Autobio of Jim C. Cunningham
Yours truly with Goldylox at Lake Willoughby nude beach, summer 2010
I was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, on Halloween night, 1953. Despite ten years of Catholic education, by my late teens I had lost my faith. Extensive foreign travel and studying the great books at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, led to a dramatic "reversion" to Catholicism in 1973.
Disillusioned by conventional Christianity because it was more conventional than Christian, I seriously reexamined all of my assumed values, striving to conform them to Christ. While studying the Fathers of the Church and their routine custom of mixed, group, nude baptism, I asked what was considered unaskable: "Why wear clothes?" I discovered that convention required always covering the body because it regarded the body as negative, if not intrinsically evil. Seeing that this was not the mind of Christ, I quit my educational professions (theology teacher, guidance counselor, headmaster) and devoted myself full-time to naturist publishing, producing dozens of periodicals and books, sharing my insights, developing a mailing list of nearly 6,500 people world-wide.
In 1979, after two and a half years of spiritual friendship, I married Linda. We home-birthed five children, raising them close to nature (e.g. no TV!) in the northern Green Mountains of Vermont.
I have also studied at Catholic University in Washington, DC, and at the Angelicum in Rome. I have a BA in Patristics from U. Mass.
Since my conversion, daily Mass has been the heart of my spirituality and the Liturgy of the Hours has been its lifeblood. I strongly emphasize the necessity of meditating on the Word of God and having the courage to conform one's whole life to it.
Juvenile diabetes has resulted in my going totally blind, losing half a leg and getting my first kidney transplant in 1992 after 2.5 years on dialysis, and my second kidney transplant in 2009. However, this second time around, I opted for a pancreas transplant at the same time, and after injecting insulin since I was 17 years old, no sooner had I “come to” in the recovery room than I no longer needed any insulin shots any more. Both of the new organs have been working perfectly and the days of glucose checks and several daily injections and those scary insulin reactions now seem to have been in another life; they were! I am so grateful to God, the surgical team and those two generous people I never knew who donated their organs. I strongly encourage everybody out there to do the same. Imagine being able to do so much good for your fellow man even long after your own time is up!
I remain productive, utilizing various adaptive technologies. I view my difficulties as a gift, an invitation to share Christ's cross:
"it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." (Romans 8:16-18 RSV)