Mary’s Mountain is community of 3 Catholic artists, Ed Noonan, Pete Ruzevich, and Mike Casey. They started this community 32 years in Chicago and moved to Helena in the summer of 1979. Guided by their spirituality, their intent was to serve the Helena community as artists, which they have done across the years. The community has a large extended family of many people of different backgrounds and faiths. This website reflects the stories and thoughts that have been developed over these many years. Ed Noonan is the main author of the stories, but many people have been involved in shaping them. Although the stories are unabashedly inspired by Catholic thought, any reader will soon discover that there are more diverse possibilities in the Heaven and on the Earth of these books than dreamed of in any religious traditions.
Each of the links is a serialized book, most novels. Chapters are added across the year to the incomplete books.
The oldest story (now in 2 novels) is The Cat in Heaven series. The first volume, Good St Dominic’s Cat was started in 1979 and completed in 2000. It is a story for ‘children of all ages” about Heaven, one of the main topics of all the books on the website. The 2nd volume “A Cat and St. Francis’ Dog” has only one chapter so far. These volumes will tell a long story of the impact that earth animals have in Heaven even when they technically aren’t allowed their.
A Busy Night in Bethlehem is a collection of short stories for “children of all ages’ telling the tales of the animals that find themselves at the Birth of Jesus.
The second group of novels is called “The Catie Jo Stories”. These books follow the life of a young girl from her pre-adolescence throughout her life. Inspired by her spiritual relationship with her patrons, Catherine of Siena and Joan of Arc, she challenges the Catholic Church to reconsider some of the hierarchy’s current assumptions especially about women. In the first volume, The Bishop’s Dilemna, she upsets the then Bishop of Helena, gains some national news notioriety, and ends up meeting John Paul II. in the second volume, she begins her friendship with a new Bishop of Helena, but she can’t help finding herself in the midst of controversy.
Path of Glory on the Purgatory Road is probably the most imaginative of the novels and sends an unlikely trio of St. Catherine, Queen Elizabeth, and Napoleon on an assignment to investigate the changing structure of Purgatory starting in the mid-19th Century. The 3 investigators find themselves in a startling mix of Dante’s medieval vision with the challenging pandemonium caused by the emergence of modern thought. Their journey through Purgatory is a fun adventure with many unique characters.
Cast in the Incarnation is a 1st person narrative novel of a young man who finds himself cast as a witness and adviser for Jesus across his life. If the 2nd Person of the Blessed Trinity is to be truly human, some person had to vouch for the reality that the God and man, Jesus, had the freedom to grow up and live as any human being. After the narrator’s initial shock at being chosen for this role, he finds himself discovering the marvelous reality of a loving, creative God.
The only volume not a novel is A Field Guide to Heaven, which is meant as a source of ideas and inspiration of what it means to “go to Heaven”.
“Hoo Knows” is a collection of poetry and short spiritual pieces.
Any thoughts or questions? E-mail Ed Noonan at firstname.lastname@example.org