When I was drinking, I used to talk to this Jesuit priest about how miserable my life was. He was retired, & must have had the time to listen to my bellyaching.
Gradually, as I became more comfortable talking to him, I revealed that maybe I drank a little too much, but you would too...blah, blah, blah...
Eventually, I let him know my drinking had gone off the charts, & made a vow to him & God that I would not drink for a week. (with or without a solemn oath!)
I lasted two days. He was very kind & patient & told me to just keep trying.
My first day sober, immediately after my first AA meeting, I called him & said I had to see him. He agreed.
I burst in the door, announcing, "Guess what? I'm an alcoholic!"
He smiled & said gently, with a sigh, "Yeah."
He then went on to tell me excitedly that the Jesuits had a lot to do with AA beginnings, but I was coming down off a wicked drunk & didn't hear a word he said.
I always meant to ask him, but we got busy discussing sobriety, & then life started happening, & when I was 6 mos sober he passed away.
It was this history topic that got me thinking of it again & I looked it up.
Father Ed Dowling, a Jesuit priest, had come to see Bill W., because he had heard of the 12 steps & was amazed at how they resembled the spiritual exercises of St. Ignasias. When Bill said he'd never heard of the exercises, this made Fr. Dowling feel the 12 steps were divinely inspired. I read that Bill considered Fr. Dowling his spiritual sponsor.
I felt this deep connection to AA history learning this. Bill had a Jesuit spiritual sponsor, & I was graced with the same!
I know a man who sobered up at St. Thomas hospital & a woman who was at her jumping off place, banging her head against a brick building & she said one of the AA pioneers came upon her & told her he knew the way out.
How about you? Did AA history ever meet with your sobriety?
Or can you fill in more about Fr. Dowling? I'm really bad at remembering history, but I could get better!