New book recounts Cdl Dolan's struggle with feelings for women during journey to priesthood

Timothy Cardinal Dolan grew up in Holy Infant parish in Ballwin, Mo. Years before New York claimed him as its own prince of the Catholic Church, Dolan was your average teenager, struggling with normal boyhood problems. As Dolan moved through St. Louis Preparatory South and Cardinal Glennon College on his way to the priesthood, he was greatly influenced by two men: parish priest Father Adolph Schilly, and assistant pastor Father Robert Foley. Schilly was a precise, reserved man of German heritage, whereas Foley was young, newly ordained and passionate about ideas of social justice and civil rights. In this excerpt from “An American Cardinal,” author Christina Boyle describes Dolan’s struggles to justify his human longings with a pastor’s calling.

There were typically two approaches to dealing with celibacy among students in Dolan’s year. There were those guys who went off and secretly got girlfriends or developed close platonic friendships with the opposite sex to explore the idea. And there were those who tried to shut out all female contact as if it didn’t exist. The latter group tended to be the ones who caved in their early twenties at the first glimpse of a fluttering eyelid from a pretty girl. They acted like young teenagers with a delayed crush, while the others had perhaps worked out what it meant to turn these relationships into lifelong friendships. “The whole tension of falling in love with someone and having someone to be very intimate with is attractive and desirable,” Dolan’s classmate said. “But to commit to anything, you’re going to have to give something up. To get married you have to give up being single.” And to become a priest, you had to give up sex.
continue at NY Daily News

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