The Journey of an Aging Professor: With Some Theological Reflections Along the Way

William J. Rademacher

Publisher: Trafford Pages: 143 Price: (paperback) $15.00 ISBN: 9781426988509 Reviewed: November, 2012 Author Website: Visit »

Reading more like an autobiography than a memoir, William J. Rademacher devotes the first half of his book to recounting his life story, taking readers on his journey as a Michigan farm boy during World War II, through his years as a Catholic priest and professor of Systematic Theology, to his current working retirement with his Guatemalan wife, Elida. He is honest about the sometimes-boring life of a Catholic priest before and after Vatican II and provides glimpses into that world that few are privileged to see.

The second half of the book contains the theological “ruminations of an aging professor” on such subjects as the church, ordination of women, law of celibacy, selection of bishops, politics, role of the laity, and multiculturalism. Chapter 6 is an overview of Rademacher’s dream to institute the Fourth Plenary Council of Baltimore as a means for laypersons to participate in addressing the 21st century Catholic Church’s concerns. Examples of such issues are: the role of women in the church, ecology, inter-faith unity, sexual abuse, social justice, authority of the church, and the growing shortage of priests.

Rademacher validates his reputation as a Catholic professor of Systematic Theology in his thought-provoking theological reflections. His years of experience in ministry and teaching theology provide a worthy platform of practical ideas for a church slow to adjust to the changes initiated by Vatican II.

The book would be strengthened, however, by more and better-developed stories from Rademacher’s journey. Missing are the details of places and the personalities of those who stroll through this priest’s life. Even so, although not as well written as Joan Chittister’s works, Rademacher’s short theological reflections will challenge Catholic readers seeking positive change in an historic church culture.

Author's Current Residence
Las Cruces, New Mexico
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