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Ralph Matthew McInerny (February 24, 1929 – January 29, 2010)[1] was an American author and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. McInerny's most popular mystery book series featured Father Dowling.[2] This character was the basis for the Father Dowling Mysteries television show, which ran from 1987 to 1991.

Ralph McInerny
BornRalph Matthew McInerny
(1929-02-24)February 24, 1929
Minneapolis, Minnesota
DiedJanuary 29, 2010(2010-01-29) (aged 80)
Mishawaka, Indiana
OccupationReligious scholar, author

He sometimes wrote under the pseudonyms of Harry Austin, Matthew FitzRalph, Ernan Mackey, Edward Mackin and Monica Quill.[2]

McInerny was a Catholic.[3] He died of esophageal cancer on January 29, 2010.[4] He is survived by a grandson, Benjamin Hosford.


Academic careerEdit

McInerny wrote his PhD dissertation entitled The Existential Dialectic of Soren Kierkegaard under Professor Charles De Koninck at Laval University (Quebec).

He was Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Jacques Maritain Center, and Michael P. Grace Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He taught there from 1955 until his retirement in 2009.[2]

McInerny was also a Fulbright Scholar, receiving educational funds from the Fulbright Commission Belgium. He served as President of the Metaphysical Society of America in 1993.[5][6]

McInerny's brother Dennis, also a philosophy professor, believes that his brother's greatest legacy is not to be found in his novels, but in his adherence to scholastic and Thomistic beliefs.[7]



Father DowlingEdit

Sister Mary Teresa (all as Monica Quill)Edit

Andrew BroomEdit

Notre DameEdit

Rosary ChroniclesEdit

Other novelsEdit



Anthologies editedEdit


Philosophy and theologyEdit



See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Weber, Bruce (February 16, 2010). "Ralph McInerny, Scholar and Mystery Novelist, Dies at 80". Retrieved 2010-02-16.
  2. ^ a b c McLellan, Dennis (2010-02-07). "Ralph McInerny dies at 80; Notre Dame scholar wrote Father Dowling novels". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  3. ^ Obituary New York Times, February 16, 2010.
  4. ^ Joseph Bottum, "Ralph McInerny (1929–2010)" Archived 2010-02-04 at the Wayback Machine, First Things, January 29, 2010
  5. ^ Biography of Ralph McInerny – Notre Dame Website Archived 2005-08-18 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ McInerny, Ralph. "Is Obama Worth a Mass?" Archived 2010-01-01 at the Wayback Machine Column for The Catholic Thing, March 23, 2009.
  7. ^ "Remembering Ralph McInerny". Retrieved 6 September 2016.

External linksEdit