” by Kathleen Irene Paterka

“For I Have Sinned” by Kathleen Irene Paterka was a book that I read in one day.  I was so engrossed in the story that I had to finish it.  Father Greg Kozminski is a parish pastor in northern Michigan.  The story begins as he is awaiting penitents in the confessional on a Saturday afternoon.  He is struggling with his diocese and its adherence to the archaic church rules.  He is in his mid-fifties, trying to reconcile church rules with the needs of his parishioners.  He is stuck with a shrew of a secretary, who thinks she runs the place, but whom he cannot fire because of the chaos it would cause among the parishioners.  She’s been there so long that she’s a fixture.  His bishop is on his case about many minute details against rules that seem to him just an adherence to tradition.  The story continues as he fights with his conscience and his demons and the bishop and his mother.  I really feel sorry for this guy.  I guess I can relate because I was a parish secretary for over seven years in my home parish.  I guess you can say that I experienced all that could be experienced.  I really liked this book and the story it had to tell among tragedy and triumph, love and hate.  I highly recommend this book.

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2 thoughts on ““For I Have Sinned” by Kathleen Irene Paterka

  1. From one former parish secretary (me) to another former parish secretary (you), I was so glad to hear that you enjoyed my novel FOR I HAVE SINNED. I was advised time and again by agents and editors NOT to write this book, that no one wanted to read anything about ‘a Catholic priest’. Yet Fr. Greg demanded that his story be told… and once I began writing, I could not stop. Response to the novel has been very favorable, which I find most gratifying. While I remain a devout Catholic, I also rally (as did Fr. Greg) against those ‘archaic church rules’. Someday, perhaps not in my lifetime, but someday… I do believe that the rules will be changed. Until then, many prayers for our church and its leaders. Meantime, many thanks for the lovely review – from both me AND Fr. Greg.

    ~ Kathleen

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  2. Kathleen,
    In my seven years as a parish secretary, I experienced more than one person should while working for a religions institution. I keep saying that I should write a book about my experiences, but I’m sure it would never get passed the censors. I wonder why I’m still a practicing Catholic at times. What I saw and heard would make some grown men cry. My story would not be like yours, however. Mine would expose too many secrets that I was advised (ordered) to keep by the bishop at that time.

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