Ewing describes an exemplary life in new book
How does one approach a book about a Catholic priest when one is neither Catholic nor particularly spiritual? For the many people struggling with the extraordinary times in which we are living—racism, protests, unemployment, a global pandemic and the restrictions that it imposes on our daily lives—there is a book that speaks to humans of all persuasions: Lead Me, Guide Me The Life and Example of Father Dan Begin by Kathy Ewing.
Father Dan Begin was Kathy Ewing's priest and friend. Ewing was Father Dan's congregant and friend. They met when Ewing joined St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Cleveland's Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. There, Ewing found a spiritual home that was unique in many ways, not the least of which was the racial integration she found, as well as a priest who exemplified the very best that can be found in religion.
Ewing and Begin embarked on a project that lasted for several years. Begin had stories and ideas that he wanted to share, but was too busy ministering to write a book. Ewing, a longtime resident of Cleveland Heights, is a writer who was willing and eager to learn more about Begin's devotion to his calling and to his community.
The two began meeting to brainstorm their ideas for a book. The range of topics was vast: race, poverty, church doctrine, individual responsibility, self-doubt, parenthood (Begin raised several troubled kids), and material possessions, to name just a few. Ewing, Begin, and Mary Powell, another congregant, met regularly at Yours Truly at Shaker Square to talk about “big issues.” Much of the book came from those informal discussions, and from Ewing’s keen observations of a life worth sharing with others.
Ewing had long watched and admired Begin. He led by example, and she provides many of those examples in Lead Me, Guide Me. These stories lift the book from a good read into something greater than a tribute.
Like many, Begin sometimes struggled to be his best self. Ewing describes how he dealt with those struggles. She chronicles the subtle ways in which Begin led a life of dignity and goodness, and how he found and promoted those qualities in others.
Lead Me, Guide Me: The Life and Example of Father Dan Begin, published by Shanti Arts, is Ewing's second book. Her first, Missing: Coming to Terms with a Borderline Mother, was published in 2016. Both books are available at local independent bookstores—Mac's Backs, Appletree, and Loganberry—or online.
You can follow Kathy Ewing on her blog: www.kathyewing.com. She also contributes to Raw Data: Living in the Fallout from the Coronavirus at https://rawdatafalloutfromthecoronavirus.blogspot.com.
Robin Koslen, a former teacher and longtime resident of Cleveland Heights, is currently hibernating at home.