Kathryn Spink

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The Miracle, The Message, The Story
Jean Vanier and l'Arche
(Darton, Longman & Todd)
ISBN: 0-232-52594-3

Well told and gets deep under the skin of l’Arche
Austen Ivereigh

In 1964 Jean Vanier, a Dartmouth-trained  ex-naval officer, and son of a Governor General of Canada, bought a small house in a village north of Paris and invited three men with mental disabilities to share it with him. This was the beginning of l’Arche (The Ark), a community where people often rejected and despised by this world can share in a life of communion based on the recognition that we are all in our different ways ‘disabled’.

This book traces the growth of the l’Arche movement and the life and thought of Jean Vanier: his childhood in a privileged Canadian family, his English education, his escape from war-torn France and his historic meeting with the priest who helped him to find his true vocation.

There are now over 125 l’Arche communities scattered across the continents. Their message – that the ostensibly poor and weak are potentially a source of life, hope and peace – has proved to be of exceptional relevance to the Church and the world.

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cover - The Miracle, The Message, The Story

A Universal Heart - The Life and Vision of Brother Roger of Taizé
(First published 1986, new edition 2005)
1-57999-568-3 (US)
0-281-05799-0 (UK)

Shortlisted for the Winifred Mary Stanford Prize.

Charmingly well written in a gentle and generous spirit
Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

In August 2005 Brother Roger, the charismatic and much-loved founder of the Taizé community, was stabbed and died during evening prayer in the church of Reconciliation.

His death came almost 65 years after he crossed the border from his native Switzerland into war-ravaged France and settled in the tiny village of Taizé. Roger had asked himself why such conflict should exist between people in general, and particularly between Christians. He found himself called to establish a community in which reconciliation and peace would be made concrete day by day. In recent years tens of thousands of young people from all over the world have flocked to what was once a cluster of farm buildings on the Burgundy hillside. Thousands more attend the meetings which take place annually in different European cities. Some one hundred Protestant, Anglican and Catholic Brothers from 25 countries are continuing his commitment to a ‘parable of communion'.

The biography of the man who made the phenomenon of Taizé possible - republished with a new ‘Epilogue' in November 2005.

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cover - A Universal Heart

Mother Teresa - An Authorized Biography
(HarperCollins 1997)

Winner of a 1985 Christopher Award and a Catholic Press Association Journalism Award.

This richly detailed insight into a remarkable figure, does not seek to avoid the criticisms sometimes levelled at the 'saint of the gutters', but places them in the wider context of an exceptionally fruitful and inspiring life.

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cover - Mother Terasa biography

Black Sash -
The Beginning of a Bridge in South Africa

(Methuen 1991)

A balanced and well-written account
Archbishop Desmond Tutu

An extraordinary story of compassion, strength and determination to build bridges between the black and white communities. From 1955 onwards the Black Sash was a constant source of irritation to upholders of apartheid. Its membership grew from six women at a tea party to a league of 10,000 who held marches, convoys and all-night vigils. In their struggle against violence, harassment and injustice, members lost relatives, were themselves imprisoned and became the subjects of restriction orders, in some cases breaking these to talk to the author.

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cover - Black Sash

A Sense of the Sacred - A Biography of Bede Griffiths
(SPCK 1988)
Balanced, comprehensive, accurate, clear and intelligent
Wayne Teasdale

A man of exceptional intellect who was yet able to recognize the limits of reason, Bede Griffiths, a friend and confidant of C.S. Lewis and one time Benedictine, found in India 'the other half of himself', a feminine, intuitive self which opened up a new sense of the sacred and of the harmony at the heart of all things. On the banks of the sacred river Cauvery he founded an ashram, a centre of prayer and meditation open to all seeking the universal and eternal truth at the heart of all religions. There he spoke with remarkable openness to the author, about his personal journey.

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The Call of the Desert - A Biography of Little Sister Magdeleine of Jesus
(Darton, Longman & Todd 1994)

A remarkable book about a remarkable woman
Jean Vanier

The first biography of an extraordinary woman called to a love, which recognized no boundaries. Madeleine Hutin founded in the Algerian Sahara, the first of many 'fraternities', in which groups of Sisters became 'one with' the nomads and the marginalized of the world. They worked in factories, travelled on lorries and lived at times in tents; they became gypsies amongst the gypsies, prisoners amongst the imprisoned. Little Sister Magdeleine journeyed across deserts, seas and mountains to reach out to the world's most inaccessible people. From 1957 onwards she travelled secretly behind the Iron Curtain. When she died in 1989, she left a legacy of 1,400 Sisters from 64 nations. (See www.rc.net/org/littlesisters and www.jesuscaritas.info)

(Available in seven languages, including Russian)

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cover - The Call of the Desert

The Wisdom of Mother Teresa
(Lion 1998)
A collection of Mother Teresa's reflections and sayings, arranged under thirty headings, to illustrate the spirituality underlying the achievements and the holiness that won the recognition of people of all nationalities and creeds.

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Kathryn Spink's agent may be contacted at:

If you have difficulty in obtaining any of the above titles please e-mail: Kathryn_spink@btinternet.com

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