Rebuild My Church: Peter Damian Fehlner on the Ecclesiology and Mariology of Vatican II, by Edward J. Ondrako, OFM CONV (Book Review)

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

Winter 2022


Fr. Edward Ondrako, OFM Conv. is well-known to American Newman scholars and enthusiasts for his tireless efforts to show the synergy between John Henry Newman and Blessed John Duns Scotus. In this book Ondrako’s focus shifts to his mentor, Fr. Damian Fehlner, OFM Conv., a scholar who devoted his theological efforts to recovering the relevance of the Franciscan school for contemporary theology and to uncovering the resonance between Newman and Scotus.

Ondrako introduces us to Fr. Fehlner and his post-Vatican II adoption of the enduring Franciscan mission of rebuilding the church. He highlights Fehlner’s fidelity to the Franciscan Marian charism and attentiveness to important Franciscan personalities, such as Duns Scotus, Bonaventure, and Maximillian Kolbe. Fr. Ondrako also relates the account of Fr. Fehlner’s shocking departure from the Conventuals and his eventual return a few years before his death.