Enter Eden

Welcome! My name is Dawn Eden, and, after more than ten years blogging on and off (mostly on) at my personal blog The Dawn Patrol, I am delighted that Patheos has given me the opportunity to start this new blog focusing on those whom the Holy Father has so beautifully called “‘translations’ of Jesus”: the saints.

I was born into a Jewish family, but lost my faith in my late teens and became an agnostic. During my twenties, in the 1990s, I was a rock historian, interviewing artists such as Elton John, Brian Wilson, and Del Shannon. I went on to work on the editorial staff for New York City newspapers, including the New York Post and the Daily News.

When I was twenty-seven, a rock musician I was interviewing by phone, Ben Eshbach of the Sugarplastic, mentioned that he was currently reading a novel called The Man Who Was Thursday, by an author who had never before crossed my radar: G.K. Chesterton. Afterwards, I picked up a copy of the novel, partly out of a desire to expand my literary horizons—but mostly out of a desire to have something more to discuss with Mr. Eshbach when he came to town.

As it happened, when I had the opportunity to meet Ben a few months later before a Sugarplastic concert in Manhattan’s East Village, he had a headache, so my conversation with him was limited to finding out what kind of painkiller he wanted from the corner deli. But the Chesterton novel he recommended planted seeds that, over time, would awaken in me desires at once deeper and higher.

I began to seek out all the Chesterton I could get my hands on. That eventually led me to seek out what had inspired the author, and so I attempted regular reading of Scripture, including the Gospels. Finally, there came a day in October 1999 when I opened the Bible and it was no longer just black-and-white words on a flat page. The words became alive—God’s love speaking to my heart.

So I got baptized at a local Protestant church—but, not wanting to be a “joiner,” I fashioned myself a sort of “Lone Ranger Christian.” Thankfully, though, God had other plans, and in 2006 I entered into full communion with the Catholic Church.

Here is a video of me in December 2008 telling Fra Roderick Mary Burke, F.I., about my conversion:

embedded by Embedded Video

In late 2006, my first book, The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On, came out and became a sleeper hit, surprising everyone, including me. It was translated into Spanish, Polish, and Chinese, and led to my giving talks on chastity throughout North America, as well as in England, Ireland, Poland, and at World Youth Day Sydney. (I am very proud to hold the honor of being the only chastity speaker ever to have been invited back to speak for a second time at Georgetown University.)

This year, Ave Maria Press published my second book, My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints, which carries an Imprimatur from my bishop, Donald Cardinal Wuerl. In My Peace (which was recently featured in the Patheos Book Club) I tell about saints who suffered childhood sexual abuse or other forms of trauma—from Church doctors like Thomas Aquinas and Bernard of Clairvaux, to lesser-known figures like Josephine Bakhita and Margaret of Castello. I also share my own story as an abuse victim who has found healing through Christ and the Church. As I told Patheos blogger Kathryn Jean Lopez when she recently interviewed me for National Review Online about My Peace, I decided to go public with my experience because

I have come to believe that people who have suffered trauma as a result of the abuses that are widespread in secular society — the sins committed against the family and against the dignity of the human person — are going to be vital members of the next generation of Christian witnesses. Their witness will be particularly powerful because, having experienced their own Passion, they have risen to new life through faith in Christ.

The original witnesses to Jesus were the first saints—the disciples and martyrs. Through them, we learn, as St. Peter declared, that “we are all witnesses” (Acts 2:32). Now, through Feast of Eden, I hope to continue what I started with My Peace I Give You, showing how the saints’ witness points the way for us to bear witness in our own lives to Jesus’ love, forgiveness, and redemptive suffering.

Moving on
UPDATED WITH ACTION ITEM: Harvard can do better than give a platform to a “Black Mass” promoter who ridicules sex abuse victims
TAKE ACTION: Tell feds, already probing Harvard on sex abuse, that “Black Mass” adds to hostile environment
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  • Pedantic Classicist

    Huzzah! Congrats, Dawn, on the new blog! It’s been a while. I am looking forward very much to reading both your new book and this promising new blogerprise.

    Well, may Sts. Vincent dePaul, Ignatius of Loyola, Pio of Pietrelcina, and all the unnamed Saints bless you abundantly in all that you do.

    Vt quam maxime in Christo Iesu usquequaque valeas PC

  • http://abbey-roads.blogspot.com/ terry nelson

    Congrats! I’m happy for you – excellent exposure here and elsewhere. God bless you!

  • http://allstraw.blogspot.com Niall Mor

    Welcome, Dawn! I’m delighted to learn that you will be blogging at this new site in connection with your latest project. I followed you at the Dawn Patrol for quite some time, and you were even gracious enough to call me once. May God continue to bless and strengthen you as you draw closer to him and his friends, the saints.

  • http://www.frcory.org Fr. Cory Sticha

    Congrats on the new blog!

  • Leah

    Woo hoo! Delighted to see you posting on Patheos! :-)

  • http://cinemacatechism.blogspot.com/ Bender


    Welcome back to a commentable forum. I welcome the opportunity to chat now and then again. I trust and pray the studies are going well and fruitful.

    God bless.

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  • Dawn Eden

    Wonderful to hear from Dawn Patrollers! Really appreciate your kind welcome. It’s great to be back in contact with you via this new forum.

  • http://moss-place.stblogs.org Pansy Moss

    Do good to see you!!!

  • Robert N G

    Will puns be allowed?

  • Kirt Higdon

    Welcome, Dawn. I read your first book and look forward to following your blog.

  • http://chesterton.org Chris Chan

    Congratulations, Dawn! I am looking forward to reading your work here!

  • Stephen Sparrow

    Yes another Patroller returns to the fold – love the title. Lovely to be in the loop again. Sat morning here so I had laptop in bed and we (Anne & me) watched/listened to your longish interview with Brother ?. Must have been cold there with gloves and jacket on. Even Ruby my cat seemed enthralled with your dulcet tones ;-) Boy have I got some stories to tell – much water under the bridge since last we talked. Cheers Steve

  • Jeff McLeod

    Welcome to Patheos Dawn. You have meant so much to me over the years, as someone who shares your love of music. I wish you great fulfillment and I hope you reach lots of broken hearts and bring them to Christ.

    I believe in you.

  • barbaranicolosi

    Welcome, Dawn! So, now we are blogging colleagues as well as companions on the journey! So sorry I missed your recent Southern CA visit!!!!! I was down and out with a ruptured disk in my neck nearly all summer. It’s mostly better now, but it meant I didn’t do all the things I had planned this summer, including getting to hang out with you! So happy the book is doing well!

    • Dawn Eden

      Barb, thanks so much for the welcome and the good wishes. I was so sorry not to see you in CA! Glad you are feeling better, and very happy to see that you are back to blogging.