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About Me


Columnist, educator, and consultant, Richard Griffin has wide experience as a writer and speaker. His articles have appeared in many publications - - New York Times, America, Commonweal - - to cite only a few. He has given talks on retirement and other aging issues in Vancouver, Des Moines, San Francisco, Florida, Oregon, as well as many places in Massachusetts.

As a member of the Jesuit order and a Roman Catholic priest for many years, Richard Griffin served as Catholic chaplain at Harvard University from 1968 to 1975, a period of unprecedented ferment in both church and university.


Unmistaken Identity PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Griffin   
Monday, May 04 2009 16:35

On the elevator at Symphony Hall:

 Jack: "I thought that was you."

 Me: "I thought that was you."

Fellow passenger: "You were both right."

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Feel free to peruse my archive of past columns at your own leisure. They are organized by category and go back as far as the end of 1998.

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Thanksgiving 2015
Monday, November 23 2015
  Every five years, my college class asks each of us to report on what we have been thinking and doing.  As I began to plan what I would write, I realized this was also an appropriate... Read more...
Growing Older Spiritually
Monday, November 23 2015
GROWING OLDER SPIRITUALLY   “Until now, aging has been unwelcome for the vast majority of us.” So write the authors of a newly published book. “The Spirituality of Age.”  They are... Read more...
Immense Possibilities of Old Age
Monday, November 23 2015
GROWING OLDER SPIRITUALLY   “Until now, aging has been unwelcome for the vast majority of us.” So write the authors of a newly published book. “The Spirituality of Age.”  They are... Read more...
Catholic Legislators and Pope
Monday, November 23 2015
Never before has Pope Francis visited anyone in the United States. On Wednesday, Sept. 23, he will enter the White House. (Editor’s note: This column was written in advance of Pope Francis’... Read more...
Oliver Sacks'
Monday, November 23 2015
One of the writers most on my mind these days is Oliver Sacks.  And that’s not just because this memorable doctor expects to die within the coming year. His readers are sadly aware that he has... Read more...
Operatic Wonder
Monday, November 23 2015
Let me confess: the two final concerts of the Grateful Dead awoke no nostalgia in me.  I can claim no share in the ecstatic fervor of the seventy thousand fans who twice gathered in Chicago to say... Read more...
Two Names Given by Pope Francis
Thursday, November 05 2015
A few weeks ago, Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress. Some of the names he mentioned surprised me. I was happy, of course, when he mentioned Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King,... Read more...
Newspapers Needed
Saturday, August 08 2015
Never would I have expected so many newspapers to go out of business as have in recent years. They seemed, in my youth, a permanent feature of American society, never to be abolished. In going back... Read more...
White House Conference miss
Saturday, August 08 2015
On Monday, July 13th, the White House Conference on Aging took place. It started at 10 o’clock and finished at 4:30.  At 11:25 President Obama delivered some remarks. If you knew nothing about... Read more...
Less Religion
Saturday, August 08 2015
Normal.dotm 0 0 1 586 2700 Griffin Associates 60 19 4108 12.0 0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false /*... Read more...
New Year Signs of Hope
Monday, December 22 2008
As we enter upon either the last year of the 20th century or the next-to-last (depending on how you count), a new spirit is struggling to break forth among the world’s people. Billions of us are... Read more...
Visiting a Mosque
Wednesday, April 23 2008
On the occasion of my first visit ever to a Mosque, two dominant impressions swept over me. First, the strength of the religious piety which I observed during the community prayer and in the talks... Read more...
Dreams and Spirit
Sunday, December 09 2007
I was driving across a bridge over Narragansett Bay. The road led high up and gave me a view out over the water. Suddenly, however, and without warning, the roadway came to an end and I was... Read more...
Gay Wedding
Friday, October 12 2007
Last Monday I attended the wedding of two gay friends. One of these men I have known for several years, the other only slightly. For both of them I feel affection and wish them happiness in their... Read more...
My Favorite Guru
Monday, October 01 2007
“We are the beloved sons and daughters of God.” That was the constant message of my favorite guru, Henri Nouwen.He believed in God’s love for every person and spent his life communicating this... Read more...
Allyn Bradford’s Transformation
Friday, August 03 2007
Allyn Bradford, while meditating during a 12-day "vision quest" for deeper spiritual insight, proceeded to talk to a tree. "The tree was quite surprised," he reports, "that I was saying anything to... Read more...
Christmas Birth
Monday, December 04 2006
“It’s Christmas time,” writes an old friend in Kalamazoo. “I think of it as a spark of light at the darkest and coldest time of year, at least here where I live. I think of it as a very... Read more...
After Morning Prayers
Thursday, November 30 2006
After taking part in morning prayers with a group of friends last Saturday, I talked with one of them over coffee and cake. Though I do not know this man -  - a retired banker and current... Read more...
Thursday, November 30 2006
If you are the parent of a college student the way I am, you have become familiar with a special vocabulary used by your daughters or sons and their friends. Even when you overhear only one end of... Read more...
Christmas, Circa 1935
Thursday, November 30 2006
The 1935 Christmas that we see in old magazines and films can seem merely a Norman Rockwell never-never-land, an idealistic presentation of a world that was, in fact, far from ideal. But even in... Read more...