Friday, April 24, 2009

The 12 Steps and Catholic Spirituality

For those who are interested in a thirty-two page publication relating the twelve steps (originating from Alcoholics Anonymous) to Catholic spirituality, you might be interested in this pamphlet, by Rev. Leo A. Dolan, which was published in 1991 and has the Imprimatur of John R. Roach, D.D., Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
(A brief leaflet on Matt Talbot was previously written by Fr Leo in the 1970s which bears the Imprimatur date of 1975.)

While Fr. Dolan, who has a background in chemical health education, widely praises the value of the twelve steps for a wide range of negative dependencies in human beings, he strongly argues that the twelve steps are incomplete without integrating them with the truths of the Catholic faith, thus achieving a full spirituality. He proceeds to address each of the twelve steps in light of Christ, the Church, and the Sacraments.
He concludes his reflections in The Twelve Steps and Catholic Spirituality by "describing a holy man who employed beautifully the dynamic of change found in the Twelve Steps," namely, Matt Talbot.

This very inexpensive pamphlet can be purchased from the Calix Society at

Note: For the sake of clarity, there is another Fr. Dolan; this one is Fr. Albert H. Dolan, O.Carm., prolific author of four books on Matt Talbot and many saints. He is probably best searched on Amazon as "Albert H. Dolan."