Saturday, December 24, 2022

Father Ed shows "what is possible ... when we die to self"

I received a wonderful early Christmas present yesterday in the form of a review of my new biography of Father Edward Dowling, SJ, Father Ed: The Story of Bill W.'s Spiritual Sponsor, in my favorite opinion website, Where Peter Is. Whereas I had seen Dowling as a model for the priesthood, reviewer Dan Amiri sees a model for all men, writing,

Goldstein effectively captures the powerful working of God’s grace in a man who accomplished much but who thought of himself very little. One could reasonably argue that Fr. Dowling’s example is the antidote to much of what modern Catholic manhood “experts” stand for. In his life story, we see what is possible for men when we die to self and allow God’s will to reign in our lives.

Amiri also is impressed with what I have uncovered regarding Father Ed's influence upon Alcoholics Anonymous, whose co-founder Bill W. called Dowling his "spiritual sponsor":

Goldstein's book convincingly argues that without Dowling and his early partnership with Bill W., AA would not be the organization that it is today – if it existed at all. Dowling not only provided moral and practical support to Bill W. during his bouts of severe depression and discouragement at critical junctures for AA, but he was also instrumental in the spread of the organization in its earliest stages.

I'm really touched to receive this beautiful review in addition to the other reviews of Father Ed that have come in, all of which have been warmly positive thus far. It says a lot about Father Ed's greatness that my biography of him has won praise not only in Where Peter Is, which seeks to help readers better understand and appreciate Pope Francis's pontificate, and in The American Conservative, which is not known for publishing pro-Francis articles. People today are as moved as people were during his lifetime to learn of his trailblazing efforts to help those suffering from alcoholism, mental illness, and any other kind of problem. 

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Father Edward Dowling SJ "comes to life" in my new biography, writes James P. Pinkerton

A photo of Dowling graces James P. Pinkerton's review of Father Ed

I am grateful to veteran journalist and former White House official James P. Pinkerton for his deep and thoughtful review of my new biography Father Ed: The Story of Bill W.'s Spiritual Sponsor. Writing that Father Edward Dowling, SJ, "comes to life" in the book, he says,
To read Father Ed is to be carried back to a different era, when Catholic influence was at a peak, when Hollywood made church-centric films such as Boys Town, The Song of Bernadette, Going My Way, and The Bells of St. Mary’s, and when Dowling’s St. Louis was a major hub viz. another movie of that era, Meet Me in St. Louis. Figures such as Charles Lindbergh, Gerald P. Nye, Kennesaw Mountain Landis, Judy Garland, and Fulton Sheen make appearances, ably contextualized. We even meet the descendants of Dred Scott, whom Dowling befriended and aided, and Father William Bowdern, the priest who inspired William Peter Blatty’s novel-turned-movie The Exorcist.
Read the entire review at The American Conservative.

Robert Ellsberg, my editor and publisher at Orbis Books (and son of Daniel Ellsberg) wryly remarked to me that having a review in The American Conservative was "an Orbis first"! That made me very happy—not because I am a regular reader of that magazine (the post-Trump era has left me more politically homeless than ever) but because Father Ed's message is too important to be confined to any particular camp. I want readers of every culture and faith, and of every political stripe, to discover him and be touched by his life as I have been.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Publishers Weekly praises the "powerful" Father Ed!

The first sentences of Publishers Weekly's review of Father Ed. Click the image to read the entire review.

A warmly positive review
of my biography of Father Edward Dowling, SJ, Father Ed: The Story of Bill W.'s Spiritual Sponsor recently appeared in Publishers Weekly. The reviewer writes, 
This thorough biography of Fr. Edward Dowling by former journalist Goldstein (Sunday Will Never Be the Same) homes in on the priest’s friendship with Alcoholics Anonymous cofounder Bill Wilson. ... Meticulous research (Goldstein notes that, contrary to Wilson’s account of the night he met Dowling, weather reports indicate there was no precipitation) and fluid prose capture the nuances of this friendship. This is a powerful take on an often overlooked spiritual influence on Alcoholics Anonymous.
Read the entire review on Publishers Weekly's website.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

New speaking dates announced for DC, OH, MD, and IL!

At left, I hold the Orbis Books Fall 2022 catalog featuring Father Ed.

I'm thrilled to announce that I have several speaking dates lined up to speak about my upcoming biography of Father Edward Dowling, SJ, Father Ed: The Story of Bill W.'s Spiritual Sponsor. Visit my "Upcoming Talks" page for information on my personal appearances, which will include talks in Washington, DC; Akron, Ohio (birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous); Cleveland; and Cincinnati. I will also be speaking in January at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church in Owings Mills, Maryland, the home parish of the Rev. Sam Shoemaker, who was the first member of the clergy to support Bill W.'s work with alcoholics. And in March, I'll be delivering the annual St. John Henry Newman Lecture at the Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage at Loyola University Chicago. 

New tour dates are being added as they come in, so check back regularly. If you would like to invite me to speak in your town, write to me: dawneden -at-

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Sneak peek: The cover of my upcoming biography of Father Ed Dowling, SJ

The cover of Father Ed: The Story of Bill W.'s Spiritual Sponsor by Dawn Eden Goldstein
The cover of Father Ed. Click on the photo for a larger image.

My publisher Orbis Books sent my biography of Father Ed Dowling, SJ, Father Ed: The Story of Bill W.'s Spiritual Sponsor, to the printer last week, and I am thrilled to reveal its cover. The photo of Father Ed is courtesy of Alcoholics Anonymous's General Service Office Archives and has never before been reproduced. I love it because it shows Dowling's grace and humility while also giving a hint of the suffering he endured. As for the wonderful "Father Ed" logo, I'm in awe of how beautifully Orbis's art department created it from Dowling's own handwriting!

Father Ed is due in stores December 1 and is available for pre-order from (which has the best price), Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and "wherever fine books are sold." Also, I hope to tour every city, state, country, and continent promoting it, so please contact me if you would like me to speak where you live. My email address is at the bottom of my biography page.

More news soon, I promise! In the meantime, you can always keep up with me through my Twitter account @dawnofmercy.

Monday, June 27, 2022

News from Eden: Theologian/canonist/author ready for a new position

Dawn Eden Goldstein, June 2022. Photo: Jay Mallin.

These past two years have been the busiest of my life—and the most blessed. Not only did I complete my biography of Father Ed Dowling, SJ (to be published in December by Orbis Books), but I also worked towards a licentiate in canon law. Now I am close to completing my requirements for the licentiate and will be done at the end of July, if all goes well. So it is time to return to the job market and look for a position where I can remain indefinitely and thrive while doing what I love.

What type of work do I love? I love . . .

. . . teaching theology on the graduate level, as I have done at universities and seminaries in England, the United States, and India. My specialization is in systematics, which makes me a Jill of all trades in the theological world. I was the first woman ever to receive a doctorate in sacred theology from the University of St. Mary of the Lake (2016).

. . . teaching writing and composition to university students at all levels. I have directed the Writing Center at Holy Apostles College and Seminary and at the Pontifical University of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies.

. . . writing and editing (including theological and canon-law editing). I began my writing career as a rock and roll historian while still in college at New York University. Later I worked on the editorial staff of the New York Post and the Daily News, before publishing my first book in 2006. Today I am the author of four or five books (depending on how one counts the two editions of The Thrill of the Chaste), with another on the way. Together my books have sold more than fifty thousand copies in ten languages. My background in theology and canon law also qualifies me to do editorial work in those fields.

. . . protecting canonical rights. Once I gain my licentiate in canon law, I intend to assist laypersons, religious, and priests whose rights are being threatened.

What would be my ideal position? Ideally I would like either . . .

. . . a teaching position that would also involve directing theses, publishing research, and/or running a writing center. I would work best in an academic position where I would have the widest possible variety of responsibilities. This would likely necessitate a teaching load of 2:2 or, at most, 3:2 (depending upon the amount of non-teaching responsibilities), with summers off to write.

. . . an editing position that would entail working in an office. I enjoy working around others in a literary, journalistic, and/or academic environment.

. . . or a factotum-type position at a diocese, with an anchor job that allows time for adjunct/part-time positions. For example, I could be a speaker/writer-in-residence at a diocesan retreat house, and also do adjunct teaching at the local seminary, and also fill in at the marriage tribunal. Again, the appeal for me would be the opportunity to have a wide variety of responsibilities in my fields of expertise. 

If you know anyone who might be looking for a professor, writer, editor, or canonist with my credentials and interest, I would be grateful if you would share this blog post with them. My curriculum vitae may be viewed online at this link. Thank you and God bless you.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

UPDATED: Latest news on Father Ed--including plans for the book launch

Bill W. and Father Ed seated at a restaurant table
Bill W. and Father Edward Dowling, SJ, circa 1956

This week, I had the great joy of completing my biography of Father Edward Dowling, SJ, Father Ed: The Story of Bill W.'s Spiritual Sponsor. Now the entire manuscript is with the publisher, Orbis Books, which will publish it at the beginning of December. The book is already available for pre-order at

Although the Amazon page for Father Ed says the book is 240 pages, it will likely prove to be about 400 pages, as the manuscript came to more than 140,000 words. Below is a sneak peek at the table of contents.

Table of contents for Father Ed: The Story of Bill W.'s Spiritual Sponsor

UPDATE, June 2, 2022: I originally posted that the book launch would be at my parish, St. Joseph's on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on the publication date for Father Ed, which is currently set for December 1. However, my publisher has informed me that it needs to review its production schedule to determine whether the printer can have copies ready in time for that date. So I'm holding off on announcing speaking appearances until the exact publication date is confirmed, which should be soon. Once that happens, I hope to announce talks on Father Ed in Cincinnati, Akron, St. Louis, and Memphis, as well as Washington, so keep an eye on my events page.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

My biography of Father Edward Dowling, SJ, now available for preorder!

I'm thrilled to announce that my biography of Father Edward Dowling, SJ—Father Ed: The Story of Bill W.'s Spiritual Sponsor—is now available for pre-order on Amazon! It goes on sale in December.

If you pre-order Father Ed through this link, I will receive a commission that I will donate to the HER Foundation's volunteer program, which assists women who suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum (an extreme form of morning sickness). I have been donating 100% of my Amazon commissions to the HER Foundation's volunteer program since 2006. Please pray for me as I complete my work on Father Ed; I must finish by Easter!