Joy Clough is a Sister of Mercy living in Chicago. From ministry as a high school English and journalism teacher, she became a writer of histories, director of communication for the Sisters of Mercy, and director of the office of public information for the Chicago Archdiocese. After serving as assistant to the president at Saint Xavier University, she was elected president of her congregation in Chicago. Since then she has held various positions in the university's office of mission and heritage. She has degrees in English and journalism, coursework at Catholic Theological Union, has travelled extensively and has many publications to her credit. Retired, she serves as a community volunteer and author.

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Learning about the Father from my own

An important lesson in my life is one that I'm still learning. It involves welcoming and trusting God as a loving father, rather than as a severe judge or "divine tester." Once, when I was quite young and probably came home with some catechism lesson about heaven and hell, my dad said with great conviction, that as a father he could never consign any of his children to unending torment — that is, to hell. His conviction was an awakening for me.