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A Spiritual Mentor's Lasting Influence: Henri Nouwen
Although Henri Nouwen's stay was brief, his teaching at Harvard Divinity School changed the course of many lives.
Twenty-three years ago, the spring issue of Harvard Divinity Bulletin included the following announcement: "Henri J.M. Nouwen, a Dutch priest, theologian, psychologist, and noted author has accepted an appointment at HDS as Professor of Divinity and Horace De Y. Lentz Lecturer. The appointment begins with the 1983-84 academic year and will be on a halftime (spring only) basis to allow Nouwen to divide his time between the Divinity School and a theological center in Latin America."
In the previous two years, Nouwen had concluded a 10-year stint of teaching at Yale Divinity School; was a brother at the Abbey of the Genesee, a Cistercian monastery in upstate New York; and had undertaken a six-month pastoral mission in South America. In fall 1983, before arriving at Harvard, he visited Trosly, France, home of L'Arche, Jean Vanier's community for people with learning disabilities (after two springs at HDS, Nouwen would go on to be pastor at Daybreak, the L'Arche community outside Toronto, for most of the time before his death in 1996).
In the spring semesters of 1984 and 1985, the Sperry Room was filled for Nouwen's course "An Introduction to the Spiritual Life." He was well-known to many for books such as The Wounded Healer, but none were required reading. Instead, Nouwen gave lectures keyed to the Gospels, spoke with small groups, and oversaw student projects, with the help of graduate assistants.
Although Nouwen ended up feeling that HDS was not the right place for him, all who studied with him here—perhaps especially his graduate assistants—were profoundly influenced by him. In the words that follow, the six "Henri's helpers" from spring 1985—pictured with Nouwen here—reflect on Nouwen's example. (Thanks to James D. Smith III, ThM '77 and ThD '86, for coordinating this effort.)
Like a Strong Wind
by Michael Harank
One February morning in 1983, while I was sitting in my room at Haley House, the Boston Catholic Worker community in the South End, I heard a rather strong knock at my door. I said, "Come in," and Henri Nouwen blew into my room like a strong winter wind. He introduced himself to me with a firm handshake—a signature of his powerful strength—and told me that Robert Ellsberg, a former editor of The Catholic Worker newspaper who was now a student at Harvard Divinity School, had told him about me. Henri explained that he had just left a tenured position at Yale Divinity School to accept a professorship at Harvard Divinity School. He needed an administrative assistant. Robert had told him that I had done some correspondence work for Dorothy Day in her last years.
I reminded Henri that I had met him a few years before when he came to the Catholic Worker community in New York to give a presentation, at one of the famous "Friday night meetings," on the spirituality of his fellow countryman and painter Vincent Van Gogh. That had been a splendid presentation, complete with brilliant slides, but unfortunately I had missed most of it, because of hospitality duties. He was a bit embarrassed that he did not remember—he was noted for the intensity of his interest in meeting new people. But his embarrassment gave way to his more immediate interest in securing me to be his assistant at Harvard. Henri was a determined man.
Of course, I was honored to be asked by a man whose writings on ministry and hospitality had deeply affected my understanding of Christian service and compassion. His concept of the "wounded healer" had influenced my awareness of the delicate balance inherent in any form of "service" to others that embodied a sense of solidarity with the poor. His writings pushed me to understand how my life of service among the homeless poor of New York and Boston were truly spiritual lessons taught by the apostles of the streets who were "exacting spiritual masters," much like the Zen masters who carried sticks to whack the meditating disciples into a state of wakefulness and enlightenment.
While I was honored, I was also cautious. Henri had a well-deserved reputation for expecting people to go more than the extra mile for him. I carefully explained to him that my primary work was to be part of the Boston Haley House community and its multitude of ministries to the poor and to the vocation of peacemaking in the world, especially around the issues of nuclear weapons and militarism. I said that I would like to work for him, but that I could only work part-time given my other community commitments. Henri was gracious in understanding my situation and laughed at my comments on his reputation. He explained that in the coming months he would be at L'Arche, in Trosly, France, at the invitation of Jean Vanier to do some writing and preparation for his teaching at HDS in the spring semester of 1984. After an extended conversation, I was hired on the spot, for 16 hours a week with a "just and living" wage—an important aspect of Catholic social teaching. I would spend the next six months in his temporary office at Harvard Divinity School, in a tower close to the pantheon of divines who resided in the heavens and even closer to the noted divines in their academic offices.
Every week I made the subway sojourn from Copley Square to Harvard Square. I spent a considerable amount of time answering the telephone and responding to a voluminous stack of letters to Henri from friends, readers, and strangers. These letters ranged from personal friendships, requests for speaking engagements, and anguished pleas for counsel. Henri was gently adamant that each of these letters deserved a personal response from him. There were no idle hands in that office! I spoke several times a week on the telephone with Henri in France, consulting with him about the multitude of requests from his friends and readers. He attended to each of them with an intense sense of dedication and responsibility.
Henri was truly a pleasure to work for during those initial six months of his transition from Yale to Harvard. Sometimes, though not often, he would get caught up in a characteristic obsession to "get things done" and forget the small courtesies of gratitude that make a huge difference in the lives of administrative assistants. But, to his credit, when I reminded him of his lack of courteous gratitude, he was equally attentive to a need for repentance.
When I left his tower office for the last time, in fall 1984, Henri walked me down the stairs with an affectionate arm on my shoulder and said: " Michael, I have discovered with some chagrin that sometimes I am exactly like my own father. I brag to everyone else how grateful I am for the great work you have done for me over the last six months. But I must confess that sometimes I neglected to express that deep gratitude to the person who needed to hear it the most. So thank you." At the bottom of the long wooden staircase that smelled of lemon and linseed oil, he reached out with those unmistakably expressive arms and hands to give me a bear hug of gratitude.
In spring 1985, Henri had made the difficult decision to leave Harvard Divinity School and accept an offer to be a pastor for L'Arche in Toronto. I supported him in his discernment process to go to L'Arche. On his way to Toronto, he stopped with a caravan of trucks at the Noonday Farm community in Winchendon Springs, Massachusetts, where I was living, to offer a firm hand of gratitude for all my support. Henri had learned to be a seasoned teacher—but also a humble student—of the painful but graceful process of moving from resentment to gratitude, a theme he spilled much ink writing about with astute, experiential insight and humility.
Possibility and Chaos
by Peter K. Weiskel
I first met Henri Nouwen at Yale in 1973. He was a relatively new faculty member at Yale Divinity School, and I was an undergraduate with a scholarship job in the University Chaplain's Office. In 1973 the University Chaplain, William Sloane Coffin, Jr., went on sabbatical and Henri was one of many from around the university and across the country invited by Associate Chaplain Phil Zaeder to fill the pulpit that year at Battell Chapel—Yale's counterpart to Harvard's Memorial Church. On three successive Sundays in October 1973, Henri reflected on themes of solitude, compassion, and community. (The sermons were later published as the book Out of Solitude.) The style was intense and personal, the message was grounded in the gospel texts, and the effect on the congregation was electric. Listening to these sermons at Battell, I sensed that we were hearing a word that was both traditional and contemporary, very old and yet completely fresh. We got to know each other, thanks to Phil Zaeder, and stayed in touch after I graduated.
When Henri came to HDS in the fall of 1983, I began working with him part-time. When he began teaching in the 1984 spring semester, I became his full-time administrative assistant, editing manuscripts and helping him cope with a growing volume of invitations and requests. Initially, we shared a small office on the top floor of Andover Hall, but in summer 1984 Dean George Rupp offered Henri the use of the Carriage House on Francis Avenue as an office and living space. We refurnished the house with couches, comfortable chairs, and a large dining room table. One of the upstairs rooms was made into an oratory with a small tabernacle. The Carriage House became a place of meeting, celebration, and prayer for a small, yet diverse, community of students and local residents. A constant stream of visitors flowed through the house.
As I look back on that time together at Harvard in the mid-1980s, I am filled with a sense of gratitude. It was a time of great excitement, possibility, and more than a little chaos. The Carriage House provided ample space for Henri to practice his unique style of hospitality. He was able to connect with people quickly, and at a personal level. In his recent biography of Henri, Michael O'Laughlin confirms what I have always felt—that Henri's gifts of friendship, hospitality, and community were rooted in a eucharistic approach to life. The joy, suffering, sorrow, limitations, and hopes of our lives were for him gifts to be constantly lifted up, celebrated, and shared—at a common table that excluded no one.
What was the lasting legacy of Henri's time at Harvard? Certainly, he shared his eucharistic sensibility. But for me what was most important was his practice of deep ecumenism, an ecumenism of the heart that seeks unity beyond conventional social and religious boundaries. In the middle of the Reagan era, as the battle lines of the American culture war were beginning to harden into their current form, Henri showed Harvard what ecumenism, in the true, original sense, is actually about—the realization of one world, one earth, permeated by the Spirit—a world that we all belong to whether we like it or not.
Henri's was no conventional ecumenism, limited to promoting dialogue and common action among the various Christian churches. Rather, as his friend Robert Jonas has said, he made the world his parish. In the public square that is Harvard Divinity School, he found ways to embrace conservative evangelical senators, liberal Protestants, Watergate conspirators, Irish Catholics from North Cambridge and South Boston, liberation theologians, Trappist monks, Esalen therapists, nuns in full habit, former ambassadors, and radical-activist friends of Fidel—and that doesn't count the students from every seminary in the region who filled his classes on Christian spirituality. In my view, the practice of deep ecumenism was Henri's greatest legacy to us. And as our nation hardens its heart, and settles into a state of permanent war on several fronts, that legacy becomes more precious than ever.
by Michael O'Laughlin
Henri Nouwen's course "An Introduction to the Spiritual Life" started out for me as a pleasant sideline to my "real work." As a doctoral student at HDS, I was happily and obsessively focused on the arcane world of Christian antiquity. Helping to teach classes on less technical topics brought breadth and fresh air into my life. I did not foresee that Nouwen's class would be anything more, but working with Henri affected me in ways that I would only slowly realize, and led later to profound changes in my life.
My first reaction to being in the presence of Henri Nouwen the famous writer was feeling that the circus had come to town: Henri was a big personality, even by Harvard standards. His books on the spiritual life had had a huge impact, and the class was overflowing with students from all over the Boston area. A standing-room-only crowd faced the gangly Dutchman, whose vivid lecture style was indeed inspiring. Nouwen combined the passion of an evangelical preacher and the heart of a Catholic saint. The normal rules of academic engagement seemed to be suspended as long as he was nearby. Students began to speak more openly; outsiders mingled freely, and everyone shared their insights back and forth, prayed and sang together, and occasionally even became tearful, a rare sight anywhere at Harvard. In this atmosphere somehow everyone's thoughts and feelings mattered, regardless of their views or their intellectual credentials.
The course reflected a number of Henri's recent interests—Latin America, monasticism, Eastern icons, prayer, and "living" the life of Jesus. The framework Henri used in spring 1984 was the Gospel of Luke; the second year he chose the more strident Gospel of John. This change was deliberate; the first year he had attempted to go with the Harvard flow, but he grew tired of mincing words and resolved the second year to speak more clearly about Jesus. This created some friction with a number of students. Henri's approach was so different from what they were used to that they accused him of "spiritual imperialism."
This accusation bewildered Henri, who was very identified with great prophets of liberation like Martin Luther King, Jr., and Gustavo Gutiérrez. Certain Harvard students could see only that Henri was not speaking their language or addressing their concerns, and this caused a misunderstanding to develop. Part of the problem was the Bible: the Gospel of John presents a heavenly Jesus who descends to earth from God the Father. Henri was fascinated with how this gospel provides a model for us to practice "downward mobility," and embrace the poor. It is a shame that some of our students didn't understand this point and merely took offense at Henri's impassioned focus on Jesus.
As a member of the teaching team, I found myself becoming steadily more involved with Henri and his entourage. The class spilled over into meetings, hospitality, and going places together, and thus a community formed. Henri never closed his doors, and he even hired a cook to prepare a midday meal for his teaching fellows and any visitors who were around that day. Nouwen's occupation of the Carriage House seemed like an injection of real Christianity into a staid New England institution, and I was more amused than anything else to see Henri creating such a scene on the Divinity School's doorstep.
I myself was too immersed in my doctoral studies at the time to realize how much Henri was actually teaching me. In fact, because he wrote for a popular audience, I did not really take him seriously. It wasn't until many years later, as I faced closing doors in my chosen field and sensed that I could help others much more as a spiritual director, that I began to acknowledge how big an impact Henri's teaching and his generous, continuing presence in my life had had on me. As I hesitantly entered the new field opening up for me, it was Henri who gave me the encouragement and provided the model for how I might rethink my calling and my spirituality.
By that point Henri Nouwen had found his home in the L'Arche community and was producing some true spiritual masterpieces. I count my visits to him in Toronto, alone or with my family, as some of the spiritual high points of my life. As always, Henri was living the Gospel, in his restless and passionate way, and as before, he taught not only by words, but by example. This was the most remarkable thing about Henri Nouwen—for all his brilliance as a writer or speaker, what was more important to me was that he was living his Christianity, and not just writing or talking about it. He would die suddenly several years later. By that time I felt myself so much his disciple that I have since written and edited three books and a number of articles about him, and I still have not finished learning from this fascinating figure, whom I feel privileged to have known, and now realize was one of the great communicators of the Gospel in the twentieth century.
In Close Community
by Barbara Ernst Prey
Henri Nouwen was an amazing man and a gifted teacher who taught with passion. I can close my eyes and still see him in his blue sweater, collared shirt, blue pants, and black shoes (I think he wore the same thing everyday), moving—he was always moving. His eyes would light up and his mouth would curl at the end when he was excited about an idea. He had these wonderful fingers and hands and he would put his fingertips together and lean forward on the balls of his feet as he got excited about a point he was about to make. He was totally engaged and engaging, which was part of his gift. As a teacher, he had the attention of a class of more than 200. He had a true concern for the students and tried to build a sense of community in and outside of the classroom.
Henri's home was open to the students; it was a place where they could drop in, meet, and discuss. He was accessible and cared deeply about the spiritual life of his students. As I reflect on my time with Henri, I realize that I experienced someone who tried to live out his faith in community.
Perhaps what impressed me the most about Henri was his vulnerability and openness. As well known as he was, he was still a very human person, which was very comforting. I remember Henri saying that what was the most personal was the most universal. All the doubts and confusions we go through, although personal to us, are also shared by those around us.
Although he was a Roman Catholic priest, Henri was very ecumenical. I am Protestant. We were all on a faith journey together. His concept of Christianity was not exclusive and he was trying to build a community that embraced the divisions.
Henri also had a keen interest in art, whether it be icons or the Rembrandt painting "The Return of the Prodigal Son." I was his teaching assistant at Boston College for a summer as well, and we did a joint presentation about that painting in class. Henri appreciated the visual and saw the spiritual in the world around him. We all met twice a week for lunch after his class, to go over what was happening, and for mass. Henri had an altar and sacred space for mass in the Carriage House, and on the altar were three icons, one an original and two copies of famous icons. When I was married he sent me a framed copy of an icon as a gift.
Above all, I think of Henri as a teacher, but some may think of him primarily as a writer. And in his writing, which was very spiritual, he shared the gifts of a visual artist. If artists are stereotyped as otherworldly, that was Henri. He functioned on another plane. And he appreciated that I was an artist, that I was able to help pay for Divinity School doing artwork for The New Yorker and other magazines.
I wish Henri's life could have been longer, but I am grateful for the time I was able to spend with him, for what I learned from him, and I think he would be pleased how the seeds he planted have touched many other lives through each of us.
by Stephen Pavy
I met Henri as a first-year MDiv student at Yale Divinity School, in spring 1982. Henri had left Yale the year before, but had come back to help organize and hold a Good Friday service and a protest at the Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut. The music and service style of the Taizé community brought us together. The music was one of the foundations of the Good Friday service, and I was drawn immediately to the simple, repetitive songs and beautiful chants and rounds of Taizé. The combination of the music and the periods of silence and reflection coupled with Henri's Roman Catholic liturgical sensibilities and his passion for grounding all of this in active social justice made a huge impact on me and took me quickly away from my Midwestern United Methodist roots.
Later that same year, we met again in Mexico, where those of us from Yale who were studying liberation theology learned of Henri's new studies and interests in Latin American social justice issues. Through Henri, we met Father John Vesey and heard very different stories than we were receiving in the United States of the struggles in the lives of very ordinary people in Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.
My second year at Yale Divinity School led me deeper into the spirituality of Taizé. A Yale student had returned from an internship at Taizé and had begun regular prayer services in the small chapel that now bears Henri's name. At various times during that second year, Henri would reappear at Yale and we would find ourselves in conversation, reflection, silence, and prayer. He had started his stay at Harvard by that time, but his arrangement allowed him to teach one semester and then have time off to lecture and travel back to Latin America.
I had come to Yale after growing up in a parish household and having served as a licensed lay pastor in Indiana. I had one more year to complete my MDiv, and I knew I wasn't ready to return to the parish. I had experienced enough of the life of a parish minister to know that I needed a better grounding in some spiritual disciplines if I was to not only survive, but also thrive in the parish. I made my own journey to Taizé, in France, after my second year, in search for some of what thought I needed.
Sometime during that fall, while I was at Taizé, Henri and I corresponded and I learned that while the music and spirituality of the Taizé community had influenced Henri greatly, he had never visited there. In fact, early in his priesthood when he had become aware of the Taizé community, his bishop had forbidden him to visit. I invited Henri to come and visit and see the place where so much of what we had shared together had its start.
We met during the 1984 Taizé European Meeting in Cologne, West Germany, where approximately 25,000 people came from all over Europe and from all over the world to meet and pray together just after Christmas and through the New Year. Henri was impressed with the Taizé community's ability to organize all of the services that took place around Cologne and all of the small breakout groups throughout the city. It is not easy coordinating the activities of 25,000 people, mainly young people, in such a large city and providing food and housing for them as well.
Not far from the magnificent Dom, Henri asked me if I would be interested in coming to Harvard in spring 1985 to help with the course he was teaching. I was flattered and stunned: he was talking about a period of time less than a month from that very day. I didn't know what to say, but Henri had agreed to come to France to visit Taizé for a few days after the Cologne meeting, and I promised to give him an answer then.
Henri did arrive in Taizé and spent a few days with the community. He stayed in one of the guesthouses and we met a few times to talk about HDS. He showed me the course materials. He was very excited about his teaching at Harvard, but had found it to be a challenge. He asked me for my help. I was terribly conflicted. I had been struggling with the thought of staying at Taizé, perhaps permanently, yet my original goal had been parish ministry and a return to the United States. In the end, I believed that what Henri offered me was a chance to bring home to the United States what I had learned at Taizé and to integrate this rich spiritual experience with the very different world of a United Methodist parish minister.
I arrived in Cambridge and joined Henri in the Carriage House. The transition was difficult at first. But Henri told me what he needed most was a regular prayer service in the style of Taizé in the spare room that he had turned into a chapel, right there in the Carriage House. That, and to help run the Carriage House "hospitality."
It was an amazing semester in many ways. Our door was always opened, and people came and visited from all over. Our table at mealtime always expanded to include whoever could come for the fellowship, discussion, and food. David, our cook, a young man from Louisiana, quickly learned to have extra food on hand. And I will never forget Jutta Ayer's Golden Mushroom Soup, a house favorite, brought all of the way in from Marblehead. And, of course, Henri's class: it was filled to overflowing, with undergraduate and graduate students mixed together in lectures and small discussion groups. The energy was wonderful, but the class took its toll on Henri.
I walked the streets with Henri as he taught me the rosary. I taught him many, many Taizé songs and the various Taizé liturgies I had learned. We traveled together when he lectured, and I helped bring those who had come to hear Henri into a spirit of meditation and prayer with the songs of Taizé. We had many quiet hours of meditation and prayer shared with a few others in that small Carriage House chapel.
Still, the dissension that was present in the classroom and in the general politics of HDS invaded even that space. Henri, who was never really good at sitting still in silence and meditation, had increasing difficulty quieting the restlessness in his hands. But the restlessness in his hands was merely a reflection of the pain and suffering he was experiencing that semester.
In the end, I was drawn more deeply into the silence and quiet of Taizé while Henri's restlessness and desire to move and be in contact with others drew him in another direction. I left HDS to return to finish my studies at Yale and Henri left HDS to join L'Arche at its Daybreak community in Richmond Hill, Canada.
I was ordained a deacon that summer, and Henri came out to visit me after I had been ordained and presented me with a beautiful stole. I finished my studies at Yale and joined the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Although in the end I left parish ministry and have had several careers since, much of what Henri taught me has been part of each place I have lived and worked.
Henri wrote: "Many people don't think they are loved, or held safe, and so when suffering comes they see it as an affirmation of their worthlessness. The great question of ministry and the spiritual life is to learn to live our brokenness under the blessing and not the curse."
by James D. Smith III
I first met Henri in summer 1975 at Yale Divinity School, when I was exploring its STM program. He warmly welcomed our impromptu meeting. Although focused academically on church history, I'd been moved by The Wounded Healer and appreciated his incisive questions and assurance: prayer would bring God's clear direction.
Ultimately, my wife Linda and I felt led to Harvard's ThM program, and I became pastor of a Baptist congregation in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. Subsequently I was invited to continue study as a ThD student and teaching fellow.
Early in 1983, I read that Henri was coming to Harvard. Some months later he was planning his first HDS course, for spring 1984. The thought of serving with him intrigued me, but I was neither Catholic nor a psychologist, nor part of his "circle." But as a colleague remarked, "Harvard doesn't have a spirituality department—go for it." With encouragement from Professor George MacRae, I made the contact with Henri, had an illuminating interview, and was welcomed as a teaching fellow.
I still have the course handouts from "An Introduction to the Spiritual Life," a lasting treasury of wisdom integrating Jesus' teachings with psychological insights into a holistic Christian spirituality. Studies with Eleanor McLaughlin had explored historical aspects; Henri offered conceptual tools and "talking points" as a praxis engaging contemporary life and cultures.
In his classes, Henri invited students to submit concerns on white cards, and one of my tasks was to compile them and offer a digest for his response. As he acknowledged dozens of themes and issues, many welcomed his openness as a gift. Others were offended if he didn't endorse their positions, suggesting, "if you don't agree, you haven't heard me." He was hurt, but persevered, as responses from student journaling and the class's subgroups shaped his presentations.
As I've written elsewhere, Henri respected the pluralism around him less ideologically (e.g., through revisionism and relativism) than in recognizing the variety of God's beloved peoples (e.g., embattled Sandinistas, Haitian children, the handicapped) and offering them love and life in Christ. Especially in the spring 1985 course, he reached beyond professed "tolerance" to offer—in a way which has deeply impacted my own life—the biblical grace of "hospitality."
Aware of possible pitfalls, such as proselytizing, manipulation, even oppression, Henri expressed the desire to be for his listeners what the apostle John had been for his circle: a living witness of the risen Christ. "I want to invite you into my space, without taking my pictures from the walls or the books from my shelves . . . but I also want to leave enough room for you to walk in and out and around freely so you can respond from your own place in life." As he pursued this through John's gospel, Jesus was presented as the Incarnate Word, informing our own disciplines of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Jesus and the Samaritan woman modeled integrity and ministry. Jesus the Vine offered branches as the life signs of intimacy, fruitfulness, and joy. Jesus invited all to leave the self-absorbed House of Fear for his transforming House of Love.
As activities surrounding Henri's ministry in Cambridge mushroomed, I had fears of my own. With our young family, a growing parish, and a dissertation in progress (expertly guided by Professors Koester, Miles, and Williams), I finally felt led to apologize to Henri for drawing boundaries and bowing out of many extracurriculars. His reply was unforgettable: "You don't understand—I need you because you're solid. When I see you I feel I can count on you. All this isn't the center of your life . . . and I need that reminder."
Each of us who served with Henri at Harvard can still hear his voice, see his passion, and remember the close of his university teaching, a special season of his journey of vocation discovered and vows kept. Twenty-one years ago our family (including children Ben, Andy, and Rebecca) sat on the Braun Room floor as Henri led in evening worship and Taizé chants. Ten years ago, I had one last opportunity to say "thank you" face to face. Today Henri's mentorship—as a priest, in person, and through his writings—continues to touch each spiritual and relational aspect of my life. With him we say, "Thanks be to God!"
Michael O'Laughlin, ThD '87, is now a translator and spiritual director in Massachusetts, and author most recently of Henri Nouwen: His Life and Vision (Orbis). James Smith, ThM '77 and ThD '86, is a pastor and professor in San Diego. Barbara Ernst Prey, MDiv '86, is an artist who lives in New York City and whose work hangs in the White House, United States embassies around the world, the Air and Space Museum, and various other museums and private collections. Michael Harank works with the Catholic Worker Movement in California. Stephan Pavy, after years of ministry and teaching, is a wine educator in California. Peter Weiskel is a research hydrologist and environmental scientist in Massachusetts; the book Love in a Fearful Land, completed by Peter and Henri at Harvard, is being published in a new edition by Orbis this year.