· Vatican City ·

Reading Thomas Merton and Longing for God in Haiti

16 December 2022

A much-anticipated new book by the prolific writer and filmmaker Gerard Thomas Straub has arrived in time for the Christmas season. Mr. Straub is the author of nine books. His “The Sun & Moon Over Assisi” was named the Best Hardcover Book of the Year in 2001 by Catholic Press Association.

This married, secular Franciscan lives in Port-au-Prince, Haiti where he founded a home for forty-five kids, The Santa Chiara Children’s Center. He abandoned a career as a television executive in Hollywood to write and direct over twenty documentary films that focus on global poverty.

This new book is the finest rendition of his on-a-rough-road contemplative life in action. He recounts the influence of the monk Thomas Merton on his conversion and contemplative life. His journal reflections share his whole-hearted commitment to aid the most vulnerable. A review by Guerric Heckel of Mepkin Abbey invites reading this book: “The power of contemplation and action to beacon hope for our world shines out in this fascinating tale of contemplative adventures in Haiti. Merton would have been avid to read this story. Straub’s book witnesses how faith in action can triumph in hiding over despair and violence.”

(Amazon, $20.00) All net profits contributed to the Santa Chiara Children’s Center. Jonathan Montaldo, editor of The Intimate Merton.