The Red Sweater (Jan 27, 2018): The Minneapolis-based 3000-member Playwrights Center hosted an actor and playwright’s reading of The Red Sweater by J. Lynn Jackson. In 2017, Jackson adapted Monette’s Confessions to a full two-act play. Later in the year, California-based Lightcap Farm hosted a second reading of the play.
Ana Patricia Martínez Huchim (Jan 20, 2018): The celebrated Mayan author Ana Patricia Martínez Huchim visited Confessions author Monette and his husband at their home in Puerto Vallarta. Sadly, just a few months later, Patricia was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away. Her legacy is her writings and preservation of the Mayan language. For the translation of Confessions, Patricia offered this testimony: “My Mayan world, one of the first in our America, was conquered by the Spanish crown and the Catholic church. The conquest continues against LGBT and their families. I hope this book opens doors and minds to end all forms of conquest.”
Blogging (Nov 17, 2017): “I’m now a “blogger”! A couple times a month I’ll post a short story or essay – something serious, something silly, something in between. Take a look at my first “Thanksgiving Canceled” via this link. Let me know what you think with a LIKE or a comment below, even a word or two.” Maurice L. Monette
Confessions in Spanish (Feb 14, 2017): Confessions publisher, The Vallarta Institute, translated and published Confessions in Spanish. Confesiones de un Sacerdote Gay en Matrimonio; Un viaje Espiritual was released on February 14, 2017. Within the first month of release, copies were downloaded in 14 Spanish-speaking countries. A free PDF version of the book is available on this website under the Español tab.
Best-Seller, Fourth Year (Jan 20, 2017): For the fourth year in a row, A Page in the Sun bookstore in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico named Confessions its Best-Seller. 100% of proceeds from the sale of Confessions in Puerto Vallarta support Puerto Vallarta’s LGBT community center, SETAC.
Confessions in Spanish (Dec 16): Confessions publisher, The Vallarta Institute, signed a contract to translate and publish Confessions in Spanish. Confesiones de un Sacerdote Gay en Matrimonio; Un viaje Espiritual will be released on February 14, 2017.
Best-Seller, Third Year (Dec 5): For the third year in a row, A Page in the Sun bookstore in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico named Confessions it’s Best-Seller. The bookstore that caters to a constant flow of international tourists donates 100% of proceeds from local sales to Puerto Vallarta’s local LGBT community center, SETAC. Center director Paco Arjona said, “Confessions of a Gay Married Priest: A Spiritual Journey” opens hearts and minds. This book is as big as the Americas. The book is inspiring LGBT people and their families and friends to tell their own life stories and to heal, hope and live healthy and full lives. As a fundraiser, the book is bringing desperately needed funds to our non-profit to support young moms with HIV/AIDS.”
Love, Henri (Sep 1): With 7 million copies of his books in print, best-selling author Henri Nouwen remains influential years after his death. Penguin Random House published 100 previously unpublished letters written by Nouwen, including two to Confessions author Maurice L. Monette, in Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life. The letters to Monette describe Nouwen’s friendship and love for Monette and encourage Monette to remain a priest. The editor’s note mentions Monette’s decision to leave the priesthood and refers readers to Monette’s memoir, Confessions.
Camino (The Way) to Santiago de Compostela (Sep 10): As part of a one year sabbatical Monette and his husband walked the last 100 kilometers of the Portuguese Caminho to Santiago de Compostela. Their focus for the pilgrimage was to Look Forward to life and consider how best to Give Back. Finishing the play The Red Sweater (an adaptation of Confessions) and publishing Confessions in Spanish were two outcomes of the journey.
Chilean Writer’s Exchange in Mexico (Mar 1): Confessions author Monette and his husband hosted Chilean playwright Jose Diaz Cofre for a full week’s “writer’s exchange” in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Diaz Cofre gave Monette ideas for publishing Confessions in Spanish and adapting the book to a play in exchange for Monette and Jackson producing a dramatic reading of Diaz Cofre’s award-winning short play, Pasta.
National Catholic Reporter Publishes Monette’s Exchange with Conservative Archbishop (Jun 26): Chicago’s Conservative Cardinal Archbishop Francis George read Monette’s Confessions and sent Monette a surprisingly personal letter before the Archbishop died on April 17, 2015. Monette was a member of the same order of priests as the Cardinal. The National Catholic Reporter published an article by Monette and the Archbishop’s letter the day the US Supreme Court ruled on marriage equality.
US Supreme Court Makes Marriage Equality Law of the Land (Jun 26): The United States Supreme Court ruled Marriage Equality is the law of the land in the US. The anticipated ruling is referred to in the Confessions vignette, “Married Seven Times”. The executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Kate Kendall, said of the anticipated ruling and of Monette’s Confessions: ”What the LGBT community seeks is the freedom to live authentic lives, free from discrimination. Monette is now living an authentic and rich spiritual life; he makes clear that religion and religious freedom don’t have to be obstacles to equality for our families.”
Confessions Wins Nautilus Award for Better Books for a Better World (May): Bishop Desmund Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Barbara Kingsolver, Judy Collins, Malala Yousafzai, Thitch Nhat Hanh and Deepak Chopra have won Nautilus Awards for their “better books for a better world.” Confessions author Monette joins the list of recently announced 2014 award winners for his best-selling memoir, Confessions of a Gay Married Priest, A Spiritual Journey. Monette’s award is in the category of “Religion/Spirituality: Western Traditions”.
Confessions at Largest Book Fair in Latin America (Dec 2-3): Vallarta Institute representatives and Confessions author Maurice L. Monette attend the International Book Fair in Guadalajara, Mexico with a long list of testimonials from Latin American leaders (spiritual, academic, political and human rights) who would like the book published in Spanish.
Monette Bares All in Just 12 Minutes (Sep 28): Swirl Radio host Michelle Meow interviews Monette about his Confessions in to date the most “juicy” and concise radio interview (scroll interview title to Maurice Monette) covering the meaning of “confessions”, Monette’s Catholic family, coming out, “Virginal Touch”, Pope Francis, belief, doubt, love, LGBT spirituality, memoir writing, Latin American liberation movements, porn, masturbation and hope for today’s youth.
$1000 Goes to Local Nonprofits After Oakland Book Event (Sep 28): The hip, intelligent and delicious Loring Cafe hosted Monette for a reading to benefit the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Project Open Hand. The nonprofits received $500 each from book proceeds after the event.
LGBT Business Leader Journal Features Confessions (Sep 18): Dot429, a national on-line journal for LGBT business leaders, covered Confessions as a feature story acknowledging journalists see “Monette as an expert on LGBT religion-related matters”. Diana Whitney, the President of the Corporation for Positive Change, is quoted saying “Whether or not you are gay, married, or Catholic, you will find Monette’s story very human, courageous, and inspiring.”
US Cardinal Thanks Monette for His Confessions (Sep 15): While some might expect condemnation, a US Cardinal sent Monette a personal thank you note. The signed note read: “Thank you for Confessions of a Gay Married Priest: A Spiritual Journey. May God bless you and those you love”.
National Catholic LGBT Advocacy Group Highlights Confessions (Aug 26): Confessions and Hounded by God are two books that New Ways Ministry says “offer insights into gay spiritual journeys” and that readers may find “helpful for personal reflection”. Confessions includes a cover testimonial by New Ways co-founder Sister Jeannine Gramick, a frequent Huffington Post blogger. New Ways adds Confessions “has been praised by several high-profile Catholic leaders“.
Confessions Wins Best LGBT Nonfiction (Aug 17): Confessions won the Global Ebook Awards 2013 gold medal for best LGBT non-fiction. When Religion News Service broke the story on National Coming Out Day to national religious news outlets, there were more shares, tweets, likes and emails than with almost all other stories that month.
Church/Synagogue Audience Laughs and Cries Hearing Confessions (Jul 28): In just 23 minutes, watch Monette bring tears of laughter and sadness to a full house after the Unity services at the Havurah Synagogue in Ashland, Oregon. Pastor Norma Burton says “Maurice’s messages are perfect for anyone straight, gay, old, young, married or single who is willing to take courageous steps to deepen her or his spiritual journey.”
Monette Interviewed for Oregon Freedom to Marry Story (Jul 27): At the launch of Oregon’s Freedom to Marry ballot initiative at Ashland’s Unitarian Universalist Church, Monette and his husband were interviewed about Confessions and their perspectives on marriage equality.
Gay Married Priest Facilitates Ceremony for 25 Mexican Couples (May 25): As a result of the successful launch of Confessions in Puerto Vallarta, Vallarta Pride asked Monette to facilitate commitment/marriage ceremonies for 25 couples. Same sex marriages are recognized throughout Mexico if legalized in Mexico City or the state of Quintana Roo.
American Library Association “Selective Bibliography” Includes Confessions (Apr 15): The latest update of the American Library Association’s “Selective Bibliography” for LGBT Religion and Spirituality added “Confessions” to it’s list of “published viewpoints available to lesbians and gay men interested in exploring their lives as spiritual journeys.”
$500 Raised for Infant Formula for Moms with HIV (Jun 10): Confessions publisher, the Vallarta Institute, donated $500 to the Puerto Vallarta LGBT Community Center (SETAC) for infant formula for moms with HIV/AIDS. Monette donates 100% of his proceeds from Confessions to human rights organizations like SETAC.
Famous Drag Queens Crash Book Launch in Mexico (Mar 1): The Vallarta Institute chose Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for it’s pilot book launch. 100s of books sold in the first month partially because of the constant tourist turnover and the support of the author’s hometown community. An unexpected surprise at one launch was how the Kinsey Sicks embraced the author and the book.
Nigerian Priest Reads Confessions to Decide on Marriage or Priesthood (Feb 14): One of the first pieces of fan mail received by Monette was from a young Nigerian priest who bought the Kindle version of Confessions on-line to help him decide whether to remain a priest or marry the man he loves. The second piece of fan mail was from a woman who lost her husband to Alzheimer’s and found Monette’s spiritual journey (belief, doubt, love) similar to hers.
Cuban LGBT Activist Praises Confessions (Jan 15): Mariela Castro Espin, internationally recognized sexologist and the director of the Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) in Cuba says “I am deeply moved by the life of this Catholic priest from the US. He credits the excluded peoples of Latin America for sharpening his critical understanding of social systems and the Catholic Church. He is convinced that individual and social salvation is within human reach, and that in my view is his prime contribution to the struggle against discrimination and homophobia.”
Catholic Spiritual Leader Embraces Confessions (Jan 14): Franciscan priest and world-recognized spirituality author Richard Rohr says of Confessions, “This story illustrates one of the most counter intuitive messages of world religions, how our failings, heartbreaks and disappointments can be stepping stones to the spiritual joys of the second half of life.”
Catholic Nun Speaks Out for Confessions (Jan 1): Catholic Sister Jeannine Gramick has never been shy about speaking her mind, especially when it comes to the Church and advocacy for her LGBT brothers and sisters. Of Confessions, the regular Huffington Post contributor and co-founder of New Ways Minstry says: ““Through little cameos in prose and poetry, Monette’s faith journey shows the triumph of the human spirit over religious messages to suppress sexuality. This is a story of self-discovery and self-acceptance that brings about freedom for a more authentic God-relationship.”