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Liturgical Press

The Long Dark Winter's Night

Reflections of a Priest in a Time of Pain and Privilege

Patrick Bergquist

The  Long Dark Winter's Night SEE INSIDE
The  Long Dark Winter's Night

ISBN: 9780814633014, 3301

Details: 144 pgs, 5 x 7
Publication Date: 01/01/2010
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Before Father Patrick Bergquist moved to Alaska, he imagined himself spending his free evenings wrapped in a warm quilt, reading novel after novel during the long arctic winters. Those idealized expectations were met with the unavoidable reality of winter's harshness, a pervasive darkness that made it neither realistic nor helpful to merely "wait out the winter and hope for spring." And yet, says Bergquist, this is what we as a Catholic Church are tempted to do in the enduring darkness of the sexual abuse crisis. We want to wrap ourselves in the secure blanket of tradition and memory, thinking that this crisis too will pass-or worse still, that it has already passed.

Bergquist admits he is "but a simple parish priest, no saint and surely no scholar." But it is precisely his perspective as a parish priest that gives rise to his poetic and prophetic voice. He speaks from his heart, soul, and experience in a way few others have done. He names and validates the pain and fear, the hopes and dreams that so many of us share. The Long Dark Winter's Night is both realistic and helpful.

Patrick Bergquist was ordained in 1990. He is a diocesan priest of the Missionary Diocese of Northern Alaska and has been pastor of St. Raphael Catholic parish in Fairbanks since 1998.

ISBN: 9780814633014, 3301

Details: 144 pgs, 5 x 7
Publication Date: 01/01/2010


Rarely has there been such an honest and personal portrayal of the life of a Catholic priest.
Publisher's Weekly

The author is a realist, a poet, a pastor of delicacy and sensitivity. The depth of his response is subtle, passionate, pastorally accurate, and it is communicated in a prayerful manner. We can read his prophetic words and learn much about what it means to sin, and what it means to have a personal relationship with the Christ of the Cross.

Fr. Bergquist's book is written with compassion and insight signaling that what lies at the heart of this matter is the very meaning of priesthood itself. The Long Dark Winter's Night is a very timely gift from a priest to his church.
In the Vineyard

This poetic volume weaves together the survivors' stories, laced with, sadness, candor and hope. A must-read.
NFPC This Week

The Long Dark Winter's Night is certainly a book for priests and for all the baptized. It doesn't provide ABC answers, but it does tell one priest's journey. And he tries to express the pain and feeling of the Church we live in. In the pain, Father Patrick Bergquist gives hope.
Inland Register

Read and heed his words, laity and clergy alike, and be graced.
The American Catholic

Fr. Bergquist's book is the best response I ever read to the shocking revelations of the sexual scandals of the clergy of our times, and from the Church's best source-one of its hard-working pastors on the front line of its ministries! His shock, rage, compassion for all, and enduring faith, hope, and love speak for all of us priests and for the entire Body of Christ Jesus, our Church.
Father Armand M., Nigro, SJ, Professor Emeritus of Gonzaga University,Spokane, Washington

The Long Dark Winter's Night is an important contribution to understanding the heart of the clergy crisis in the United States. No other priest has so far addressed the problems of clergy abuse more honestly or with more passion and compassion than Patrick Bergquist. He presents his cause in elegant prose and the free use of poetic voices that make his propositions not only palatable, but deeply inspiring.
A.W. Richard Sipe, Author of The Serpent and the Dove: Celibacy in Literature and Life and Sex, Priests and Power: The Anatomy of a Crisis

I know of no other work that so insightfully captures the grieving spirit of Catholic priests in the current vale of tears wrought by the clergy abuse scandals. The Long Dark Winter's Night gives way to the morning light of hope that always follows honest grieving. In his poetic prose, Patrick Bergquist grieves for us all.
Donald Cozzens, Author of The Changing Face of the Priesthood, Sacred Silence, Freeing, Celibacy, and Faith that Dares to Speak (Liturgical Press), John Carroll University