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Fr Chris Gleeson and the cover of his new book celebrating 125 years of Madonna Magazine (Jesuit Communications)

Wings for the Soul is a collection of pieces by long-time Madonna editor Fr Chris Gleeson SJ, released to mark the 125th anniversary of the Jesuit publication. Source: Jesuit Communications. 

“Chris has been editor, not all of that time, but a good bit of it,” joked Catholic writer Michael McGirr, who was the special guest speaker at the book’s official launch in October.

Fr Gleeson has been editor of Madonna magazine since 2003. His various pieces from over the years, gathered together in the book, bring together personal experience, including conversations with friends and strangers alike, and the wisdom of some of the many (religious and non-religious) writers and thinkers that Fr Gleeson has stored in his memory.

As Mr McGirr noted in his speech, Fr Gleeson is just as likely to remember and draw on the spiritual wisdom of a girl he spoke to at the local petrol station as the wisdom of Pope Francis. 

In this way, it continues that spiritual tradition of a faith that rewards the person who lives life with their “feet on the ground”.

“This book is just steeped in gratitude for life,” Mr McGirr said. “There’s plenty of bad news, and certainly bad news about belonging to our particular community. It’s hard to carry on without taking a bit of water on board for yourself. I just loved the sunshine in this book – there’s so much about happiness, there’s so much about joy, there’s so much about dancing.”

Wings for the Soul is available from Wilkinson Publishing.


“Feet on the ground”: New book celebrates 125 years of Madonna (By Michael McVeigh, Jesuit Communications)

Book review by Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ (Jesuit Communications)


Wisdom and Wings (Jesuit Communications)