On the Way Out

On the Way Out

by Jack McCall, Alan Clement

Paperback

$18.95
View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details

Overview

These two old guys talking about life will keep you turning pages for laughs and insights and tugs at the heart and wisdom! They have spent their lives helping others live their lives; Jack, a Jesuit priest with a PhD in both Psychology and Theology, initiated programs at Boston College enabling clerics of all faiths, from all parts of the country, to work together. Alan ran a creative group of writers and designers who developed award-winning public relations programs for colleges and corporations, later becoming a corporate spokesman, as did Jack.

Their record in human relations is even more impressive. These two cheerful, upbeat, sometimes carefree personalities spent their lifetimes helping other people. Jack spent his later years as Director of Psychology in the North Carolina Prison System where he instilled a standard of mutual respect and cooperation. Alan, in his later years, became a life coach for more than 50 men experiencing critical life trials, from brain tumors, cancers, and terminal illnesses to broken marriages and unblended families.

Today more people are growing older faster than at any time in history, a good time to sit down with two good natured old guys talking about things you may be wondering about.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781475927498
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/05/2012
Pages: 276
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.58(d)

About the Author

John Jack McCall was a Jesuit priest who spent thirty years studying and teaching other young Jesuits. He earned doctorates in theology and clinical psychology, which he put to use when he became the chief psychologist for North Carolina prison system.
He died in 2010.

Alan Clement has been a corporate spokesman and speakers coach for many years. His clients have included GE, VW, GSK, Roche and others. He is the author of You Can Be Great on Your Feet. Alan resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Read an Excerpt

On the Way Out


By Jack McCall Alan Clement

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Jack McCall and Alan Clement
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4759-2749-8


Chapter One

Fateful Year 1968

J: I was thinking how the turning points in each of our lives occurred during the same years.

A: Yes. The years following Vatican II.

J: I left the Jesuits, which was a heart-wrenching experience for me.

A: And I lost my business, family, and ultimately, my self- worth.

J: It was in 1968 that I began to realize that things were changing in my heart and my head. Up until then, I was still rigid in my thinking.

A: That was the same year I lost it all, in a program for the church. My little company had a contract to launch the New Catholic Encyclopedia to the laity, across the country. Sixteen-volume work, nothing like it since 1906. Our advance program was keyed to Christmas delivery, 1968.

J: Really? That was the most difficult Christmas of my life. I had met my close friend, another priest I had studied with early on, and we walked the beach. We were down at Hatteras. It was cold, but we bundled up and walked for miles, talking about our doubts, our questions, honest and open, but heart-breaking at the same time.

A: I can imagine.

J: We were questioning everything, but it was good. It didn't shake our faith. I say that, but we both became a lot more open in our approach to religion as such. I'd always taught by opening up the floor to questions, and I was always confident that I could lead them back to the answers.

A: Is that when you left the order?

J: No, not right away. Pope John 23rd, who opened the door to let some fresh air in, he died in 1963, you remember, and then John Paul, who followed, was busy closing the door on any new idea or thought that would challenge the old way of doing things.

A: He put a real crimp in our program, as well. But that's another story.

J: I want to hear it.

A: Yours first. Mine goes on forever.

J: Mine, too. Most of us carried on, but the light had gone out. We had rejoiced with Vatican Two, it had given us new hope, that we would be relevant, open and honest in keeping with the problems and challenges of the times. Television alone had accelerated the attitudes, the upheaval in the thinking of our young people, hippies and free love, the war in Korea, which no one understood, the rush to go out and buy products advertised on TV. It was a time of change, and there we were, going backwards.

A: I remember. That was the sorriest Christmas I ever had, as well. We had positioned the encyclopedia as a secular work, even had Bishops from the other denominations invited to the dinner events we arranged in each major diocese throughout the country. All keyed to Christmas delivery. Each worthy family received a four-color brochure on Thanksgiving describing the 16 volumes they would be receiving as a Christmas present one month later, from a thoughtful donor. You know, a wealthy lay leader.

J: So what happened?

A: The publisher, McGraw-Hill, informed us the day after Thanksgiving that they would not be able to make delivery, that they were behind schedule. All the time they had been sending galleys indicating that they were right on schedule.

J: What did you do?

A: Well, first we had to call the lay leaders and ask if they wanted us to inform the families or if they wanted to do it, either way a big embarrassment to the very people we were depending on to advance the program.

J: Sounds like you had a case against the publisher.

A: Interesting you should ask. My neighbor and close friend was the top attorney in the legal firm whose major client was the Marine Bank, the bank that provided the loan to me, almost two hundred thousand dollars. He took it on, but then his firm declined, stating that they couldn't afford to fight McGraw-Hill's battery of sixty eight lawyers who would stretch out the case for seven or eight years, and there wouldn't be enough money in it to even support the fight. I heard the same reasoning from two other legal firms.

J: Wow, you were left holding the bag?

A: Yes. The whole program depended on the sales in the advance program. We couldn't deliver, so there were no sales. To say nothing of the ill will emanating from our prime market, the lay leaders. They were embarrassed and unhappy.

J: What did you do?

A: Once over the shock, and anger, and depths of despair, I realized I had to raise some money to carry us until we had some product to sell. The bank wasn't interested in my problem, so I went to see several of the key Bishops who had been enthusiastic supporters of the program. But they begged off as far as advancing any money. At the same time, I was trying to set up an appointment with Bishop O'Boyle in Washington, the sponsor of the program in the first place. His Secretary, Father O'Connell, kept putting me off, until, finally, I told him I would be on the first flight in the morning, and I would sit with him in his office until he could fit me in for a few minutes with His Eminence. Which is exactly what happened. He made me sit there all day, until 4:20 in the afternoon, at which time he said, "All right, you can go in now, but you'll have just five minutes with him, because His Eminence leaves sharply at 4:30. Tight schedule, "He likes to have dinner watching the six o'clock news."

J: I'm starting to feel the tension.

A: Get the picture. Here I am entering this huge, magnificent, palatial office, with Oriental rugs and expensive wall hangings, bronze and marble statues and a mahogany desk that had to be 20' wide rising majestically toward Heaven, of course. It sat on an elevated platform. The visitor sat looking up at His Eminence. This desperate young man, who had worked five years in developing a golden program and traveling the country to make it happen – needed even less than five minutes to describe what happened and ask for an advance. The Bishop lifted his excess weight from the chair, motioned for the visitor to follow along, put a sympathetic hand on his back, ushered him to the door, and said, "God bless you, young man, for the work you're doing, but we have no money for this sort of thing. I'm already asking each of the pastors in the Diocese to come up with $10,000 to come to Rome and see me get my red cap."

J: He said that?

A: Verbatim. Those words, and the way he said them, have been ingrained in my memory ever since. (long silence)

J: I'm sorry you had to re-live that.

A: I'm okay now. But I've never really recovered.

J: You're still living with the loss? No one would ever know it.

A: In the last 20 years, I've been reunited with the Lord. But I wasn't, back then. I was convinced that the Lord had rejected me, that he was punishing me for past sins. I not only lost my business, which was made up of some wonderfully creative people, the house and cars along with it, but I lost my family. I was in a deep funk, today we'd call it depression, and so difficult to live with that my wife took the kids and went South to be near her sister's family. Two of the people in my group worked part-time with me for several months to close some sales and repay most of the loan. At that point, the president of the bank suggested that I go into bankruptcy, that the bank would forget the rest. He remembered that, years before, I had been into my presentation only eight minutes when he interrupted and asked, "How much do you need?" John Galvin was his name. A really fine, decent, caring man. Not what you'd picture today as a bank president.

J: You said that you felt that the Lord had rejected you.

A: Yes, that I wasn't worthy.

J: You expected some help from Heaven?

A: Yes. I admit that. The Encyclopedia would have helped a lot of families. The editor, Father John Whalen, also a Jesuit like you, was determined to make it a family publication, and there was a lot in the volumes directed to young people, not just a stuffy repeat of the 1906 version that would sit idle on library shelves.

J: And you would have made some money.

A: Oh, absolutely. Not a killing, but we had projected that in the ensuing five years, we would have paid back the loan and have almost a hundred thousand in the bank. That was big money then.

J: Instead, you were wiped out and you lost your family.

A: I was dead broke. Deep in debt. Add to that the fact that I was always a confused Catholic. A lot of guilt and punishment and going to hell if you think a bad thought. I had a wonderful girlfriend in high school, and I felt her up as often as I could, but on the way home I would ask the Lord for forgiveness.

J: That's as accurate a description of a confused Catholic that I've ever heard.

A: You've heard a lot of confessions. You know what I mean.

J: I've been on the other side of the Confessional as well.

A: But yes, I was left feeling that I wasn't worthy enough to expect any help from God even if whatever I might be involved in would do a lot of good. It was kind of a kick in the groin to remind me that we're not doing God's work down here. God will do his work just fine without our help. We're expected to do good work because it's good.

J: Is that the way you feel now?

A: Yes, for the most part. I like to feel that the Lord is with me when I'm dealing with other people and their problems, but even there I recognize that my value as a good listener is directly related to the mistakes I've made in life, the failures, big and small, not that I'm a purveyor of good example.

J: You mentioned before that the last twenty years have been rewarding, but not the years in between. What were you doing right after the loss, from that fateful year for both of us, 1968, until 1988?

A: Downhill, man. All the time I was in New York City. A former client, a great guy named John Slaven, who was then the Director of Advertising for Volkswagen, had set up an interview for me, and I became Creative Director of a large promotion firm. I was there three weeks when the owner died of a heart attack and the firm was sold out from under us. Back on the street. I hadn't recovered from the loss of my business, and here I am in the big city where nobody knows me. I was suddenly a free-lancer, scratching for assignments, making the rounds of advertising agencies and marketing and promotion firms.

J: I'll bet that's when you started driving taxis at night.

A: I'll bet you're right. Then, on a whim, I auditioned for a job as a spokesman for major companies and was hired. That saved my life. Later I started coaching executives in speaking, and I made a living, but I never really recovered. I was still rejecting the Lord, because I felt he had rejected me. I resented the Lord. I felt that every major disappointment thereafter was an affirmation of his disdain for me, and so, of course, I was always in a downward spiral. But to most people, on the surface I was a smiling, creative, almost carefree individual. Only those close to me recognized the reality and often suffered the hurt involved.

J: You're talking about relationships?

A: Yes. You remember that I had remarried on the rebound. We knew it was a mistake after a few months, but when we learned that we were about to become parents, we stayed together. For three and a half years. Then we split and shared a wonderful daughter, back and forth every Wednesday, for many years. That little girl is now in her thirty's, still a bright light in my life, along with my older daughter who never gave up on me.

J: That doesn't sound like bad relationships.

A: No, not bad at all, but there is hurt in every relationship, you know that, with your experience as a psychologist. I had another long relationship with another wonderful woman who was like a stepmother to my daughter. We agreed not to commit, but of course, if you live together you're committing, just without official sanction. There was hurt there, too, much of it reflecting my stubborn refusal to open the door to our Lord.

J: It's difficult for others to understand what is going on in another's life. We all have a story, probably several stories.

A: Yes. There are similarities, I think, in the feelings involved. A different kind of loss can evoke the same kind of feeling for two different people.

J: Good example might be the loss of a close friend for one, loss of a great job for another. Hearing your story aroused a lot of feelings about mine.

A: It's your turn.

J: I had to think, when you were talking, that my loss was also relational. I was married to the Jesuit order. Really. I was in love with the Jesuit life. I had wanted to be a priest from the time I was young, and I was reaping the rewards of that life. I loved what I was doing. How many of us can say that?

A: Very few.

J: So giving it up was the farthest thing from my mind. I was sold. It's hard to imagine, now, but back in the sixties my belief system was set in stone: that the Catholic Church would never change, the Catholic schools would never close; that the death penalty was just and was a deterrent; I acknowledged that minorities were treated as second-class citizens, yes, but that they could rise up and make a good life for themselves, that it was quite possible for them to get a good education; that women had to work a little harder, but there were no real obstacles to their advancement, and they didn't really have to work, because their husbands would support them, and that there was no need for them to seek the freedom of choosing legal abortions.

A: That was all typical thinking of the times.

J: I was a conservative Catholic. But fortunately, I began to question a lot of things. Like the Vietnam War, the brutal treatment Blacks received when marching peacefully, our use of nuclear weapons, the growing financial gap between the very wealthy and the very poor, and on a personal basis, I began to experience the contrast between the fresh thinking of Vatican Two and what I had been taught in moral theology, scripture study and Church Law.

A: Fresh air.

J: The assassinations brought it all home. First, JFK in 1963, then both Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King in that fateful year, 1968. There was a major shift taking place in the Catholic Church, and I had made a large turn to the left. Now I wanted to experience a personal relationship with God, to discern his will for me, and how to see God in everyone and everything, and see everything in God, and to work on my self-deception.

A: If only we could all see God in everyone else.

J: Let me digress a minute. You were talking about the same feelings of failure and disappointment, dating back to the loss, remaining with you through all the years that followed, and still with you today. You know, that would be difficult for most people to understand. Just get over it! But I was reminded of an experience of my own that brought it home. I received a call one day, oh, this goes way back, probably nineteen sixty, from an older woman who started by saying she wasn't Catholic and had never spoken to a priest. She was grieving the loss of her thirty six year old daughter who had just committed suicide. I didn't interrupt, but I wondered what it had to do with me. She had read in her daughter's will that she had set aside money to fly me to Alabama to officiate at her funeral. Then it dawned on me. I had given a retreat in Florida, probably four or five years earlier, and her daughter had attended. She came up after one of the sessions, and we talked for about fifteen minutes, and met twice more over that weekend. She was a college professor, and appeared to others to be well adjusted, but she was also a lesbian, and she was suffering a continuous series of crushing disappointments. She had converted to Catholicism, and her intense guilt was killing her. She felt that she was constantly displeasing God because of her disoriented life. Not unlike your experience. I tried to help her realize that she was a good person and deeply loved by God, an exceptional and compassionate teacher. She simply needed to be accepted by a faith community, and she wasn't. Even today, the Church hasn't been able to accept homosexuals and lesbians. That's wrong. Jesus was always inclusive, not exclusive.

A: That was a meaningful, powerful event in your life.

J: It was an awakening. A turning point.

A: A wake-up call from the Lord.

J: Exactly. Exactly. I had never before felt such a distinct, personal message. From that point on, I was able to regard the Lord as a loving and forgiving spirit rather than a judge ready to pounce on a person's failings.

A: It's always amazing to me to learn, over and over again, how suffering in one life can lead to good in others.

Being There

J: You never talk about your Stephen Ministry experiences.

A: Well, we're trained not to, because of the confidentiality thing. No one knows who we're meeting with, unless, of course, the care-receiver tells someone, which sometimes happens.

J: But you are sworn to secrecy?

A: Yes. It's sometimes difficult for my wife and me not to exchange some thoughts, but we never acknowledge anything or even attempt to guess who each of us is meeting with. Our job is to help them get their lives in order while they're going through a real trial.

J: I can see where that would be important to them. They can unload knowing it will go no farther.

A. Right. The only exceptions are when the family of a care receiver who died, for example, gives us permission to talk about the experience. They realize how helpful that might

(Continues...)



Excerpted from On the Way Out by Jack McCall Alan Clement Copyright © 2012 by Jack McCall and Alan Clement. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Fateful Year 1968....................1
Being There....................12
Susan....................18
Does God answer your prayers?....................22
Fading In and Out....................26
Sexual Abuse in the Church....................30
Transitions....................36
From Priest to Prison....................42
Twenty years of turmoil....................45
Nietzsche's nihilism....................49
Gotta be a better way....................52
Hell bent....................57
How's your sex life?....................61
The Unemployed Christmas....................66
Religious Right, or wrong?....................69
Making out with Girls....................72
Connecting with God....................77
Relationships....................80
Prayer101....................85
Power of Prayer....................88
Q&A on Faith....................91
Competing in the Universe....................95
What happened to the Economy?....................99
Putting problems in perspective....................104
The Good Listener....................109
More Slammer stories....................116
Back in the Slammer....................120
Picture yourself in prison....................125
Basic instincts....................129
The Past is Dead....................133
Not enough stimulus....................138
A lesson in learning....................144
Communicating 101....................148
The Message is not the Medium....................153
Real world....................156
Laughing at our Limps and Lumps....................160
Manufacturing Stress....................165
The Malaise of the Unemployed....................170
Cancer is Big Business....................176
Peace will have to wait....................180
Peace in our day?....................183
What for the Metaphor?....................186
Propheteering and God's Word....................190
The Rise of the Unemployed....................193
Do you want God to find you a job?....................197
A personal relationship with God....................201
The Throne....................208
Death and Dying....................212
What's your purpose in life?....................216
Where is God in all this?....................220
We need a Leader....................224
Good Old Days....................229
Making a Living....................233
Stunt Man....................240
The Audience writes the script....................246
Six years in the Slammer....................249
Pain and pleasure....................253
The Man-Woman Relationship....................256
Going Soloveitchik....................259
More Sexual Abuse....................263
Counseling counts....................267
Paideia pronounced Piedayuh....................272
Disciplined Disciples?....................275
Who said that?....................278
Affection deficit disorder....................281
Fat Abstinence....................286
Editor's note....................291

Customer Reviews