Verdict: A JESUIT TALE is a powerful tale of spirituality and the strength of the trained and inspired human soul under difficult conditions.
A Jesuit priest is kidnapped by Guatemalan reactionaries, and two old friends from seminary must stage a rescue.
Tom, Mark and David all, as young men, felt a call to become Jesuit priests. As the story begins, each of them answers that call and enters a seminary in Wisconsin, and are assigned to each other as roommates and study partners. Their friendship grows and deepens through their time there, even as two of them leave the seminary for other paths. But when the remaining Jesuit priest is called to Guatemala, and becomes a fierce defender of the rights of the poor, he is kidnapped by the reactionary UDA, and his friends must stage a rescue.
A JESUIT TALE is just that – a passionate, lyrical exploration of the nature of Jesuit faith and its effects on those who practice it. The characters are complex and three-dimensional, the plot thought-provoking and intense, and the whole book pervaded by a sense of spirituality. Even the two young men who leave the seminary find their lives entirely changed by their Jesuit practice and its teachings, and the bond between the three is forged indelibly in the loving mutual support and adolescent sparring of seminary brotherhood. Minor characters, too, have substantial backstories that feed into the plot and drive their actions, and even the quotes that begin the chapters have their own underlying connections to the story as well. The writing is eloquent and poetic: the Spirit “leave[s] subtle tracks on mind-sand”, and a female character describes herself in thought as “a smudge of matter, the soft mounding of a few trace metals and the fluidity of water”. While rooted in Jesuit tradition and practice, the book leaves room for readers of all faiths to find spiritual food for meditation and thought.
A JESUIT TALE is a powerful tale of spirituality and the strength of the trained and inspired human soul under difficult conditions.