“Must a religious community depend on a physical structure for its reality? Or do the people themselves make sacred ground wherever they gather? The exiled congregation of St. Brigid have not given up their church. Their story will reverberate long after this amazing book ends.”—Maxine Hong Kingston
St. Brigid Church was one of San Francisco’s great landmarks in the early 1990s. The church itself had weathered depressions and natural disasters, epic earthquakes and a massive fire. Its loyal congregation was active, vibrant, and growing. But in 1993, without warning, the Catholic archdiocese mysteriously ordered its doors to be closed.
The Grace of Everyday Saints is the story of how a ragtag group of believers came together in a crusade to save their church. What they discovered would be devastating: that around the country, parishes like theirs were threatened by the higher echelons of the Church, all to hide a terrible secret. Soon there were near-daily headlines that shocked the world. But still this unlikely group of heroes—led by a renegade lawyer, a reformed Catholic, and an antiestablishment priest—continued to meet weekly, to fight, to prove that their beloved St. Brigid was worth saving.
A dramatic narrative that takes readers from the streets of San Francisco to the halls of the Vatican, Guthrie’s investigation is about injustice and betrayal, redemption and grace. Join us for a fun and meaty discussion about the good and bad of keeping faith (in anything).
Julian Guthrie is a reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Best of the West Award and the Society of Professional Journalists' Public Service Award.