Father John Doe – “Weakness” – Author of Golden Books

Father John Doe - "Weakness"

Father John Doe (Ralph P) was the first Roman Catholic priest to get sober in Alcoholics Anonymous (he came in on November 10, 1943), and under the pen name which he chose to use, Father John Doe, he wrote his fourteen Golden Books back in the 1940’s and 50’s and early 60’s. They are still being read and used by A.A.’s today: Spiritual Side (1947), Tolerance (1948), Attitudes (1949), Action (1950), Happiness (1951), Excuses (1952), Sponsorship (1953), Principles (1954), Resentments (1955), Decisions (1957), Passion (1960), Sanity (1963), Sanctity (1964), and Living (1964).

They were coming out once a year at the beginning, but then he was slowed down as he also published three much longer books: Sobriety and Beyond (1955), Sobriety Without End (1957), and an autobiography, which he entitled Prodigal Shepherd, in 1958 (a shorter version of this ran as a three-part series in Look magazine).

He also issued a set of thirty recordings in which he spoke on various issues, including No. 11 “Father John Doe — Alcoholic,” No. 22 “The Lord’s Prayer,” No. 2 “Alcoholism — Sin or Disease,” and Nos. 23-26 “The Twelve Steps.”

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