“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” – Dalai Lama

Photo courtesy of Huntington High School – Bill O’Bryan and Stephen Donnelly

A Word from the Co-Author

Father Stephen, during his seven years at St. Patrick’s Church in Huntington, New York exposed his humanity to so many people in a way rarely seen in the Catholic Church, especially since the sex abuse scandal decimated the priestly image.

Stephen came into our lives in a very dramatic way. On the way to a fundraising event for Penn State University in upstate New York on December 2, 2011, my husband’s cherished eighteen-year-old middle daughter, Courtney’s young life ended on a narrow two-lane roadway covered with black ice.

Our family was plunged into a darkness that night. As parishioners at St. Patrick’s Church, who were drawn to Father Stephen’s larger than life persona and thought-provoking homilies, I called him immediately. He was everything you’d want from a priest; strong, steady, and compassionate. Not the phone-in-it kind of priest, the ones many Catholics are accustomed to nowadays.

Stephen was not only our parish priest but a friend — and, after his dismissal in 2018, I knew he had a fascinating, compelling and timely story. I wanted to help him write it and, well…now we have a book. -Diane

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