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What Happens When a Catholic Priest Falls in Love with a Woman

Award-winning writer examines issue of priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church

Contact: Colleen Smith, 303-331-0680

DENVER, Sept. 28 /Christian Newswire/ -- Sexual misconduct scandals within the Roman Catholic Church have made headlines in recent years, fueling a longstanding fiery debate about whether to allow priests to marry. Colleen Smith examines the issue of priestly celibacy in her novel, Glass Halo, which chronicles the relationship between a stained-glass artist and the rector of a cathedral. While Smith's novel does not provide an answer to the debate in the novel, the author provides insights that may lead readers to a more informed perspective of a controversy that divides contemporary Catholics.

Glass Halo is a finalist for the 2010 Santa Fe Writer's Project Literary Award, chosen from nearly 450 entries. Judges for the literary award include a Pulitzer Prize-winner and recipients of many of the nation's most prestigious literary scholarships and grants.

Smith says that the priest in her novel, "is a composite of a number of progressive priests I've known from my years attending Catholic schools and my 20 years of working in communications for the church."

Glass Halo is rich with Catholic Church imagery: its liturgical calendar with feasts and holy days, its rites and devotions, and the vocation of the priesthood.

An award-winning freelance writer, Smith studied in the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has contributed regularly to many national, regional and local publications. Smith is the author of "Stewardship: Sharing God's Gifts" (2001 Our Sunday Visitor Books) and since 2002, edited and art-directed "Grace in Action," a monthly national Catholic stewardship newsletter. Over the last 20 years, she also has published in Catholic Digest, Mission Magazine, and many diocesan newspapers.