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Author, former northern Ontario priest in Elliot Lake Saturday

'Faith Memoir' readings, book signings at Masonic Hall from 1:30 to 3:30 on Saturday
Rick Prashaw file photo Image: by photographer Stacey Croucher

OTTAWA — Rick Prashaw, a former priest in the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie has published Father Rick, Roamin’ Catholic, his “crooked, straight” faith memoir of ministry years and then proud Dad to his trans son. His storytelling mixes joy, mischief, and biting commentary on the troubles in the Catholic Church and other religions.

After stops in Espanola on June 22 and Sault Ste. Marie on June 23, Prashaw lands in Elliot Lake and the Masonic Hall on Saturday, June 25, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Those unable to attend can still swing by early after 1 p.m. for a signed book.

“The eyes of some friends gloss over at the mention of faith,” laughs Prashaw, a priest from 1980 to 1991 in North Bay, Sudbury, Garden River and Batchawana Bay, as well as studies in Rome.

“Then they dive into the stories, enjoying the irreverence, miracles, good works and good people like Father Brian McKee, Father Don MacLellan and Greg Humbert, alongside the sobering commentary.”

Father Rick, Roamin’ Catholic is an eye-opening memoir shining a light on faith, religion, and the little-known life of priests,” the book’s back cover states. “My faith was now more Roamin’ than Roman Catholic, a God bigger than any catechism taught me. Be who we are. Love who we love. A believer, still standing.”

Prashaw’s intriguing memoir keeps in mind all Catholics—devout, practicing, conservative, liberal, lapsed, recovering, cultural etc. He scorches a “God Bless America” religion that, instead of asking for genuine divine blessing, has wrapped country flags and political, corporate agendas around God.

There’s unflinching criticism too on clergy abuse, residential schools, and what Prashaw labels as religion’s wrong judgment on LGBTQ folk and a submissive, second-class citizenship for women.

To make a 70-year story contemporary, Prashaw used a COVID-19 isolation after a Mexico writing trip to tell his faith journey in the book to a niece. This storytelling technique allowed him to address current subjects like the pandemic, the papal apology for residential schools, Black Lives Matter issues, declining religious affiliation and church attendance, and the polarized Joe Biden-Donald Trump “uncivil wars”

Prashaw is excited to return to Elliot Lake where he hosted in 2019 a packed reading for his first memoir, Soar, Adam, Soar (Dundurn Press). The cover of Father Rick, Roamin’ Catholic (Friesen Press, February 2022) is a photo of him playing priest as a child. He’ll have books for sale and to sign. The book is also available or can be ordered in paperback, hard cover, and e-book editions at indie, Indigo, Coles, Amazon, and the Friesen, Press bookstore.

For further information: contact Rick Prashaw,

“Are there times in the hectic chaos of life that you stop and wonder what happened to your faith, your community and the Church that seems so determined to break your heart? Rick Prashaw guides us through the troubles and on to hope, to a big God, and our work for justice, beginning with real reconciliation with Indigenous People." - Charlie Angus, MP, author, musician

The next Frank McCourt!  Rick Prashaw is one of the most engaging, passionate and entertaining writers we have yet seen this millennium!" - Teresa de Grosbois, #1 international Best-selling author of Mass Influence - The Habits of the Highly Influential

Rick’s book is a testimony of hope in its assertion that faith can sustain life’s most tumultuous offerings. His writing is about the foundational belief that there is room for everyone’s story, without judgment or exclusion; he’s a light to be trusted leading us forward.”Joan Grundy, author, A Deepening Life

fast-paced, full of humour, irreverence, and deep humanity. Rick is large-hearted, drawn to the places of fracture in search of wholeness. He has learned and honed the capacity to hold so much together that could naturally pull us apart.” - Sister Margo Ritchie, congregational leader, Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada

Your writing invited me to keep reading, not polarized but your honest and sincere purpose to understand and appreciate the complexities of a system that allowed such trauma to take place in the lives of children and adolescents, the negative impact on the faithful and mistrust in the institution that publicly professed gospel values.” - Father Sam Restivo, Congregation of the Resurrection, chaplain, counsellor

Rick Prashaw has gifted us with a memoir that insightfully chronicles his life encounter and engagement with Roman Catholicism, with the intersection of faith and politics, …In a time when religion is predominantly characterized in the media as a conservative force, there is a need to emphasize that there are faith-informed progressive perspectives on issues which too often are dealt with as if there is only a debate between faith and non-faith. Questions of peace and war, the economy and the environment are also moral issues that can be informed by faith.” Bill Blaikie, former MP, MLA, United Church Minister