Remembering Catherine Marshall

Thirty years ago yesterday (March 18), one of the most interesting women (in my view) in the 20th century quietly died. She was Catherine Marshall, the wife of Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall who, after her

Catherine herself

Catherine herself

husband’s untimely death in 1949, reinvented herself as an author who had a writing ministry that reached millions. Many babyboomers and people over 40 remember the Marshalls, including Catherine’s only son, Peter Marshall, Jr., who died not long ago. Catherine is best known for her book “Christy” (which was also a TV show/movie), “A Man Called Peter” and many other books. There are enormous amounts of Catherine Marshall fan bases on the Internet plus the people who attend the annual summer “Christyfest” in east Tennessee. I even stumbled upon a Diane Sawyer essay that told of how she first met Catherine Marshall when Diane was 17.

Gravestone for Catherine Marshall in the Ft. Lincoln cemetery in NE Washington.

Gravestone for Catherine Marshall in the Ft. Lincoln cemetery in NE Washington.

I felt a kinship with Catherine as it was her book, “Beyond Ourselves” that I read in 1972 that so changed my life. And years later I happened to visit her family home in Lincoln, Va., a lovely place 50 miles west of DC, while a friend was renting it. Back in 2011, I got the bright idea of writing a biography of Catherine Marshall, as the centennial of her birth (Sept. 27, 1914) is next year. My agent was super excited about it, as he knew publishers who were looking for good bios for the evangelical Christian market. I went to the University of Maryland library where I got a ton of info about this remarkable woman. First, when Peter Marshall Jr. died in September 2010, there were 15 pages of tribute on the Boston Globe’s web site. Included in those tributes were notes from people who still remembered “A Man Called Peter” more than 50 years later.  One biographer called her a ‘reluctant feminist’ because she would have preferred to stay home as a widow and watch her 9-year-old son, but she had to work and so she began to write best-sellers. So many people remembered Catherine’s legacy. OK, she had written an autobiography, “Meeting God at Every Turn” in 1980, but I had a feeling there was a lot more to her life that had not been written about and that would fascinate people in the 21st century. I had never known, for instance, there was a 12-year-age difference between her and Peter Marshall Sr. And I always wondered how Catherine felt about the Community of Jesus, the Christian community in Orleans, Mass., that drew her son in to where it could have caused he and his wife, Edith, to divorce. One of my reporter friends wrote about the CoJ’s cultic tendencies years ago, so I’ve always been suspicious of them even though Christianity Today magazine did a puff piece on them in more recent years. But how that must have broken Catherine’s heart. She wrote about her own life in much detail but to my knowledge never mentioned that community.
But I digress. First I discovered that Catherine’s grave site was a mere two miles from my door. She had been buried at Ft. Lincoln Cemetery in NE Washington back in the days when whites were buried in one place and blacks were buried in another. One of the workers at Ft. Lincoln told me back in the 1940s, this was considered the white cemetery for that part of town and sure enough, it was not that far from the Capitol where Peter Marshall Sr worked. Knowing her grave was so close to Hyattsville (where I lived), I thought maybe this was a sign I should pursue this project further. I started seek out members of the family. Her stepdaughter, Linda Lader, who lives in the DC area, was very hard to reach and when I did reach her, I got the royal brush off. Linda referred me to a relative who was the family lawyer who in no uncertain terms told me that if I wrote about Catherine, I was inviting myself in for a very expensive lawsuit. She even cited a law saying I would need their permission to write anything about Catherine as they didn’t want anyone – except themselves apparently – making money off Catherine’s memory. After all, they’re still selling stuff off Peter Marshall Jr’s web site plus getting royalties from Catherine Marshall’s 20-something books. I told this attorney I’d written a huge biography a few years back (of Graham Pulkingham who she’d never heard of) and knew how to do research and would love to take a new look at Catherine but nooooo, she was not convinced and in a nice way told me to keep my hands off Catherine’s name. Sure made me wonder what was up, but I was a freelancer at the time, so was in no financial position to hire a few lawyers myself and go after this story. I tried contacting other family members but couldn’t get anywhere. Their loss. Catherine was such a special woman and her life and works deserve to be known in this century as well. Read the entries in her cemetery guest book and see how many people still remember her.

66 thoughts on “Remembering Catherine Marshall

  1. Phyllis Finster

    Thanks for letting remember the beautiful books that she wrote. I had the book A MAN CALLED PETER for many years until we moved to Iowa. Always glad to check your blog. Keep up the good work Julia.
    PF

  2. Valerie Freer

    What a delight to see someone posting about Catherine Marshall! To the best of my remembering, Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, has her papers. How very strange that her life story (of which, yes, there is much out there abounding) is hands off…

    The legalities of said ‘offness,’ too, puzzle. I mean! Legal action if you do a biography of a public figure???

    And–last I remember hearing, her papers were in sad disarray, and not being protected as the precious documents that they are. Stuffed in boxes in a library back room!

    Hopefully (for this is very old information) that has been remedied.

  3. Suzanne Stapleton

    It’s a shame you had the brush off from the Marshall family concerning a possible biography of Catherine. I think the time is right for an objective look at her life as she was such a ground breaker for Christian women writers. I do get the feeling that there are a lot of skeletons in the Marshall family that they would rather not be made public – the least of which is the Community of Jesus. Her granddaughter Mary Elizabeth Marshall just died in November 2012. She seemed like a woman after her grandmother’s heart!

  4. Sparkle

    How I would love to read an in-depth biography of Catherine Marshall! Sad to think that one will likely never be written. As an earlier poster suggested, maybe there are family skeletons that the LeSourd/Marshall families don’t want revealed. Catherine’s last book, “Light in My Darkest Night,” was published posthumously. Much was revealed that I didn’t know and I had read all of her earlier books. I had no idea that Leonard LeSourd was divorced and Catherine was his second wife (he married a third time after her death.) She had agonized over marrying a divorced man and didn’t want her readers to know. Anyone reading the earlier books would assume that Leonard was a widower. Another little tidbit I learned was that Catherine was very sensitive to constructive criticism when working with editors to publish her books. She just plain didn’t like it and would sometimes leave the room.

    Any biography of Catherine would end with her death, so the only family skeleton I can think of is Peter Jr.’s involvement with this Community. I don’t know if he got involved with them before she died. She was pretty sick the last year of her life and maybe wasn’t told a lot of what was going on. I’m fairly sure Peter and Edith were still married at the time of her death.

    He (Peter Jr.) seems to have been a very lonely man in later life. His death was reported on CNN.com and I visited his website. I got the impression from his blog posts that he was having a hard time financially. This is just my opinion and I could be wrong. His daughter, Mary Elizabeth Marshall, died from bacterial meningitis last November 20th. Her Facebook page is still up. On November 6, she posted publicly about enjoying fruit for the first time in weeks after being on a high protein diet. How eerie that she died just 14 days later.

    One thing that always puzzled me is why Catherine decided to remain in Washington after Peter’s death. It was then and is still a very expensive place to live. Why didn’t she and Peter Jr. go stay with her parents, at least until she established herself as a writer? It was not unusual then for multi-generational families to share a house.

    All for now.

    1. Pastor Brown

      Just as her husband heard the voice of God, and obeyed His plan for him and his family…Mrs. Marshall learned how to trust God and was led also to live according to the plans He had for her life after the death of her husband. The Lord didn’t leave her…His word saids; I will never leave you; nor will I forsake you. He knows all the trials Catherine Marshall and son went through, and He is the same God that healed her when she was ill once. Let us never forget He is our source, our healer, our deliver, and most of all our Savior.

  5. Steffan Rhys

    Absolutely there should be a biography written about Catherine Marshall in light of her centennial year in 2014. She was a remarkable in the field of Christian writing.

    Peter Marshall Jr. spoke at my parish on several occasions, and introduced me to The Community of Jesus, Orleans, Massachusetts. Without a doubt, this cultic community brought a demise to what Peter could have enjoyed in the ministerial field. He spent several days at my home in the 1970s when he was giving serious thought in breaking with The Community of Jesus. Sadly, his decision was to return to the community in Orleans.

    Peter’s mother was totally aware of his involvement with the Benedictine community, and he shared that she prayed continuously that he would remove himself from the same.

    Peter’s marriage ended in divorce, and sense that his deep involvement with The Community of Jesus had a negative impact upon his marital/family life.

    He was a brilliant man and a great preacher, but so much of what he could have become was dwarfed by the indoctrination of The Community of Jesus.

  6. Richard Browne

    I wonder how many of us would like to see a biography of Catherine Marshall, if there were no suggestions of poor judgement, weak moments, negative comments she may have made about Dr. Marshall, and so forth. Once again, are we truly looking for things to admire, or things to diminish her legacy? In the current times, it seems that innuendo and actions that could be construed negatively are all the rage. I am actually glad that Catherine’s relatives have said “no” to permission to go through her papers and write things they could not control.

  7. Catherine

    I would like to know more about the extended family memebers of the Marshall’s and if their son Peter had any children about their lives. Also I think it would be great if their was a movie based on Catherine Marshall’s life.

      1. BSnyder

        Amazingly enough, I just moved from Wash DC to TX and picked up the DVD “A Man called Peter” on a whim at the local Walmart. Just saw the movie and am inspired by Dr. Marshall’s sermons. We need more people like Dr. Marshall especially in Washington DC where it seems like there are no morals nor compassion among the politicians in office which appear to be there only for their own political/power benefits. God bless America and remove the greedy and the non-defenders of our Christian society from political power, Amen.

        1. Catherine

          Catherine Marshall was in the hospital. She was having tests and I think it was her heart that she died.

        2. trainmaster

          From what I have researched, it seems that trouble from Catherine Marshall’s tuberculosis, which she had suffered 40 years before returned and began to cause heart failure and the later is said to be the final cause of her passing.

      2. Abner H. Cookk

        If you do further research, you will find that in the very late 70’s, another recurrance of tuberlocsis returned that eventually turned into pnemonia. It was a combination of the two that she passed from.

    1. Mary Morris

      In “Meeting God at Every Turn”, she became extremely involved w/ a man from Wyoming. He said that he would divorce his wife to marry her. She was afraid that ‘she would hurt Christ’s cause if she married him.’ She evidently had a huge ego. I really felt bad for her son! I think he probably came in ‘second’ from mom.

      1. Gina

        I read the same book, and I’m not sure what the implication of this comment is supposed to be. Catherine was remarkably open about this situation, I think as an attempt to be real and as a warning to others. As she told it, there was a friendship but never an affair, although the man did want to divorce his wife for her.

        Catherine could easily have concealed the story to appear a more “holy” Christian. How telling it would indicate a “huge” ego escapes me.

        1. Joyce Anthony Huff

          Everyone gets tempted. I applaud Catherine for being honest. She didn’t give in to the temptation. where is the huge ego in that? Writers are supposed to share from their own experiences that is what makes them writers.

        2. Barbara

          Amen Gina and thank you for puttting that into words for me. I just finished Meeting God at Every Turn and I completely agree!! It was an excellently written series of her most significant memories. Thank you.

        3. JoAnn Channell

          It was just the opposite of what you’re saying about Catherine, Mary Morris!! She had no ego…which was SO evident in her incredible writings. I’ve read her works over and over for decades and have found no egocentricity in any or her writings. You need to let that notion go, Mary Morris.

  8. Ellen

    It really is a shame a good biography on Catherine Marshall will not be written especially while people who knew her are still living. As good as the biography (A Man Called Peter) about Peter Marshall Sr. was, it was written by his young widow who was 37 at the time. I wish a in-depth biography on Peter Marshall Sr. had been written. I think both Catherine and Peter Sr. were a lot more complicated than they appeared to be in Catherine’s books.
    I had never heard about Peter Marshall Jr. being part of the Community of Jesus.

    1. Linda LeSourd Lader

      Julia, while searching for something else I found your blog and want to take this opportunity to apologize to you for any discourtesy or rudeness you experienced from me or any member of my family. If ever you are in Washington, DC, near the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, Dr. Peter Marshall’s former church, do stop in and perhaps we can meet. Ironically (and for reasons other than the family connection), I serve part time on the pastoral staff there.

      I wish you and your readers a most blessed Holy Week and a glorious Easter!

      1. Mary Kuhn

        Linda, I want to take a moment to say how important your step-mother was to my spiritual life when I was in high school. When I entered college, I wrote Catherine Marshall to let her know how much her writing meant to me. Imagine my joy when I received a letter in reply! I recently came across the letter. Re-reading it now after so many years, I see even more fully the extent of genuine good will expressed in her message to a young person at a pivotal time of life. Coincidently, I came across this blog just after another Holy Week, two years after your gracious post. Blessings to you and your family as we continue to celebrate the renewal of Easter.

        1. JoAnn Channell

          Mary Kuhn…Catherine was SO important to my spiritual life, also, as I’m sure she was to many others. What an amazing woman! It would be such a joy to read a biography of her life written by someone who could be trusted.

  9. HARRY MCLEOD

    Catherine Marshall was one of my spiritual guides and heroes in the 1960’and 70’s. I thought she developed cancer and died of that. She was a frequent contributor to Guideposts.

    I would love for someone to write her biography.

  10. Elaine Andrews

    Recently acquiring an iPad I was excited to find this site devoted to my heroine Catherine Marshall. As a new Christian in 1980 her books guided and mentored me during the years and times of great heart-break and maturing in my Christian journey. Her difficulties in grappling with her emotions and life decisions help me to accept my own vulnerability and understanding that we often mature most through our own mistakes. I do hope you get to write that biography of Catherine and will pray Gods will for the situation.

  11. Dianne

    Julia–Just stumbled upon your blog while searching for more info on Catherine Marshall. Read her book Christy when it was a best seller and several times since. Always hoped for a ‘sequel’ as I felt it ended abruptly. I do know that it is a work of fiction, but based (perhaps loosely) on a time in her own mother’s life. It has been on my mind as I just yesterday finished rereading it for the umpteenth time. The reason that I reread it recently was because in May, 2014 I had just gone on a pilgrimage (of sorts) to Del Rio, Tn where the mission actually was located. Through a little digging and with the help of gps, my husband and I found the marker that was in front of the original mission–only the fieldstone foundation remains. Also, the ruins of David Grantland’s bunkhouse (marker) and supposedly the remains of Miss Alice’s cabin (also marked) are still there. It had rained that day and was extremely muddy which made it undesirable to follow a trail that may have led to more ‘sites’. It would be interesting to read her personal papers–I wonder if anyone outside her family ever has–and why are they in Decatur, Georgia?

  12. Patricia

    Catherine Marshalls books were very helpful to me as a young wife over 30 years ago but re-reading them with a greater experience of life I can see that there was a lot in the family history that was glossed over or left unsaid.

    I found the activities of her son, the late Rev Peter Marshall Jnr, deeply worrying given his links with oddballs like Benny Hinn and David Barton and his attempts to influence American political opinion. His interpretation of American history and support of the doctrine of American exceptionalism , while beloved of evangelical home schoolers, bore little relation to actual facts and seriously ignored the inhumane treatment of native American Indians and the slave trade economy. His racist remarks on Barak Obama and also on people of other World Faiths were both very troubling and very unchristian.

    So very sorry to hear of Mary Elizabeth Marshall’s death.

    1. Stephen L. Reese

      The primary downfall of Peter Marshall Jr., was his connection for the majority of his ministry with the Community of Jesus, Orleans, Massachusetts. His theology became blighted with the teachings of the ‘Mothers’ of the Community of Jesus, Cay and Judy. Peter remained an ardent member of the sect in Orleans until his untimely demise.

    2. Charlyn Derrick

      Patricia, you need a reality check. Do not use Peter’s affiliation with other evangelical ministries to justify your personal opinions of them or use it as a platform to forward your own “religion” whatever that may be. It is very obvious and inappropriate in addition to creating dark clouds over those you do not identify with. You cannot correctly acess what was in his heart and mind.

  13. Liz (Steele) Forman

    The Marshall and LeSourd families are wonderful people. My mother, Betty Steele, was a dear friend and prayer partner of Catherine’s, and I was honored to know her, growing up in Delray Beach, Florida. I see that Linda has already responded to you, but I wanted to say that the family is a precious one, indeed…and that Peter, who was a friend of mine until his death, was a very fine man as well. Mary Elizabeth’s death (which I only learned of recently) is so sad. I remember her as a sweet little girl who would visit her grandmother in Boynton Beach.

    Catherine’s papers are in Decatur, GA at her (our) alma mater, Agnes Scott College. (Because of her influence in my life, I also chose to go to Agnes Scott!) I gave a talk on Catherine once and did research in the ASC archives. It is remarkable how many people wrote to Catherine. Reading her encouraging, heartfelt responses was so uplifting!!

    All families have ups and downs, happiness and sadness, celebrations and tragedies. The Marshalls and LeSourds are no different than anyone else, and have always been so gracious in sharing their stories with the world!

    1. Joyce Anthony Huff

      thank you Liz Steele for clearing up misinformation. I dislike it when people post the wrong ages of death, the wrong info in general. (By golly, it says that Catherine was born in 1914 and died in 1983, so do the math and you can tell how old she was when she passed!) I too was shocked at the granddaughter’s early demise…..I still have all Catherine’s books and re-read them.

  14. Sparkle

    It’s me again and I will attempt to answer some of the questions here. Catherine was 35 when her first husband died, not 37. I never read anything about her having cancer. She had emphysema, which undoubtedly led to the heart failure that caused her death.

    The website of her son, the late Rev. Peter John Marshall, has vanished. I suppose after his daughter’s death there was no one with enough time to take over the sale of his books and DVD’s. The Facebook page for Peter Marshall Ministries is still up but no one has posted anything since November 2012.

    Catherine’s papers are housed in the McCain Library at Agnes Scott College in Decatur GA. The following is a direct quote from the library’s website.

    “Agnes Scott has Catherine Marshall’s papers. The collection includes her correspondence with publishers and fans, successive manuscript and typescript drafts of her books, research notes, and personal memorabilia. Click here to see an outline of the collection – researchers with special research needs may contact Marianne Bradley by e-mail or at 404-471-6090 for a more detailed index of the collection.”

    It doesn’t seem that the papers can be viewed by just anyone.

    Here is a link to Rev. Peter John Marshall’s obituary. He was survived by three children and three grandchildren. His daughter, Mary Elizabeth Marshall, died in 2012.

    http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/bostonglobe/obituary.aspx?pid=145240003

    I’m afraid we will have to be content with Catherine’s biography of Dr. Peter Marshall. The number of people who actually knew him is steadily diminishing. If the Marshall family didn’t want Catherine’s biography written, they probably wouldn’t want a more in-depth one of Peter.

    I have to say that I wish Catherine’s books were available on Kindle. I would buy them all over again. Amazon’s Kindle Store does list a book called “Excluded” by Catherine Marshall. This is not “our” Catherine but a different author with the same name.

    .

  15. Joyce Anthony Huff

    I too am a huge fan of Catherine Marshall’s books. I have them all. She (her books) got me through a horrific time in my life in 1985. I am sorry to hear her granddaughter died at such a young age. I would love to see a book on Catherine’s life. Her stepkids unfortunately are the only ones left as her son died in 2010 at age 70. How accurate a bio of Catherine at this late date would be is questionable. My gram (born 1902) was the first one to introduce me to Catherine Marshall (and A MAN CALLED PETER) back in 1968 when I was only 12. After that, I devoured any book written by Catherine.

  16. Joyce Anthony Huff

    In the book Light in My Darkest Night, some of the stories revealed about her son Peter John getting into trouble were mentioned in books she wrote saying it was “a friend’s son” who got into trouble. So while the stories in her books were true, sometimes she wrote they happened to “a friend” when it really happened to HER. A lot of writes do that.

  17. Christina McKerrow

    Like you, I discovered Catherine Marshall in the early 1970s. I don’t recall which of her books I read; I was flying to England and went into the airport bookstore and picked up this book that lead me on the journey on which I am still travelling.
    After that, I read other books she had written. They were inspirational. I recall her writing about the loss of her husband, Peter Marshall, that it was like loosing a limb – an amputation – and having, with her young son, to make a new and different life for herself.
    Christina

  18. William Anderson

    I was fascinated with this blog, happening upon it while googling current information on the Marshalls. Their writings have been important to me since my youth. Beyond that, Catherine Marshall and I corresponded for many years, an exchange which continued until several weeks before her death. She was always gracious and frank. She counseled me on writing, and predicted I would have a future in the field, which happened. I am forever grateful to her for writing her books, and making Peter Marshall’s ministry flourish. After her death I continued to be in touch with Len Le Sourd and other family members. It seems that a biography of her is essential to her memory, and would serve to carry on her legacy.

  19. Barbara

    Does anyone know which one of Catherine Marshall’s books details her encounter with Jesus at the time of her tuberculosis illness. In “The Helper” she mentions the details are in another book she wrote. Her book, The Helper, is one of the best books I ever read. I would like to read more.

    1. Catherine

      Perhaps this is mentioned in the book “A Man Called Peter” and also the movie with the same title.
      God Bless

    2. Barbara B.

      Catherine Marshall’s book “Meeting God at Every Turn” includes the story of her encounter with Jesus while she was ill with tuberculosis.

  20. George Bergdoll

    I was a good friend of Peter Marshall, Jr. He was a man of God. Had the opportunity to talk with his daughter, Mary, after her father’s death. She was trying to keep his ministry going. My life was better because, of my friendship with Peter Marshall, Jr.

    George H. Bergdoll, Sr
    564 Cornfield Lane
    Appomattox, VA. 24522
    434-352-0178

  21. Eileen Lones

    I have a deep respect for Peter John Marshall and his daughter Mary Elizabeth Marshall. I loved reading their news letters via e-mail. They were both so knowledgeable of the things of God and communicated well their passions for God’s Kingdom to be advanced. I miss hearing from them by e-mail. I am still very sad that they are gone from this world. I look forward to seeing them in Heave.

  22. Dale Bosworth

    When I first read Christy, I stayed up all night until I finished it. After that she became my all time favorite author. Her books continue to speak to me even now. Clearly her books were written with great depth and inspiration. It would be a loss if a biography of this great woman is never written. Perhaps her family would commission someone who gifted in writing to complete task to their satisfaction. She offered so much to the world with her writing.

    1. joyce anthony huff

      another excellent Christian writer who died in 2012 was Betty Malz. I have all of her books too.

      1. Gerri Davis

        I read “A Man Called Peter” the first time when I was 12 years old. I have read Catherine Marshall’s other books multiple times, and they have helped me in my maturity as a Christian. I met Peter Marshall, Jr. in Decatur, GA. once when he was preaching a revival there. He shook my hand, and in a booming voice asked, “Sister, are you filled with the spirit?” His mother had passed away by that time. He was a wonderful, spiritual man. His book, “The Light and the Glory,” is the best American history book I’ve ever read.

        I also just finished reading two of Betty Malz’s books. They are also wonderful: “My Glimpse of Eternity” and “Touching the Unseen World.”

  23. Janet Pell

    I am a huge follower of Mrs. Catherine Woods Marshall. I have read all of her books, A Man Called Peter being my most read book, having read it over 100 times. I would love to read an updated biography since i feel the original ended not long after Dr. Marshall’s death. Pls tell us the rest of her story.

  24. Trainmaster

    A Man Called Peter was released in, so I assume it was completed in 1950. There are always re-writes, changes until the finished version appears. Dr. Marshall passed away January 25, 1949. There is a sequal follow-up to “A Man Called Peter” written by Mrs. Marshall titled “To Live Again” (released in 1957). In addition to picking up where “AMCP” left off, it tells about the making of the movie of the same name and the behind-the-scenes. A hardback in excellent condition with a dustjacket in the same shape is hard-to-find. Paperback copies are easy. In addition, Mrs. Marshall reveals a lot of her life in that book.
    I would suggest you get a copy and read it, for I consider the two books sort of “volumes” on the same subject.

  25. Trainmaster

    The above comment accidentally left out the year 1951 when the first edition of “A Man Called Peter” was released.
    Again, to anyone interested in the subject, and it is a great one, get “To Live Again” with AMCP.

  26. marsha jackson

    I really think that Catherine Marshall has written her own biography. It is spread throughout her many writings over the years. I have been reading her books for 50 years, and I am so thankful for the amazing treasure that they are to me.

  27. Natalie Morley

    I have had Catherine Marshalls books for many years. My husband passed away just a year ago, I have recently read A Man Called Peter and To Live Again. They have helped me tremendously, I’ve read them from a different perspective to the first time. Reading the different blogs, I have to wonder why there are always people who are critical. I am sure Catherine Marshall was lead by our Heavenly Father and not her egoism. She was indeed a messenger of God who has helped many people seeking reassurance.

    1. Joyce Anthony Huff

      So true, Natalie. God used Catherine in a mighty way through her talent to help others on this journey called Life.

  28. Joe M

    Catherine Marshall represents a unique and important moment in the Evangelical movement in the US, and a bio by someone like Duin would be wonderful. People today forget what a bridge/lifeline Guideposts Magazine and Chosen Books were in their day. Or how in earlier years things like the Lay Witness Movement were vital expressions of spiritual life prior to the current evangelical resurgence. The latter, for example, published Colson’s BORN AGAIN. I hope Ms. Duin revisits her impulse. Great, great idea!

  29. Emily Guess Cannon

    Can someone tell me what church Catherine Marshall was a member of at the time of her death? A friend mentioned recently that she was a member of a Progressive Primitive Baptist Church in FL at the time. This is of interest to me, as I am a member of the Primitive Baptist denimination, which is relatively small. I would be grateful for that information.

  30. Margaret Whitehead. Dallas Texas

    Hi,
    This is Margaret Whitehead from Dallas Texas where I was born …..& brought up Catholic my young years & have alway been fervent in my love for Christ
    Peter & Catherine Marshall took over my life & helped me get through my husbands tough journey with two cancers.. since I picked up her book .. “To live again .. “It gave me a very good playbook to handle the 11 years since ..as he still has
    chemo & radiation every day.
    I pray the stepchildren let a brilliant author write what desparately need to be written how the Marshall’s unique lives have touched us all . Peter Sr was taken way too soon & Catherine with the grace of God & her trust in Him gave us many words written to encourage the world & to get through the everyday bumps in the road!
    Whatever reason they will not honor the very special people that put them on the map by their father marrying Catherine .. it would be an injustice for them to be so selfish as to not share the Marshall story one more time for the younger generation to know about!
    The Marshall’s are part of our history just as George Washington is known today by young & old!
    If they are faithful people .. how can they not!
    It does no good to bury their lamp
    Looking forward to reading the new book ! It must be dine in the Name of the Lord!
    Many thanks , Margaret Whitehead💖💕

  31. Margaret

    I have written two wonderfu letters(ahem).. but they did not show up here .. what could I be doing wrong .
    I want this tribute to happen for Catherine💖💕
    I dont have a website,

    1. Julia Duin Post author

      Margaret – just saw your posts; I must have missed them before. They are posted now.

  32. Nancy Whitaker

    I’m thankful to have found this blog as I was searching for a way to reach out to the Marshall-LeSourd family and seek permission to publish my work of fan fiction which picks up where “Christy” left off. My book is too long to post at one of the fan fiction websites. I have no interest at all in publishing it for the sake of financial gain. If I was fortunate enough to get permission, I’d donate all proceeds to a Christian charity. I have two in mind: Bible Study Fellowship International and Hidden Treasure Christian School, which was started by my family–they provide Christian education for special needs children in Greenville, SC. I daydream of my book being published and the attention it might bring causing Catherine Marshall’s book to be reprinted for a whole new generation to discover, including via e-books. It’s a shame that most people know only of the CBS series. It was great, but the book was better! The series muddled up the whole thing about Margaret’s death. After reading what you said, Julia, it looks like my chances of getting permission to publish are nil. I’ve done a little research online about fan fiction in general, and it looks like the original works are protected until after the author has been dead for 70 years. I don’t know how the fanfiction websites are excluded from that. That must be why there are over 150 fan fiction titles in print based on Pride and Prejudice, because Jane Austen has been dead for 200 years! I’m sure I’m not the first person to want to continue the Christy story. I wrote it only because I was so tormented with the changes the TV series made to the plot of the book, and the unresolved love triangle. The three low-budget episodes filmed by another company tried to tie up loose ends, but the production value just wasn’t as good. I wrote one chapter this summer just for fun, and I couldn’t stop! The rest poured out of me effortlessly. I don’t even feel like I wrote it–it just wrote itself. When I got to page 286, I knew I was done. Oh, it’s nothing compared to Catherine’s great work, of course–I would not be so bold as to put myself anywhere close to her talent. I plan to have one copy bound just for my own enjoyment. If it’s true that the family who benefit financially from Catherine’s legacy are adamant about no one touching her works (which I can understand), you’d think they would be eager to increase their income by re-releasing the book. Regarding one of the comments about Catherine being hyper-sensitive about people critiquing her work, I understand. It’s very hard to put your work out there for public scrutiny. It’s like handing your baby over to someone and having them hand it back to you and tell you it’s ugly. Once that happens you don’t want to write anything else. I would like to share my manuscript with her descendants, but I would not want to cause any offense or hurt.

  33. Wendy Love

    How delightful to find this blog.
    Catherine Marshall was my hero and my mentor when I became a new Christian.
    I read all of her books, more than once. I underlined a lot of things she said.
    I lent out her books too many times and never got them back so recently managed to pick up copies of most of them at yard sales and such. It feels like I have an old friend on my shelf.
    I believe that Catherine Marshall has already written her own biography through her books. She shared personal stories and spiritual journeys in a way that no one could top.
    Thank you for keeping her legacy alive.

  34. Jo Ann Channell

    That’s why I never let people borrow my books. I’ll tell them the name and author, but I learned the hard way to never let anyone borrow when I received one of my favorites back almost falling apart!! My books are like old friends to me and I still have Catherine Marshall’s books that I purchased decades ago and have read over and over. My books are treasures not to be loaned out. I really loved that dear woman so very much! Her legacy lives on!!

  35. Catherine

    yes I also got some of her books that she wrote. The Christian book store was going out of business and some of their books were given away free

  36. Abner H. Cookk

    In reply to Jo-ann Channell: I have loaned out books only to have them disappear, so I do NOT loan anything out. Like yourself, I give the vital information of the product (book, CD, DVD, etc) out and today, between E-Bay and Amazon.com, there is a very good chance that whatever one is looking for can be found.

    While Mrs. Marshall did not publish everything about herself, in her books “A Man Called Peter” and “To Live Again,” she does tell quite a bit about herself and how she got into writing. Personally, I don’t believe a biography on her is necessary, due to the abundant information she revealed about herself in the books she wrote. She was suc a gracious lady, and it is very sad that the 1940’s case of tuberlocis made a return in the very late 1970’s.

  37. Stephen L. Reese

    Peter Marshall Jr., became a member of the Community of Jesus, Orleans, Massachusetts, and it played a most negative roll in his life and ministry! Peter related to me that his mother Catherine Marshall prayed daily that he become free from this sect.

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