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Pope Francis

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A conversation with Fr. James Martin about his new book, “The Abbey”

2015-11-21

Father James Martin is a best-selling author in the United States who is well known for explaining Catholicism on national television shows like "The Colbert Report.” 

But in his latest work, Father James does something he's never tried before: He makes everything up.

FR. JAMES MARTIN, SJ
Author, "The Abbey”
"I turned to fiction not because of any sort of plan but because of a dream. One night I woke up and I had this dream about this woman who has lost her son and seeks spiritual healing at a monastery. And I thought, 'You know what? That might be a pretty good book.' So the next morning I started out to write it.”

"The Abbey” tells the story of a recently divorced woman's journey of spiritual discovery. Fr. James says that while his characters are inspired by people he knows, they're meant to be relatable for everyone.

FR. JAMES MARTIN, SJ
Author, "The Abbey”
"The takeaway is that God meets us where we are. Anne is not especially religious when the book starts, but God meets her where she is, as she is grieving, and struggling and a bit angry. And I think we just need to be encouraged to notice that God is meeting us where we are in our lives.”

Writing fiction was a nice change of pace for the author, who is better known for deeply researched non-fiction like his book "The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.”

FR. JAMES MARTIN, SJ
Author, "The Abbey”
"This book was a lot more free, basically. And as I joke to my friends: no Greek, no research, no footnotes.”

Even though "The Abbey” is a bit lighter than his other work, he still believes its message can have a profound effect on readers. He hopes it will appeal to anyone who is struggling to connect with God. 

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