The Owls Nest

Both Feet Firmly Planted in Midair In addition to his landmark trilogy, we proudly present
John McNeill's autobiography

Both Feet Firmly Planted in Midair

My Spiritual Journey


By John McNeill
(Published September 1998,
by Westminster/John Knox Press)

In this deeply personal and moving autobiography, McNeill speaks candidly about the early steps and frequent perils encountered along his personal journey. Through his continued scholarship, spiritual reflection, and untiring activism, McNeill has brought hope and affirmation to thousands of gay and lesbian Christians.
Poignant, frequently astonishing, and always hopeful, this testament to an extraordinary life will inspire all who read it.


The autobiography is available from both The Owls Nest and Amazon.com.

Here are some of the comments made by his peers about his autobiography:

  • "John McNeill's autobiography, Both Feet Firmly Planted in Midair, is a deeply moving and empowering account of one of the true saints of the 20th century. The book captures Fr. McNeill's struggle with his own sexuality, the Roman Catholic Church's struggle to come to terms with an out, open gay male in the priesthood, and his place in the gay rights movement. John is a prophet and this book not only tells his story, but issues a prophetic call to those in churches and those without. Every Christian and every lesbian woman and gay man should read this book."
    Rev. Troy D. Perry, Founder,
    Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC)
    Author, The Lord Is My Shepherd & He Knows I'm Gay


  • "What impresses me about John McNeill's autobiography, Both Feet Firmly Planted in Midair, is the compelling way in which he is able to weave together the story of his eventful life with his search for God, and to help the reader understand how this spiritual odyssey has freed him to embrace his gayness as a gift. He writes the way I have come to know him, with unsparing honesty and integrity, with a marvelous sense of Irish humor, and amazingly, given all the rejection and oppression he has experienced, without rancor.
    "What is particularly striking is the manner in which he is able to critique the behavior of ecclesial hierarchy toward gays and lesbians without rejecting the Christian faith. All through his book he draws the reader's attention to the riches of the Christian tradition that have been such a source of help and inspiration to him. Indeed, McNeill is a contemporary Christian prophet whose life and ministry bear witness to the liberating power of the Gospel.
    "McNeill has been through the valley of abandonment and self-rejection and has emerged to become a beacon of hope for others, not only for gays and lesbians but, as I know from personal experience, for anyone who is willing to hear him. He has the singular gift of being able to share his story in a way that helps others understand their own struggles better."
    The Rev. A. J. van den Blink, Ph.D., President, AAPC (American Association of Pastoral Counselors) Professor of Ascetical and Pastoral Theology, Bexley Hall Seminary

  • "John McNeill has outdone himself. He combines the best of traditional religious autobiography with the best of contemporary gay memoir. The result, following his influential trilogy that shaped Catholic discussion on homosexuality, is a rich mix of introspection, pastoral concern and social justice. This marvelous book reflects the "spiritual maturity" he advocates so passionately."
    Mary E. Hunt, Ph.D. Co-Director, WATER (Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual)

  • "John McNeill's inspiring autobiography is an adventure from prisoner-of-war to captive-of-love. Both Feet Firmly Planted in Midair is a glorious story of his life-long quest for authenticity, purpose and love-of-God: a book that affirms Fr. McNeill as one of the loving human saints in a world fractured by fear. His life-story is a triumph of love."
    The Rev. Dr. Margaret Kornfeld, President-elect AAPC (American Association of Pastoral Counselors),
    Author, Cultivating Wholeness: A Guide to Care & Counseling in Faith Communities

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Click here About the Author for more about John J. McNeill.

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Last Revision: 11 February 2016
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