In this first anthology in the annual Best Catholic Writing series, today's most powerful, provocative voices on Catholic matters are brought together in a celebration of Catholic writing and the Catholic literary heritage. Exploring the question What is Catholic writing? editor Brian Doyle proposes that it is not only writing by Catholics, for Catholics, or on Catholic matters, but is also catholic, universal, in nature. The works collected in The Best Catholic Writing 2004 are wide-ranging, eloquent, and riveting. With essays on Catholic art, conjugal sex, and Harry Potter; a remembrance of Dorothy Day; an elegy for Fred Rogers; examinations of the current dark chapter in the history of the Catholic Church; and poetic reflections on faith and the Catholic life, this anthology serves as "a form of prayer, a communal story swap, a jolt of hope." Featuring such writers as Alice McDermott, Andrew Greeley, Paul Elie, and Kathleen Norris, this first-ever collection of best Catholic writing reveals that "everything, seen with a clear enough eye, is meant for the Catholic mind."
Brian Doyle (1956-2017) was the longtime editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland, in Oregon. His work includes six collections of essays, two nonfiction books, a short story collection, and the novels Mink River, The Plover, Chicago, and The Adventures of John Carson in Several Quarters of the World.