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Former Sudbury resident Rick Prashaw recalls his time as a priest in new memoir

He’s also the author of a previous memoir about his late transgender son Adam’s life

Former Sudbury resident and priest Rick Prashaw has released a new memoir that details his life around his faith and how some aspects evolved and some stayed the same over the past 70 years. 

Prashaw served as a priest in the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie from 1980 to 1991.

‘Father Rick, Roamin’ Catholic’ was written in a story-telling style, inspired by explaining his faith journey to his niece during COVID-isolation. 

This technique allowed him to current subjects like the pandemic, Indigenous and Black Lives Matter issues, declining religious affiliation and church attendance, and the polarized Joe Biden-Donald Trump “uncivil wars.”

“The eyes of some friends gloss over at the mention of faith,” Prashaw said in a press release. “Then they dive into the stories, enjoying the joy, mischief, irreverence, miracles, good works and good people, alongside the sobering commentary on the troubles plaquing religion.”

This is Prashaw’s second memoir, after his first one “Soar, Adam, Soar” (a memoir based on the life of his transgender son, who tragically died in 2016) was published in 2019. Prashaw is also a former journalist and the new memoir includes anecdotes surrounding his life as a young and budding journalist working for the Vancouver Sun back in the 1970s. 

“But after a random, chance trip to Seattle (while working in Vancouver) to visit family at a rectory, his life changed in an instant. Because when God calls, you answer,” said the book preview. The passage refers to the switch of careers from journalism to priesthood. 

Prashaw is also a social justice advocate, and has been a staff memebr to Members of Parliament. 

Since 2014 he has been an advocate for both transgender human rights and organ donor registration. In “Father Rick, Roamin’ Catholic’” he critiques a more traditional “God Bless America” religion that Roman Catholicism can sometimes be involved in. 

“(Prashaw) scorches a ‘God Bless America’ religion that, instead of asking for genuine divine blessing, has wrapped country flags and political, corporate agendas around God,” the press release wrote. “There’s unflinching criticism too on clergy abuse, residential schools, and what Prashaw labels as religion’s wrong judgment on LGBTQ folk and a submissive, second-class citizenship for women.” spoke with Prashaw in a Zoom call, where he answered from his home in Ottawa where he currently resides. 

“I just feel very peaceful about this book,” he said.

“I have a detachment about worrying too much about what other people think, or what other people are going to say. There'll be judgment, there'll be people that like it, and the few people that won't like it won't. But I've been noticing a different feeling I have about this book – I'm very happy about this book.”

Prashaw will be returning to Sudbury on April 24 at Twigg’s Coffee for a book launch. To find out more about the book, or to purchase, please visit the web link here.


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Eden Suh

About the Author: Eden Suh

Eden Suh in the new media reporter for
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