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Rev. Albert H. Dolan, O.CARM.

I WAS BORN IN WISCONSIN, not in but near Oshkosh. At nine. J was moved from Fond du Lac, 'Wisconsin, to Syracuse. New York, and after grammar and high school days there, I attended Niagara University (and cherish happy memories of N. U. in general and of the R.E.V.R, in particular). I had my philosophy in Rome at the North American College (and could never adequately express how much I owe to my teachers, associates and associations there). I entered the Carmelite Order in 1918 and have been teaching, preaching, learning and writing ever since. Even before ordination l owed much to the intercession of St. Therese. Consequently I undertook to propagate devotion to her in America first through the spoken and later through the written word. Thus there was developed an audience of Little Flower devotees to whose spiritual needs I undertook to minister in later years in such non-Theresian books as A Modern Messenger of Purity, Enjoy the Mass, Happiness in Marriage and the Summa pamphlets.

If my books and pamphlets have any merit, it is the simplicity of their style. I strive to speak and write so that no word will be over the head of the average Catholic, and the average Catholic, as statistics prove, has the vocabulary of a third year high school student. (Cf. O'Brien Atkinson's How to Make Us Want Your Sermon.) For instance, I would not use in a book or sermon, the comparatively simple word "fidelity" but use instead "faithfulness" lest some one miss my meaning. Thus constantly to strive for simplicity involves labor and, from that standpoint, I find writing distasteful. But when the labor is over, I rejoice, as all writers do, at the fruit of the labor.

Being a Carmelite, I never preach nor write without a reference to Our Lady, and my greatest ambition is to complete a life of the Blessed Virgin which can be sold for ten cents and thus be assured of a wider reading public than a more pretentious and expensive work. That life, so urgently needed by thousands of Catholics who will not read a book about Our Lady, has been rewritten five times in the last ten years but I am not ready yet to release the manuscript for publication.

The writing of which I am proudest are my letters to my mother which she preserved and which I found after her death; letters from Niagara, Rome, and from the earlier scenes of my priestly labors in Chicago. With nothing else have I ever felt satisfied, although if asked which of my books I consider best, I would reply Roses Fall Where Rivers Meet, and, in second place, St. Therese Returns. Of any reader of this sketch I ask a prayer that my pamphlet on Our Lady may see the light and be not too unworthy of her.


Originally published by Walter Romig in The Book of Catholic Authors Volume Three, copyright 1945

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