I enjoyed this book so much that I e-mailed the author to tell him so. I also grew up Catholic, so I could really relate, perhaps more so than people who didn't, but he is an excellent writer regardless. I loved Marley & Me as well, so it's not just a fluke. It's a great read and I highly recommend it.
Loved it not only for the lovely writing, the humor and the insight into family relationships, but because the author does not bash his Catholic upbringing. Even though he eventually distances himself from the religion, he maintains an affection for its pertinence in his childhood.
I liked your review and agree whole heartedly. I got the feeling from the end that possibly he would go back to the religion, at least to a degree.
I just finished the book and I am about the same age as Grogan. I could definitely relate to that era.