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“Thus says the Lord of Hosts: And, now, O priests, this commandment is for you: if you do not listen, if you do not lay it to heart…I will send a curse upon you and of your blessing I will make a curse. You have turned aside from the way and have caused many to falter by your instruction…I therefore have made you contemptible and base before all the people…Have we not all the one father? Has not the one God created us? Why then do we break faith with one another? (Malachi 1:14-2:2 8-10)
It gives me great pleasure to introduce this book by (Reverend) Thomas J. Quinlan. The chapters include a few of his homilies, his speeches, his antics, his talks, quotes, notes and a commencement address. Those of you who know Fr. Quinlan call him TQ, which is his preferred nomen. He scoffs at titles and insists on parentheses around the title (Reverend), because he believes that we have to “get over ourselves to get to others”. To further his point, he refers to himself as presbyter, rather than pastor. Yet, in the sense of pastor as shepherd to the flock, I think of him always as my Pastor. His agenda was concern for the poor. He taught us that a deep spiritual life cuts away at the ego. That’s why I wanted to do this book, to publish a bit of the life work of this incredible priest, this lively and hard working pastor, this oft-maligned, more often beloved man of God, TQ.  The chapters are set up according to the Church Year, because that’s conveniently the arrangement of the homilies. His homilies were always interesting, right on the point of the scriptures of the day, and often shocking and funny! TQ served as pastor at Church of the Holy Family, in Virginia Beach,Virginia from 2000 to 2005. It turned out to be his last assignment and he was not able to complete his tenure with us because the Bishop “retired” him. ​As to the choice of title: since TQ wrote the book, the title is his. Malachi is the final prophet in the Old Testament. The book was composed by an anonymous writer who used the name “Malachi” which translates as “My Messenger”. Malachi’s harsh words against the abuses, religious indifference, and priestly hypocrisy of his age point a long finger at today’s same issues with the Church and its’ priests! The ‘reluctant’ in the title is because TQ has a hard time seeing himself as anything we might consider important. Yet, he is a priest at the forefront of Vatican II as it spreads into the world church. He ‘got’ Vatican II and considers its sixteen documents to be the Magna Carta for the Universal Church in the Modern World. His ministry compels him to take on the Church and the World on behalf of the new Council, and for that he is applauded and cursed.  





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​Spread Your Garment Over Me 
More Inspiring Monologues 
by Gillette Elvgren 
About the Play: Twelve monologues and six songs are based on the lives of women in the Bible: Visit with Eve as she looks back over the choices she made in the garden; share Sarah's anguish over her barrenness and her joy over the coming of Isaac; meet Dinah, the petulant spoiled teenager; travel the temple steps with Anna as she awaits the coming of the Promised One. These and other revelations by Rahab, Deborah, Michal, The Witch of Endor, Mary Magdelene, Rizpah, the Syro-Phoenician woman, the Woman at the Well and Peter's Wife can be performed individually or as a full-length show. This play has been toured extensively by several professional theatre companies. 
Time: If all the monologues are performed time is approximately 1 hr. 40 minutes. Individual monologues are from 8-10 minutes. 
Place: setting is abstract. Props abound.
From the Play:
“The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." (Genesis 2:18) (EVE enters, a shawl wrapped around her waist so that she looks slightly pregnant. She carries a basket and is picking fruit. Role could be done with an Appalachian accent.)
EVE: I'm hopin' it will be a girl this time. Had it up to here with boys. Cain won't do much—sits around a lot watchin' things grow. Abel's always up to somethin'—drives his brother crazy. Havin' them two weren't no picnic—I wouldn't wish that on anyone. But once yer holdin' em.. .and Adam does so enjoy the cleavin' part of things.. .I often wonder whether we was meant to have children, you know, back there, or whether God mighta just took one of MY ribs this time and quicker than you could blink an eye...(She laughs, sighs.) You try to tell 'em what it was like. Walkin' around in His presence. Sensing his breath, the deep color of things, everything was so pretty... Cain falls asleep and Abel fidgets, wantin' to get on with his work... We sacrifice now—stones and a fire, first born, first fruits, try in' to get through to Him. Seems kind of silly after... being so close.
That serpent was cagey.. .and the fruit was sweet—so I ate. And then I was alone.. .all by myself. The breathin' had stopped. I thought I could hear the leaves on the ground, brown and rattlin' in the wind. But that didn't come 'till later. Then he comes by. It was like he knew something had gone wrong. I didn't say a thing, I just held it out. I'd never seen that look in his eyes before. Why didn't he take it? All I could think was, "well, he's waitin' to see what's going to happen to me." I mean, neither of us really knew what this dying thing was, and he just stood there...and looked. Then I said, "Adam, I've eaten of this fruit. It has a sweet taste and I've 
left some for you and if you don't eat it I got a feelin' we'll never be together again and I feel so all by myself, so please, please won't you take a bite?" Then I fell to my knees and I cried. I cried for the coldness and the shame and the fear in my heart. He took it then. It was like somethin' broke in him even before he ate of it. Then it was.. .finished. He blamed me that one time but never again. We were still together but not like we'd been before. We had it all, and we lost it.


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