“Don’t judge me, you could be me in another life. In another set of circumstances.” -Sting
In 1997, at the age of forty-two, Stephen Donnelly was ordained a Roman Catholic priest. Standing before God, the bishop, and the congregation, he made promises he struggled to keep. Three years into his priesthood, he descended into a world of cocaine and alcohol abuse. Fellow priests intervened, and after multiple stints in rehab, Stephen turned his life around and became well-known in Alcoholics Anonymous circles as the “Irish priest with a problem.” Stephen’s memoir, A Saint and a Sinner, is a brutally honest account of his journey of sinfulness, It’s a cautionary tale of the struggle between good and evil that exists within all of us.
During his seven years as Associate Pastor of St. Patrick’s Church, Huntington, New York,he became known among parishioners as a “rock star.” They were among the best years of his priesthood. He was Stephen: the man, the Catholic, and the priest at his absolute best. But in 2018, while assigned to a new parish, the unthinkable happened, and it threatened to destroy everything he held dear.
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