Saturday, February 2, 2008

Fr. Ralph Pfau

Matt Talbot's life has inspired countless people throughout the world since his death in 1925. One such person was a young priest from Indianapolis, Indiana.

Fr. Ralph Pfau (1904-1967) was the first U.S. Catholic priest to join Alcoholics Anonymous in 1943, on his 39th birthday. His books were published under the auspices of the "Society of Matt Talbot Guild." He founded an organization called the "Sons of Matt Talbot" for recovering alcoholics who wanted to learn more about the Catholic faith and also founded what is now "The National Catholic Council on Alcoholism..." Its website is

provides information about Fr. Pfau's publications, the bibliographical article,"Fr.. Ralph Pfau, aka Fr. John Doe" by Nancy O., and the article, "Ralph Pfau (Father Joe Doe) & the Golden Books: Short Outline of Life & Work" by historian Glen Chesnut.

Additional material by Professor Chesnut about Fr. Pfau is available at
Glenn F. Chesnut, "Ralph Pfau (Father John Doe) and the Golden Books," talk given at the 6th National Archives Workshop, September 29, 2001, Clarksville, Indiana-Louisville, Kentucky.
Photos of Father Ralph from the Archdiocesan Archives in Indianapolis, Indiana.