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Book Of Mychal, The: The Surprising Life And Heroic Death Of Father Mychal Judge

by Michael Daly
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Product Details

  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
  • Publishing date: 01/09/2009
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780312587444
  • ISBN: 0312587449

Synopsis

The inspiring story of New York Fire Department Chaplain Father Mychal Judge

His death certificate bears the number one. As chaplain to the Fire Department of New York, Father Mychal Judge was officially the first to go. A loving priest with a gift for the gab-gregarious yet humble, a healer with the ability to wipe away a widow's tears and put a smile on a fireman's face.

And on September 11th Father Mike rushed to the fires at the World Trade Center as quickly as those who fought them, losing his own life while tirelessly ministering to New York's bravest.

Father Mike recounts the colorful, astonishing and at times troubled life of a priest who saw the potential for good in everybody-in the homeless person he slipped a dollar to on the street; the alcoholic he sought to coax to an AA meeting; the early victims of AIDS he embraced and comforted; the troubled young men he visited in jail; and the thousands of firefighters he blessed as they rushed to their rigs answering the call.

Here was a priest who rejoiced in the life around him and understood that even the most terrible times present us with wonders-that good always arises from the bad in the most unexpected ways.

Or as Father Mike would say, "My God is a God of surprises."

In this touching book, author Michael Daly retraces the footsteps of Father Mike as his vocation takes us inside the firehouse, inside his friary and his Church, and inside the chaos that often befalls New York.

This is the tale of a larger than life priest who, in death, became a symbol of how much we truly lost that Tuesday in September. Father Mike is the inspirational story of a hero priest who blessed so many lives and will long be remembered by it.

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  • A powerful and heartbreaking read
    From Amazon

    I wasn't sure about this book because I had heard so many things about Mychal Judge, he's gay, he's not, he's a closet case, he's a showboat, he's a saint. Despite some critical review I read, I found this book to be beautiful, credible and powerful. It answered a number of questions I had and some I had not asked. I not only learned about Mychal Judge, I learned about the firefighters he loved to serve and I will never again take for granted the risks they make on behalf of the public as a routine part of their day. There were times when reading when I wanted things to move along, but the wonderful prose and the detailed descriptions of anguish, hope, faith and love among the firefighters and their families is not to be missed. Nor is the person of Mychal Judge himself; a wise, caring, flawed and complex person, who's defects of character he overcome by sheer love for those about him. The author's access to Mychal's personal materials - diaries, journals, calendars - gives both detail and credibility to his conclusions and builds to a the tragic, yes somehow redmptive, conclusion. Maybe the best thing I can say about Mychal is that reading of his life made me want to be a better person, more giving, more charitable to the dissenter, more willing to see the hurt behind the anger.

  • Tortured soul
    From Amazon

    This book answers the question: What makes a man a man? Read the biography of a man who devoted his life to others and kept a part of himself secret, a secret that if revelaed may have isolated him from some of the very people he elected to help. How does one define a good man? Read the story of Mychal Judge and decide for yourself.

  • Insightful and Inspirational
    From Amazon

    This beautifully written book highlights Mychal Judge's ability to harness the power of human kindness and compassion, and reminds the reader of the frailty of human life. Despite being confronted with repeated tragedies as Fire Chaplain, Fr. Mychal Judge inspired others to appreciate even life's smallest miracles. This book offers an honest perspective on Mychal Judge, the man and priest, and reminds readers that the human spirit can triumph regardless of what life may have in store. An inspiring read.

  • Well Worth Reading
    From Amazon

    I found "The Book of Mychal" an interesting and informative book. In addition to that, it moved me. I felt that I understood probably to a small extent some of the situations in which firefighters find themselves. I also began to understand the connections that they feel. I think that Daly details the life of a chaplain also---at bedsides, with families, and with the church. It's one of the books that when I finished reading it, I felt, "I want to write the author and say 'good job'." In addition, I also wanted to say that to Mychal Judge.

  • Probably not the book you're expecting?
    From Amazon

    Daly is fairly.. lets call it, "imaginative", when it comes to writing about Fr. Judge - he spends an awful lot of time romanticizing about the man's hands, and a preposterous amount of time devoted to trying to develop a romantic subplot into Judge's life that stretches rather beyond believability. I feel I know a lot less about Fr. Judge and a whole lot more about Michael Daly (and his odd, almost fetishistic preference of Judge over any and every other clergyman referenced in the book, all of whom are considered rather unfavorably) - which isn't what I'd hoped for out of this book at all. I have no idea whether or not Judge was gay, but there's little evidence of it, even by this book's rather thin evidentiary standards. Daly as a narrator actually comes off as quite hostile to the Catholic Church underneath it all, and his reverence for Judge does little to reassure you about the veracity of the stories he's telling. They seem to be designed to admit only one possible (and hard-to-really-accept) notion about Mychal Judge: that he was a liberal gay activist and noble closet-case whose transcendental faith in Life (not Jesus?) was more important to him than the stuffy old Church he worked for and its silly, restrictive mysticism. If you already find that easy to believe, you'll love the Fr. Mychal Judge that Daly's invented. This is not the book on Judge you'll want to buy for your Catholic friends and family. This book really belongs more to the credulous among us, who like tabloid-sensational hero-stories about gay priests trapped in the so-called straight life, harbor some pretty deep-seated distortions about Catholic life and faith, or are otherwise into hyperbolic, revisionist narratives. "The Book of Mychal" reads like a "dramatic re-enactment" of some gay ghost story a la A&E, moreso than a careful, balanced biography of a guy who may get declared a saint sooner or later. Weird stuff gets published all the time - if you really need to buy this, it belongs on your "homosexual priest fantasy-hagiography" shelf. There are better books out there on the guy, and some of them are actually biographical.

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