Christine Sunderland Telephone Interview, January 22, 2013

Father Hines conducted this friendly telephone visit with Christine on January 22, 2013.  The discussion included commentary about her books, her blogs, the importance of our Sacramental heritage  – including the comforts of traditional music and food as an important treasure in our lives.

The interview is offered here in sections, for ease of listening.  For a complete copy of the interview, please contact Ginny Deering.

Christine Sunderland is a well-known novelist from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her stories, set in Europe and Hawaii, draw from the past but are set in the present, and deal with themes of love, suffering, faith, and family.  She draws from her rich tradition in the Anglican Church, and the rich language and meter of the liturgy illuminate her prose and plots.

Her first three novels are a trilogy based on faith, hope, redemption and love, experienced through the Anglo-Catholic tradition.  The stories are born from her travels as she explored the history of Christianity from a sacramental point of view. She comments about our liturgical and sacramental tradition: “We have a fullness others do not have”.

The first novel of the trilogy, Pilgramage is based in Italy.  Middle-aged history professor Madeleine Seymour… is haunted by the death of her young daughter Mollie, who drowned in a plastic pool. Tormented by nightmares… Madeleine seeks the counsel of Father Rinaldi, who sends Madeleine and her husband Jack on a trip to Italy to its Catholic shrines… With its iconography of blood and sacrifice, its stories of suffering and death transmuted into hope and rebirth, it reveals lessons for coping with her long-festering grief and guilt. Balancing spiritual exaltation with psychological realism, Sunderland’s limpid prose makes Madeleine’s journey both gripping and believable.  It is a moving study of the healing power of religious devotion.”


In Offering, Madeleine and her husband Jack scour France on an anxious search for the doctor who may save Jack’s life. Meanwhile that same doctor, Rachelle DuPres, treks throughout the country on her own quest for spiritual healing. In the second of Christine Sunderland’s inspirational fiction trilogy, Offerings invites the reader to travel alongside these ailing souls as they search for healing, truth and salvation.

Christine comments: “God speaks through actions to provide healing through physical means, providing spiritual epiphanies.”  France, historically overrun by other cultures: Germany, England and the East – the Holocaust being the most recent example – provides a significant setting.

The interview includes a special discussion about the significance of the story of Bernadette is included in the recording and should not be missed.



The trilogy concludes with Inheritance, set in London, England and its surrounding towns.  She reminds us that we understand huge truths in the forms of the Book of Common Prayer and the King James Version of the Bible.  The sacraments, liturgy and hymns of our tradition reveal hidden secrets that we can’t afford to lose and must be passed on to our children.



Father and Ms. Sunderland concluded with a very touching look at how the Sacraments work and continue to work in our Anglican lifestyle.


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