Follow usTwitterFacebook


04 Feb 2016 Articles No comments

A Pope’s Answer to the Problem of Pain

He was in third grade when his mother died; his only sibling, an older brother, died three years later; he discovered his father dead on the floor in their apar…

Read more

09 Aug 2016 News No comments

Pope praises witness of 10 athletes on Refugee Olympic Team

The 2016 Summer Games in Rio marks the first time a refugee team has officially participated in the Olympics In a personal message addressed to each of the 10 …

Read more

11 Jan 2016 News Vatican Comments (2)

Pope Francis reveals his thoughts on challenges facing Catholicism; emphasizing that he could have been in Prison

In his first new book since his Pontificate, the Pontiff revealed his thoughts on challenges facing Catholicism in the 21st Century over divorce, homosexuality …

Read more

23 May 2016 Americas Asia-Pacific Europe News USA Vatican No comments

Philippine President-elect accuse some Catholic Bishops of violating their vow of celibacy

The presumptive Philippine president-elect has launched a verbal attack on the country’s dominant Church as “the most hypocritical institution” and accused some…

Read more

26 Dec 2014 Q&A No comments

Hasn't the Church destroyed an entire continent by preaching against condoms for protection from AIDS?

Full Question How can you people look at yourselves in the mirror knowing that you have basically destroyed an entire continent by spreading your message t…

Read more

30 Sep 2015 News Vatican No comments

Watch: Sistine Chapel Choir releases sacred music album recorded in its chapel As the first album ever to be recorded inside the Sistine Chapel is released, Archbishop Georg Ganswein said the …

Read more

30 Oct 2015 News Vatican Comments (1)

Pope Francis rekindles a Historical bond between the Jews and the Catholics

Pope Francis has responded to the recent attacks on the Israelites by Jews and any other against the Jews as well. The Pope made it clear that either way, an at…

Read more

28 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

Pope Francis: I leave with a heart full of gratitude and hope

As he concluded his historic visit to the United States, Pope Francis thanked organizers and volunteers, saying that he concludes his trip with appreciation and…

Read more

31 Aug 2016 Uncategorized No comments

Cardinal strongly criticises governments that fail to prioritise clean water

Cardinal Turkson made the comments in a keynote address for World Water Week in Stockholm A cardinal has spoken out against corporations and governments that f…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Renowned author, uncompromisingly Catholic: Flannery O’Connor chosen for new postage stamp

Award-winning American author and devout Roman Catholic Flannery O’Connor will appear on a new postage stamp this summer, the U.S. postal service announced last week. The stamp is decorated with peacock feathers, a tribute to the family peacock farm in Georgia where O’Connor did much of her writing.

Famous for her Southern Gothic fiction style, O’Connor’s best-known works include her first novel, “Wise Blood”, and many short stories such as “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” A collection of her works, “The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor,” won the 1972 National Book Award for fiction and was named the Best of the National Book Awards, 1950-2008 by a public vote.

The author was born in 1925, the only child to devout Roman Catholic parents living in the heart of the Protestant “Bible Belt” in Savannah, Georgia. O’Connor went to school at Georgia State College for Women, then to the Iowa Writers Workshop, and finally to New York to study and work on her writing.

However, at the age of 25, a diagnosis of lupus forced O’Connor to return home to her family’s farm in Andalusia, Georgia, where she lived out her days caring for animals, going to church, and writing.

Her inclusion on U.S. postage stamps is a triumph for both American authors and American Catholics, said Ralph Wood, professor of literature and theology at Baylor University and author of the 2005 book “Flannery O’Connor and the Christ-Haunted South.”

“More than 50 years after her early death in 1964 (at age 39), her fiction continues to command worldwide attention, and so the USPS rightly adds her to its roll-call of writers who have been thus honored,” Wood told CNA in an e-mail interview.

“Yet it would be tempting on such a public occasion to ignore the religious nature of Flannery O’Connor’s achievement,” Wood added.

But this can hardly be done. O’Connor never kept her faith a secret, and despite her frail health would travel to speak about faith and literature.

The recent release of her college prayer journal, which she kept while attending the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in her early 20s, provides even more evidence that the author’s deep interior life and relationship with God drove her passion for writing.

“Dear God please help me to be an artist, please let it lead to You,” she wrote.

“In those years O’Connor came to recognize her own significant talent, but also came to worry that her powerful desire for literary success – a success that seemed to be within her reach – might threaten her relationship with God,” said Professor John Grammar, director of the Sewanee School of Letters.

“How to harmonize her desire to write well with her desire to love God completely? Writing had to become an avenue to God, not an end in itself,” he added. Throughout the journal, O’Connor increasingly writes about seeing her talent as a vocation, rather than a career path to success.

What further makes O’Connor stand out from other writers, and particularly other writers of faith, is her willingness to write about the dark and grotesque: her constant use of unsavory characters and horrific plots is almost unheard of in other Christian writings.

“The distinctive thing about O’Connor as a Christian artist is that she has little interest in making us feel good,” Grammar said. “In her work the love of God is always present, but far from being comforting, it is guaranteed to disrupt comfort and shake up complacent certainties, in her characters and her readers.”

Indeed, O’Connor herself said she was uninterested in making people feel comfortable and happy, as Brad Gooch explains in his biography “Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor.”

“O’Connor said that modern writers must often tell ‘perverse’ stories to ‘shock’ a morally blind world. ‘It requires considerable courage,’ she concluded, ‘not to turn away from the story-teller,'” he wrote.

American Catholics can learn something from O’Connor, whose relevance continues today despite her unwillingness to compromise or water down her beliefs in her work.

“Beset with its own failings, the Church is also besieged with demands for accommodation of its basic doctrines and practices to the secular spirit of the age,” Wood said.

“Flannery O’Connor rejected all such compromises. Her fiction endures because it provides a living artistic alternative to the twin evils of modernity: the omni-competent nation-state and the all-pervasive Culture of Death. Whatever the motives prompting it, this commemorative stamp contains the image of the nation’s most redemptive writer: Flannery O’Connor.”

The Flannery O’Connor stamp is a “forever” stamp for 3-ounce packages and will be available June 5.


Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories