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Fish on Friday

Author:  Fr. Leonard Feeney, S.J.

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From The Cover

Fish on Fridays
Fr. Leonard Feeney, S.J.


The words, spoken or written, of a soul that genuinely loves God have a tone to them which always rings true. Couple this truth with literary genius, deep spiritual discernment and childlike simplicity and you are close to describing Father Leonard Feeney, the author of Fish on Friday. These fourteen Catholic essays, Father Feeney’s youthful best, mirror a heart that is as light and humorous as it is religiously profound. Loreto Publications is delighted and proud to put this American Catholic classic back in print. Too many generations have been deprived of Father Feeney’s winsome literary sagacity when his poems and essays were mysteriously removed from Catholic schools on account of his heroic defense of a defined doctrine of the faith. No one can possibly read "Fish on Friday," The Queen of Hearts," "Charlie Maloney," or any of the other eleven essays in this book without frequent bursts of wholesome laughter and (be forewarned) without a welling of those kind of tears that expand the soul. After reading this book one will clearly see that our Lord and 0ur Lady were preparing this priest and theologian all along with superabundant graces to become what he became — one of the greatest apostles of the twentieth century. In the February 17, 1994 issue of Catholic New York, John Cardinal O’ Connor began "An Informal Pastoral on Lent" with this paragraph:

"Long before he ran into a bit of trouble, from which it was obvious that he would recover, given his whimsical sense of humor, Fr. Leonard Feeney, S.J., wrote some of the most delightful things ever published in our land. Fish on Friday was one of the best. It first appeared 60 years ago, and never a Lent goes by without my renewing my friendship with it . . ."

"Once the ABC's were mastered at Blessed Sacrament, we were drilled in catechism, spelling, reading, and arithmetic and art, history, poetry, and geography. 

The reading, poetry, and art courses were saturated with Catholicism.  While there were Whittier and Whitman, there were also Joyce Kilmer and Father Leonard Feeney, poet laureate of the parochial schools.  Father Feeney's work was better known to Catholic schoolchildren than Longfellow's.

One year, however, the poems of Father Feeney suddenly disappeared from our poetry books.  Father Leonard Feeney became a nonperson.  The nuns who had praised his genius the year before now never mentioned him."
- Patrick Buchanan, Right from the Beginning

"Are there some Catholics today who have never heard of Father Feeney, or to whom Father Feeney's words will sound utterly strange, because, through little or no fault of their own, they have never heard of fast or abstinence?"
- John Cardinal O'Connor, An Informal Pastoral on Lent

"Long before he ran into a bit of trouble, from which it was obvious tht he would recover, given his whimsical sense of humor, Father Leonard Feeney, S.J., wrote some of the most delightful things ever published in our land.  Fish on Friday was one of the best.  It first appeared precisely 60 years ago, and never a Lent goes by without my renewing my friendship with it."
- John Cardinal O'Connor, An Informal Pastoral on Lent

"We need more like him.  His laughter is as light as his faith is deep."
- Boston Evening Transcript under the heading "Favorite Poet" 1934

"Any lover of humouous, well written essays will enjoy Father Feeney."
- N.Y. Herald Tribune 1934

"During my college years and later in the seminary, I had the good fortune of knowing Fathers and Leonard and Thomas Feeney of the Society of Jesus.  Both brothers were gifted poets and writers, dynamic preachers and sound spiritual directors."
- Bishop Joseph F. Maguire, The Catholic Observer 1998

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