Staritsa: The Spiritual Motherhood of Catherine Doherty
By Donald A. Guglielmi, associate priest of Madonna House
Foreword by Fr. Robert Wild
Both groundbreaking and readable, this book examines a neglected gift, spiritual motherhood, and traces Catherine Doherty's development as a staritsa, or spiritual mother in the Russian-Eastern tradition. Of particular interest are chapters dealing with Catherine's exercise of spiritual motherhood for priests and laity alike.
Previously unpublished letters of spiritual direction between Catherine and her major spiritual directors offer the reader a privileged glimpse into the soul of this Servant of God and her spiritual children, as she grows in her vocation as staritsa. A spiritual mother who lived her love of the Church with a passionate and pastoral heart, Catherine de Hueck Doherty will inspire readers who care deeply for the life of the Mystical Body of Christ—the Church.
This is a book that can easily be shared and used for priestly convocations, women’s retreats, days of recollection, and self-reflection, pondering not only Catherine's life, but the question, “How can I, too, carry the Spirit of God in my life and work?”
From the back cover
The present book is the first work to highlight Catherine Doherty's vocation to spiritual motherhood. Drawing upon primary archival sources, the author traces Catherine's development as a staritsa, or spiritual mother in the Russian-Eastern tradition. Of particular interest are the chapters dealing with Catherine's exercise of spiritual motherhood for priests and laity alike. Previously unpublished letters of spiritual direction between Catherine and her major spiritual directors offer the reader a privileged glimpse into the soul of this servant of God and her spiritual children, as she grows in her vocation as staritsa. For example, in one striking letter, Catherine describes how she guided a disillusioned young priest who was struggling with a drinking problem and temptations involving young women, and was bordering on despair: "With clenched teeth I sailed into him, first gently, almost caressingly calling him back to Christ he once loved, then more sternly, then quietly…. He left full of thanks and some hope…."
“My life was changed by the spiritual motherhood of Catherine de Hueck Doherty. Through the careful selection of her words and his own deep insights, Fr. Guglielmi invites anyone who reads this book to be challenged, nurtured, and molded by the spiritual motherhood of this extraordinary woman.”
– Lorene Hanley Duquin, Author of They Called Her the Baroness
“In Staritsa, Fr. Guglielmi brings to life the treasure of a remarkable woman. Unique and insightful, this book will inspire anyone who cares deeply for the life of the mystical body of Christ—the church. Catherine Doherty, a pioneer in the lay apostolate, will be of particular interest to laywomen who identify their vocation in the context of lay ecclesial ministry today.”
– Donna Eschenauer, Associate Dean, St. Joseph’s Seminary, New York
About the author
Donald A. Guglielmi is a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport, and currently serves as a spiritual director and Professor of Spiritual Theology at St. Joseph's Seminary (Dunwoodie) in Yonkers, NY.
176 pages — Trade Paperback, 6" x 9" — Pickwick Publications, 2017 — ISBN 978-1-4982-8940-5
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