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A Midlife Journey

Connor Court Publishing,

2012, RRP $29.95

Reviewed by Peter Lockhart.

NOT being one for reading autobiographical works and almost surprised to find myself reading the tale of a Roman Catholic man's journey into priesthood, reading O'Collins' personal reflections on his life was a real gift.

He himself regards the book as divided into two distinct parts.

The first is his family background and journey through childhood and early adulthood in Australia, and the second, which takes place largely outside Australia, is his journey through the Vatican II years which eventually lead him to Rome.

I found myself fascinated by O'Collins' respect and long connection to Davis McCaughey, one of the chief architects of church union. It was a friendship which lasted many years.

The second half of the book follows his journey through Europe, his study and growth in faith. Being this far beyond the events of the time may soften the radical nature of some of his comments concerning the changes which did, and didn't occur, within Catholicism in the 1960s and 1970s.

As an avid reader of theology I must also admit to being a bit awestruck at his compatriots and teachers in theology which includes a who's who of mid-twentieth century theology.