Catholic Spirituality and 12 Steps of AA

I am about to start a book named The Soul of Sponsorship, by a Father Fitzgerald. It is about the relationship between Father Ed Dowling, a Jesuit Priest, and Bill Wilson, one of the founders of AA. Father Ed had been working with skid row drunks in St. Louis when he read the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. AA legend has it that he was struck by the similarities between the 12 step and Catholic Doctrine or Teachings. He and Bill became fast friends and, while Bill never completely entered the Church, he became privately convinced that Catholicism was ‘truth’.

I have been sober for 13 years and am completely convinced that without AA I would never have returned to the Catholic Church.

Does anyone else have any experience with using the 12 Steps - either in AA or another program - and have found themselves drawn more deeply into the mystery of our faith?

**I am surprised no one has yet responded.

If you check the National Catholic Council on Alcoholism and Other Drugs, you will find many articles on Catholicism and AA.

Oh, definitely! For example, I came from a very Fundamentalist background, and really struggled with the Catholic idea of cooperating with grace – UNTIL I realized I had been accepting it for years in the context of sobriety. I could hold in my mind as true without any struggle that my sobriety was 1) an unmerited gift and yet 2) something I could lose through my own stupidity… gradually it dawned on me that if that were true of my sobriety, it might well be true of my salvation.

Kathy Shaidle wrote an essay about the Catholic roots of AA in her 12 Step book on Cafe Press.

There’s also a good biography of Sister Ignatia

OOOOOOh this is a good topic.

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