Introducing Terrence

The Rt. Rev. TERRENCE Reynolds is ADAM’s academic adviser in college and Adam’s bishop when the story opens. He convinces Adam to become a priest instead of a monk and advises Adam to stay quiet about his lack of interest in marrying a woman.

TERRENCE, for his part has been known to chase smart, headstrong women (like BETTY) and has a tendency to drink while he is ADAM’s adviser. He becomes sober at some point before becoming Bishop and knows BETTY from AA meetings at Diocesan Conference.

Terence goes through some of the most profound change in the narrative – or at least he appears to.

When he is young, he is a company man for the church, an up‑and‑comer, devoted to living the good life available to him as a professional serving a wealthy and intelligent and privileged clientele.

Later, after he has ascended in the bureaucracy of the church, he becomes disillusioned with all of this – perhaps after the death of his wife, perhaps after encounters with Betty Johnson, his unrequited, first, true love.

Betty rejects Terence as a suitor because he seems too ambitious. “Terence,” Betty says,” Quite frankly, I think you are overly ambitious.” Terence responds, “I’m overly ambitious about the church.” Betty thinks about his a moment and says, “Yes, the Church. And that’s the problem. If I felt you were overly ambitious about God, or the people of God, even, that would be a welcome fault. But the Church… Ecclesiastical ambition is the worst kind, in my book.” Terence seems sad, but jovial. “then what would you have me do?”

Betty has no answer for him for a while. Finally she says. “Perhaps you should look for a much more suitable Bishop’s wife.” She held his eyes, steady, until he could gather the import in her gaze. “You’re serious,” Terence says. “I’m as serious as you are,” she said, her lip quivering a bit. “But I won’t stand in your way. I love you too much for that. And, when you finally marry the bride of Christ, you won’t have much room left for me, I’m afraid – or any woman.” Betty is only partially right. She would have made a fine Bishop’s wife and she knew it. But she didn’t want the job. She is interested in actually living out the Gospel. She is a saint, and allows Terence’s higher self to be expressed.

However, he pulls some craziness, manages to marry the daughter of an influential bishop and paves himself the way towards the power he always wanted, but didn’t know he wanted.

Then he relents, gives it all up and pursues a semi‑monastic lifestyle.

Favorite sport to watch: The Church


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