Pierre V. Comtois

Author

Pierre's Recommended Reading...

 

On Wings of Hope

by Rachelle Comtois

 "On Wings of Hope Toward a More Professional Approach to Lay Pastoral Ecclesial Ministers in the Catholic Church: An Anecdotal Account and Suggested Solution to the Problem" by Rachelle A. Comtois. 

Before the priestly scandals that inadvertently laid bare the failures of Roman Catholic leaders to police their institutions and make sure they adhered to Church teachings, the author was a low paid employee at schools, missions, and diocesan offices from Mississippi to North Dakota to Massachusetts. In college, she was at first shocked at the degradation of Catholic teaching; nevertheless, by the time she graduated in 1985, she left with strong liberal sympathies. However, as the years passed, and after holding different positions in the Church from high school teacher to director of the Office of Social Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation for the Diocese of Worcester, she witnessed first hand the Church's crumbling infrastructure and its desperate need to rebuild. As a result, her attitudes moved closer to the center and she began to consider what could be done to improve the situation. The result was a paper outlining how the Church could professionalize its employees at every level, a first basic step needed to begin repair of its infrastructure. On Wings of Hope is the story of the author's experiential journey and the results of a lifetime lived for the Church she loved and the faith she cherished.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A native of Lowell, MA, Rachelle A. Comtois was raised in a traditional Catholic family before being exposed to the seductive teachings of liberalism and political correctness at such Catholic institutions as Emmanuel College in the 1980s. Feeling called to serve God through the Church, she traveled on missions to Kentucky and Mexico before taking a teaching assignment in Greenville, Mississippi. Frustrated by the secular climate she experienced there, she quit and became a house parent in a group home for girls. In 1989, she became a teacher at the St. Labre Indian Mission in Montana and later moved on the North Dakota where she worked as a youth minister for the Diocese of Bismarck. There, among other things, she escorted 3,000 young people to Denver, Colorado to attend World Youth Day with Pope John Paul II. Returning to Massachusetts in 1994, she took a position as director of the Office of Life, Peace, and Justice Issues and associate director in the Office of Religious Education for the Diocese of Worcester. Om 2004, Comtois earned a degree in Philosophy from Oxford University before ending her career where it began, in Lowell, Massachusetts as director of the Grandparents As Parents program at Catholic Charities in Lowell.

 

 

    

Pierre's Recommended Reading...

 

Coffin Dust
 
Strange Stories
 
by
David Daniel
 

 

Foreward by Pierre Comtois

“eeble, eeble, eeble…”

     Did you know that was the sound giant man-eating slugs from outer space make when they’re hungry? Ever meet a mad scientist with a yen for personality transplants? A serial killer with a flair for analysis? Ever been faced by runaway forces of nature that threaten to consume all of reality?

     Didn’t think so! But don’t worry, author David Daniel has done the footwork for you and come up with the answers in a clutch of oddball tales told in his own unique style that is one part blank verse and one part smooth and effortless prose. The results are stories made accessible even to those who might not be interested in reading about worms bursting from a body like rotten fruit from the bottom of a wet paper bag…but what’s that? Are there some of you out there wondering if this could be the same David Daniel who wrote such mainstream novels as Ark, The Tuesday Man, and White Rabbit? The same David Daniel who’s explored the mean streets of Lowell, Massachusetts in company with private detective Alex Rasmussen in such award winning novels as The Skelly Man, The Heaven Stone, and Goofy Foot? Rest assured it is, and lucky for the rest of us that he hasn’t chosen to sequester himself in an ivory tower of “general literature” but instead decided long ago to follow the thread of a good idea wherever it might lead, even if it ends at Fox Hollow, Oregon and the messy end of Reaper Grimes at the hand of a maddened Bigfoot!

     So how, you might wonder did a former surfer, GI, and respectable college professor, a writer of Daniel’s caliber, end up scribbling stories of slugs, worms, madmen, and serial killers when he could have been working on the Great American Novel? Here, I have to confess that I was probably not the best influence for, in looking back, I’ve discovered that many of the stories in this collection had their first appearance in magazines published by myself. In so doing, I may have deprived the literary world of a few more pages from Daniel’s word processor, but in return, the horror genre has been graced with a new voice and a new perspective proving once and for all that weird stories need not be bound by stylistic limits set by such classic writers as H. P. Lovecraft or Clark Ashton Smith.

     An up-to-date writer more in the manner of Ray Bradbury, Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson, and William F. Nolan, Daniel has managed a fusion between those writers of fantasy and mysterious deaths and the fast paced, dialogue driven work of Ernest Hemingway whose post-war-to-end-all-wars veterans frequently lived in their own private worlds of horror and regret. With his easy use of clever turns of phrase and sparse, but descriptive language, Daniels’ writing style can reasonably be compared with the California school of weird writers but in substance he often concentrates on more down to earth situations.

     For example, in stories such as “Stickler,” the author might call to mind the mundane twist endings featured in EC Comics’ Crime Suspense or Shock Suspense Stories while the shipyard setting of “Reading” evokes Sterling Siliphant’s classic television scripts for Route 66. In short, Daniel has done for the weird tale what Dashiell Hammett did for the murder mystery: of the many bodies strewn about his stories, not many will be found in cemeteries, morgues, or darkened funeral homes. Instead, to paraphrase Raymond Chandler’s “The Simple Art of Murder,” Daniel has taken the corpses out of the graveyard and dumped them into back alleys and psychiatrists’ offices where they belong.

     Of course, sometimes Daniel manages to miss the mark as he does in “Leave Them Raving” about a makeup man planning murder in the guise of Santa Claus. But even here, the author manages to turn what at first glance might be considered your average murder yarn into something special as he slowly describes his protagonist from the inside out providing him with a rich background painted in remarkably few but well chosen words.

     On the other hand, in “He’s Coming,” the author takes a theme that has been done to death by many less skillful writers and transforms it into a story where the horror sneaks up on the reader along the gleaming waxed floors of the local supermarket. Concentrating on characterization rather than atmospherics, Daniel sets the scene while building apparently meaningless but important background detail until bringing the horror to the foreground in the very last lines of the story. The style here is deceptive as it often is in Daniel’s tales; all the more to lull readers into a false sense of security before lowering the boom.

     Thus, Coffin Dust, though displaying the author’s penchant for a pithy turn of phrase, might not in the end, be the best term to describe this collection of modern day yarns where stories are as likely to be set anywhere from the suburban kitchen to the analyst’s couch to the surf off Big Sur to the checkout counter at the local supermarket. Daniel has successfully removed horror from the dank castles, abandoned houses, and darkened graveyards where it had been safely kept in the past and inconveniently placed it out in the open for everyone to see. Rather than stories about neurotic loners, hapless heirs, or social misfits seeking solace in rare books, Daniel tells stories about people we know, ordinary people least able to deal with death, the people who drive big rigs for a living, work in shipyards, surfers, college professors, homemakers, salesmen, or disk jockeys.

     But if all that isn’t enough, and you still insist on giant man-eating slugs from outer space, then look no further than this eclectic collection of disturbing tales and for God’s sake, keep that radio signal steady…!

     “…eeble, eeble, eeble…”



1. Stickler

2. Reading
3.    The 3 O’clock
4.    Condor Cove
5.    Jumpers
6.    The Whole Schmeer
7.    Health Food
8.    Leave Them Raving
9.    He’s Coming
10.  Bass Hour
11.  Last Run For the Reaper
12.  The Hard Sell
13.  night hunters
14.  September Song
15.  Per Chance to Dream
16.  They’re Out There
17.  Crawl*rs
18.  War Story
19.  To Leno, with Love
20.  Dust
21.  Sara
22.  Rockabye
23.  Static
 

      SHADOWS                         
 ON THE
                 MOUNTAIN 
 C. Cooper Ard
 
Poetry can assume many forms and this collection takes a crack at it. One hundred
and nineteen pieces written over a fourteen year period are compiled in this volume.
These poems and song lyrics were composed during the young and fertile years of C.
Cooper Ard. This book is divided into ten chapters, each section representing a
different theme or period. Many subjects are explored here including love, death,
anger, heartache, humor, sadness, loneliness, confusion, horror, and some downright
silliness. It's guaranteed that you, the reader, will not find every piece
appealing, but hopefully you will find something that will make you smile, be
thoughtful, relate, reflect, laugh, cry or stir your emotions in some way. Please
enjoy again and again.
 
Includes: 
-Loves Left Behind 
-Now Here Come the Full Moon!
-To the Cosmos
-Permanent Marvelite Maximus 
-Home is the Hero -Moondog Mania! -Fun and Fancy 
-Another Way 
-Clouds of Confusion 
-Up These Ladders of Life 

Check Out Available and Upcoming Books by Pierre Comtois!