Henri J.M. Nouwen

Henri J.M. Nouwen known as one of the most popular speakers and spiritual writers of this century.

He was born in the Netherlands where he was ordained a Catholic priest in 1957. He studied psychology at the University of Nijmegen and was a fellow in the program for psychiatry and religion at the Meninger Foundation. He was a visiting professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame, the Catholic Theological Institute of Utrecht, Holland as well as at the divinity schools at Yale and Harvard University.

He also traveled to and lived in some of the poor countries of Latin America and participated in the peace movement in the United States.

Fr. Henri also shared his life with the people in Trosly, France as part of l’ Arche community from August 1985 until July 1995. L’ Arche is a worldwide network of communities where mentally handicapped people try to live together in the spirit of the Beatitudes. He became a close friend of Jean Vanier who founded the institution in 1964.

Nouwen wrote many books. In his writings, he brings together a choice solution of themes from his best works. He frequently addresses the human hunger for success, for knowledge, for peace and intimacy. He explores the mystery of life and death, of prayer and compassion, of loneliness and intimacy in his own faith.

With clarity, depth and good quality, he offers stimulating reflections on reaching out to our fellow human beings and ultimately our reaching out to God.

He is the author of more than 20 books, among them the continuing best-seller With Open Hands, Out of Solitude, and Behold the Beauty of the Lord. Others include the Clowning in Rome, Creative Ministry, The Genesee Diary, Heart Speaks to Heart, Here and Now, In the Name of Jesus, Letter to Mare about Jesus, Prayer and the Priest, Return of the Prodigal Son: a Meditation on fathers, brothers and sons, Show me the Way to the Heart, With Burning Heart, The Living Reminder, Making all thing New and The Life of the Beloved: a spiritual living in a secular world.

He died, worn-out of physical illness, October, 1996.

- Joseph Alonso



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