A Blue Boy in a Black Dress: A Memoir


107 pages
ISBN 0-7780-1014-7
DDC C813'.54





Reviewed by A.J. Pell

A.J. Pell is the rector of Holy Trinity Cathedral, Diocese of New
Westminster in British Columbia.


This book combines the personal reminiscences of an ex-seminarian with
reflections on the state of religious (mostly Christian) expression in
Canada today. Uniting these two aspects are the author’s hatred of the
Catholic Church and his preoccupation with the murder–suicide of
members of the Order of the Solar Temple in Canada and Switzerland on
October 4, 1994—an event that, for Riegelhof, symbolizes the dark,
obsessed side of religious longing. The memoir has the grace of a
well-written novella, but the author presumes too much in connecting his
own life’s journey—from diligent altar boy, to questioning teenager,
to comfortable seminarian, to relieved agnostic—with the decline of
mainstream Canadian Christianity.


Rigelhof, T.F., “A Blue Boy in a Black Dress: A Memoir,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 19, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/29451.