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I’m James Dunlap, known as Jim to my family and friends. I live in Orange County in Southern California with my wife Fran and family. It took twelve years to finish Millstone with the help of countless people along the way.
It was a mixed labor of love and torment dealing with the pain and heartache all over again. Starting out as a screenwriter and spending seventeen years learning my craft all started when a young woman acquaintance was in need of spiritual consoling due to a tragic event in her life. During one weekly phone session, she asked if I had ever entertained writing as a profession. I said yes and that began an adventure that continues today.
My original reason for writing the story was revenge for the damage done by misguided leaders in the Church. I soon discovered that, as an Italian saying goes, Revenge is a dish better served cold. Instead of that approach, I realized that parents everywhere would be better served if they realized that they are the Church and they, as members of the Royal Priesthood, are responsible for their faith regardless of what they have been taught by a questionable hierarchy that no longer commands blind obedience from the faithful.
There are still some good bishops, less than one might expect, and they strive to be Good Sheppard’s to their flock. Support them. They walk a narrow pathway, trying to balance the good of the faithful against the pressures of their corrupt brother bishops.
If I had adopted this attitude in 1973, my son would not have had to suffer what they allowed to happen to him. My wife and I decided that we would remain in the Church to work from the inside to bring about change that is so badly needed. Clericalism runs rampant in the church even today, after all the scandal has cost them. Christ made it so simple but they screwed it up with rules and regulations piled deep enough to bury even the strongest soul. Jesus gave the simple Commandment: “Love one another, as I have loved you.”
My anger has resolved into living my life in witness to my fellow Sisters and Brothers. If one person is helped by this book, my task will have been worthwhile.