Into Extra Time written by Michael Paul Gallagher
This book has been written by the late Fr. Michael Paul Gallagher S.J as he relates his journey with a diagnosis of cancer, as he first discovered this challenge, and as it persisted to ebb away his life. Michael was once Professor of English at U.C.D so this book benefits from frequent quotes from poetry and varied literature.
However, its primary focus is to tell the story of his faith through the prism of a terminal diagnosis. He talks about belief and unbelief. It is realistic and moving. It will no doubt echo the thoughts and feelings of many of us who have experienced family and friends on a similar journey. He intersperses the text with biographical detail that gives life to his voice and is poignant.
The middle section of the book presents fragments of his thoughts and belief on many issues that were dearest to his heart. The final piece is his cancer diary outlining days of treatment, success, pain and disappointment. He recounts too how faith helped him and when he found it hard to pray.
We are lucky that he had the time, skill, and generosity, to leave us this book. It is given to us through the blessing of ‘extra time’ and finally brings us towards his journey to the Lord in November 2015.
The book is very readable and I recommend it strongly.
Fr Tony Coote