The Reverend Doctor

September 2, 1925 --- September 22, 2015

The Owls Nest

presents the author

Photo of John J. McNeill John J. McNeill is a psychotherapist, a moral theologian, teacher, scholar, writer and lecturer and has had many articles published in numerous journals, magazines and books.

After enlisting in the U.S. Army during World War II at the age of seventeen, he served in combat in the Third Army under General Patton and was captured in Germany in 1944. McNeill spent six months as a POW (Prisoner of War) until he was liberated in May of 1945.

John enrolled in Canisius College in Buffalo after his discharge from the army and, upon graduating, entered the Society of Jesus in 1948. He was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1959.
In 1964, he earned a Doctorate in Philosophy, with highest honors (Plus Grande Distinction), at Louvain University in Belgium.

His memoirs entitled Both Feet Firmly Planted In Midair: My Spiritual Journey were published in September 1998 by Westminister/John Knox Press.

During his professional career,

In 1974, John McNeill was co-founder of the New York City chapter of Dignity, a group for Catholic gays and lesbians. For over twenty-five years, he has been active in a ministry to gay Christians through retreats, workshops, lectures, publications, etc.

McNeill's major works on the subject of gay and lesbian liberation, self-acceptance and spiritual maturity are as follows:

  1. In 1976, The Church and the Homosexual was published. This book was a re-evaluation of homosexuality from a moral and theological viewpoint. It was published in four other languages: French, Spanish, Italian and Danish. A fourth edition with a new preface was published by Beacon Press in 1993.
  2. Other publications include "Homosexuality, Lesbianism and the Future: Building a More Humane Society", in A Challenge to Love, ed. by Robert Nugent, Crossroads Press, 1983.
  3. In 1988, his second major work on gay liberation theology, Taking a Chance On God: Liberating Theology for Gays and Lesbians, Their Lovers, Friends and Families, was published by Beacon Press. This book was published in French and German in March of 1993, and Italian in October of 1994.
  4. The most recent book, which examines the role interior freedom plays in spiritual maturity, entitled Freedom, Glorious Freedom: The Spiritual Journey to the Fullness of Life for Gays, Lesbians and Everybody Else, published by Beacon Press was distributed early in February, 1995. It was published in Italian in 1996.
  5. In 1993, he also published an article entitled Homosexuality and Spirituality in The New Dictionary of Spirituality, (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota).
  6. His article entitled Tapping Deeper Roots: Integrating the Spiritual Dimension Into Professional Practice With Lesbian and Gay Clients was published in The Journal of Pastoral Care, Vol. 48 No. 4, Winter 1994.
Click here Recent Articlesfor some of John's recently published articles.

Select from the following titles for detailed descriptions, including some excerpts, of each of John McNeill's books.

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The honors John McNeill has received for his dedicated work include, among many others:

John McNeill on Maurice Blondel, Philosopher

Blondel’s philosophy remains one of the most brilliant contributions to the philosophy of religion in the past century. It contains insights that have never been duplicated in any other philosophy and consequently still deserves careful study now more than ever.
I will never forget the joy and excitement I felt the first time I began to read the philosophical and theological thought of Maurice Blondel. I was student of theology at Woodstock College, a Jesuit Theological Seminary in Maryland. The Rev. Father Sponga, the rector of the seminary, offered an optional course in Blondel’s thought, having just completed a doctoral study of Blondel at Fordham University. Upon reading Blondel’s words, I had what I call a “disciples of Emmaus experience” an experience of “my heart burning within me” and knew that I was dealing with a genius with an extraordinary and original insight into the problems and the needs of our times.
I hungered for a philosophical framework which I could use to integrate my religious faith with the deep insights coming from the human sciences, especially psychology, insights based in the self-consciousness of the human subject, At the same time, I was intensely aware of the inadequacies of traditional Thomistic philosophy to provide that framework.
So it is with great pleasure that I have compiled and created an archive of my studies
of the thought of Maurice Blondel, philosopher.

I invite you to go to the archive website, (click here =>) Maurice Blondel and explore
his important contributions and insights.

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