Check out this review from Edge Promotions! Critical Mass,
the first novel from community ordained priest Kathleen M. Henry, is a
delicate work of fiction that tells the stories of two priests, several
women and their involvement with the Catholic Church.
by Jack Gardner
Friday Apr 10, 2009
90 years, the novel is presented in the form of the Catholic Mass with
each chapter of the book representing a different segment of the mass.
Molly, an Irish immigrant in America in 1910, is a woman so wracked with guilt that she does not allow herself communion.
a 1950’s housewife, has a sexual encounter with a priest and bears him
a child. Christine is a lesbian who longs to be ordained in the church
but works with the homeless in 1998. Father Michael John and Sister
Perpetua are siblings who both have felt the callings but for different
These are just a few of the characters that make up Henry’s thought provoking novel.
Mass" is really the story of one particular parish and demonstrates in
many ways how the church is, to quote the author, "the community of
people with whom you work for justice through love". Henry has been
quoted as saying "one’s spirituality and relationship with God rarely
survives being institutionalized" and her novel explores that
The book’s target audience is made up of former
Catholics and baby boomers, but any reader that picks up this slim
volume will be touched by the stories of the characters within.
"Critical Mass" ’religious fiction’ would be doing the book an
injustice. It is secular fiction laid out in the form of the Catholic
Mass with a spiritual background, but there is nothing about the book
that is preachy or proselytizing.
At just over 100 pages,
"Critical Mass" is a quick read that will leave you with a sense of
hope and a feeling of connectedness with your fellow man. The church
has been the backbone of society for nearly 2000 years and even though
society and individuals may pull away from the institution itself,
there is no denying that it has, in one way or another, touched every
This is the theme of "Critical Mass" and one of the things that makes it a must read for believers and non-believers alike.
Gardner is a founding producer of and director for Anagram Productions.
He has performed in Operas, Musicals and dramatic works as well as
doing voice over and radio work. Jack lives in Miami with his three