Climbing Out of Yesterday


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In Climbing out of Yesterday, Graham English recounts his experiences of growing up Catholic in a small country town before joining the Christian Brothers and becoming a teacher, a vocation that occupied the vast majority of his working life long after he left the Brothers.

The stories in this book began as entries written under the nom de plume ‘Enda’ on the Catholica website. They are critical comments and reflections on growing up and growing old as a Catholic in Australia in the years from just after the Second World War until the present.

In this often self-effacing accounting of his experiences, Graham shares keen insights into that which has gone on both within and around him, never shrinking from uncomfortable truths. He believes that Catholics are participants in an unfinished Church, not observers of something that is complete and beyond criticism and change. Climbing out of Yesterday is part of Graham English’s ongoing participation in that criticism and change..

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About the author

Graham English grew up in a religious working class family in country NSW. He entered the Christian Brothers aged fifteen and remained in the Order for seventeen years. He began teaching primary school in 1964 aged nineteen. He was in the first cohort at the National Pastoral Institute in Melbourne in 1973 and studied at the Australian National University, and the universities of Lancaster and Sydney. He was a senior lecturer in the School of Religious Education at the Strathfield campus of ACU National. Graham is now retired and especially enjoys being married.

1 review for Climbing Out of Yesterday

  1. Brian Coyne, Editor & Publisher

    Graham English has been a member of the online catholica community for many years. On our forum he writes under his pen-name, Enda, an affectionate nickname he was given many decades ago. He has become a widely respected member of this community for the insights of his commentaries and that, in turn, has led to this collection of essays. Reared in the Catholic faith in rural New South Wales, Graham knows the Church intimately from his 17 years as a Christian Brother, and a longer career as a lecturer in Catholic Education. His is a voice worth paying attention to as the Catholic Church in Australia grapples with the massive exit out of the pews, and the clerical sexual abuse tragedy, scandal and crisis. Like many of us on catholica, Graham writes from a position of great love for the religion that nurtured him and a great wish to see it return to a place where it is again widely respected in society.

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