There are many people whose help has been of immense value in the production of this book. I wish to thank Czesia (Chessa) Chwasta who started the project by saying to me one day when she was helping me with my homilies, “You should write a book.” At the time, I laughed but on the way home, I thought, “Well, maybe I could write something from the experience I’ve gained over the years.”  When I began I discovered I really had a lot to say about the Eucharist.

I thank Jo Dirks SSS who was the Australian provincial when I began the writing and who encouraged me. I thank the current Provincial Leadership Team: Graeme Duro SSS, Tom Knowles SSS, Pat Negri SSS and Bernard Canty SSS who facilitated the publishing of this book. I thank Tony McSweeney SSS who provided some very valuable insights into the Eucharist.

Damien Cash was very helpful in showing me how best to use the computer and got me to read a Style Manual so that I followed the conventions of writing, and encouraged me through difficult times. I am especially grateful to Damien for researching various online sites and then working through the intricacies of actually publishing this work as an e-book — all done voluntarily.

Another who was very encouraging was Ingrid Whitehorm, also a writer, who took a particular interest in my book. Others read parts of the manuscript and offered excellent advice. One of these was my brother, Brian, who didn’t allow brotherly love to prevent him exercising his critical faculties! I thank Ann Philpott who did the editing and who gave excellent advice and got the manuscript into order.

I thank the theologians who reviewed one or more chapters for me and made very helpful suggestions: Frank O’Loughlin, Brian Gleeson CP, Frank Andersen MSC, Frank Gerry SVD. I thank Gerard Moore SM for reviewing the whole work.

My sincere thanks goes to my colleague Fr Patrick Negri SSS for giving permission to reproduce some of his paintings.

I thank Michael Leunig for allowing me to use some of his uniquely quirky and playful cartoons. Some of the cartoons may not be relevant to the text in which they are situated, but have a good chuckle anyway.

I thank particularly all the people who wrote their witness stories, often revealing deep emotion and pain. Not all the stories I received got into the book.

Bible translation used throughout is the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), unless otherwise stated.

Witness Stories