Executive Director’s Message

September 21

Karen PascalUpdate from Karen Pascal
 Executive Director, Henri Nouwen Society

Dear Friends,

I have just returned from a visit to Henri Nouwen’s gravesite in Richmond Hill, Ontario. The grave – like Henri himself – is humble and simply adorned. But today it was refreshed and brightened with flowers brought by those who had gathered to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his death.
For most of us, we first met Henri through one of his books.

In the prologue to Beyond the Mirror, Henri wrote: “Writing was one way to let something of lasting value emerge from the pains and fears of my little, quick passing life. Each time life required me to take a new step into unknown spiritual territory, I felt a deep, inner urge to tell my story to others – perhaps as a need for companionship but maybe, too, out of an awareness that my deepest vocation is to be a witness to the glimpses of God I have been allowed to catch.”

And what a rich and enduring legacy Henri has given us through his writing.

We are so honored and excited to share Henri’s writing with new audiences. Love, Henri – Letters on the Spiritual Life, released on October 4th, is a collection of over 200 unpublished letters Henri wrote to friends and colleagues, as well as to many strangers who wrote to him asking for his advice and guidance. This deeply personal body of writing offers wisdom and practical insight into what it really means to live life authentically and spiritually.

Gabrielle Earnshaw, our Nouwen archivist and scholar, edited this first book of letters. Accompanied by actor Joe Abbey-Colborne, Gabrielle gave an outstanding and memorable presentation at the June conference.

Click here for a little taste of this unique and moving lecture on Henri’s letters.

Perhaps the most exciting opportunity on our horizon is the new Caregiving Initiative we are launching in partnership with Church Health from Memphis, TN. Together, we are in the process of producing a new devotional and support materials geared specifically for caregivers.

We will keep you posted as this much-needed outreach to caregivers continues to develop.

In the year ahead, please consider partnering with us in our effort to get Henri’s books into the hands of a new generation of readers and spiritual seekers. How can you help us with this? Check that your local library has good selection of Henri’s books available. Invite your friends and family to subscribe to our free Daily Meditations as a way to introduce them to Henri’s writing. And be sure to forward to others the ones that are especially meaningful to you. (Many of our subscribers were introduced to Henri this way!)

We are always hearing from readers who tell us so how deeply Henri Nouwen has spoken into their lives. Perhaps that is your story as well. We would love to hear how the life and work of Henri Nouwen has been a vital resource to you.

May you discover all God has for you and be renewed and restored as you search for more.

With gratitude,
Karen Pascal