Catherine Dunphy & The Clergy Project

Jul 7, 2015

by Drew Bekius

Wednesday afternoon, I locked the door to my Uptown apartment, and slid down the elevator on my way to a quick shift at the steakhouse. On my way out the front door, I stopped to check my mailbox, and that’s the moment I saw it. Right there waiting for me in my little mail slot was my Amazon preordered copy of Catherine Dunphy’s From Apostle to Apostate: The Story of the Clergy Project (Pitchstone, 2015).

All the way to the steakhouse I was wishing I wasn’t on my way to the steakhouse. All I wanted to do was dive into Dunphy’s book, which serves as her own personal deconversion story and leads into a chronicling of the earliest days of The Clergy Project and her work as the Acting Executive Director through the spring of 2014. Myself a TCP Board Member and the current Communications Chair, I was familiar with the general outline of those early days that she recounts (Much of it is here on the TCP website), but I was certainly excited to gain the full picture through Dunphy’s eyes.

And the word excited might be a bit of an understatement. Anticipation was full.

So the moment I finished my shift customer-servicing guests at the steakhouse, I was home on my couch and devouring every word. I finished early the next day, and loved each moment of the journey. A quick and effortless read, Apostle to Apostate comes in at just under 150 pages. But don’t let its brevity or ease mislead you. There’s a lot packed in this little book. Positioned through the eyes of her Roman Catholic upbringing, Dunphy shares from her heart about the passion-flowing faith that brought her to seminary, intent on a life of service, before ultimately moving beyond that faith in an embrace of something greater. She shares gripping, tear-inducing stories such as one attending Bible camp as a young adolescent in the wake of a local sex abuse scandal. But she also discourses with feminist and liberationist theologies and even waxes philosophy at times. Seriously, there’s a lot here.


Read the full article by clicking the name of the source located below.

2 comments on “Catherine Dunphy & The Clergy Project

  • 2
    Cairsley says:

    That is a rather incomplete view to take, Melvin. The article does promote a new book, but evidently in view of the interest that many people in any way associated with the Richard Dawkins Foundation are likely to have in the initial history of the Clergy Project. And if the sale of the book raises funds for the author or the Project, well and good too.



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