Saturday, January 30, 2016

'The Shepherd Who Didn't Run' Blog Tour: Day 3, Lisa Hendey

If you're not familiar with, you should drop by and explore a bit.  It is so much more than a "website"!  You'll see what I mean when you go.

Today's Blog Tour stop is in the "Book Notes" department of the world. And it is presented by non other than the founder of also speaker, best selling author... and Editor-at-Large at Ave Maria Press...  Lisa Hendey.

I am blessed to call her my good friend!

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María Ruiz Scaperlanda Shines Light 

on Life of Father Stanley Rother

I don’t remember the exact day it happened, but I do remember that my very first acquaintance with the spiritual heroism of Venerable Father Stanley Rother came to me in a conversation with my dear friend and writing mentor María Ruiz Scaperlanda. María, who has been a regular contributor here at since 2012 and blogs regularly at Day by Day with María, shared with me that she’d been invited by Archbishop Coakley of Oklahoma City to pen an amazing biography. As I listened to her give a thumbnail sketch of Father Rother’s life and legacy that day, I couldn’t wait to dive in and learn more.
coverBlessedly, thanks to María and her colleagues at Our Sunday Visitor, we now have a definitive recounting of Father Rother’s life story. Penned in cooperation with both the Archdiocese behind his cause for canonization and Father Rother’s family, this book is part historical account, part spiritual booster shot. In my endorsement for the book, I wrote:
In her tremendous new book The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run, Father Stanley Rother, Martyr from Oklahoma, María de Lourdes Ruiz Scaperlanda brings us into close encounter with a heroic priest who will, God willing, soon be a canonized saint. We learn of Father Stanley’s valiant heroism in the moment of his martyrdom, but also of his life of service to a Church he loved and to her people, who greatly loved him for showing them the path to Christ. Reading this book helps each of us to answer the calling to a life of service in our own unique mission fields. A highly inspirational introduction to an amazing spiritual shepherd.
Today, I’m happy to share my recent interview with María Ruiz Scaperlanda. I urge you to discover this book and Father Stanley’s life for yourself!

María Ruiz Scaperlanda on Father Stanley Rother:

Q: María, thank you for being such a special part of family and for penning this amazing spiritual memoir, The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run! I recall a personal moment with you at the outset of your work on this book. Please share with our readers how you became involved with this special project.
I have to begin by saying thank you so much for your interest, Lisa! I am so blessed by your support and your enthusiasm about my book, and about me and my writing. You are a great spiritual mentor to so many people, and I am blessed to be one of them.
I was a part of the Historical Commission organized by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. This is the group that collected information on Father Stanley and prepared a report to send to the Vatican requesting to open his Cause for Canonization. A year after our work was completed, our group traveled to Guatemala and made a pilgrimage to Santiago Atitlán the parish and village where Father Stanley lived and where he was killed. On that trip I also met our new Archbishop, Paul S. Coakley. And it was Archbishop Coakley who invited me – and commissioned me, to write the book!
Q: For those who are unfamiliar with the story of Father Stanley Rother, would you please provide a brief overview of his life and legacy?
Father Stanley Rother was born in Okarche, Oklahoma, the oldest of five children in a Catholic, German farming family. Four years after becoming a priest, Father Stanley went to Guatemala as a missionary for the Oklahoma Mission to the Tz’utujil Mayan Indians in Santiago Atitlán.
When the violence of the Guatemala civil war made its way into the remote, peaceful village of Santiago Atitlán, disappearances, killings and danger became a daily occurrence. But Father Stanley remained focused on his ministry as pastor, working with his parishioners to build a farmers’ coop, a school, a hospital, and the first Catholic radio station, which was used for catechesis to the even more remote villages.
In 1981, with his name on a death list, he returned to Oklahoma and was warned not to go back to Guatemala. But Father Stanley could not abandon his people. He returned in time to celebrate Holy Week with his parishioners that year—and ultimately was killed for living out his Catholic faith. In one of his final letters, Father Stanley explained, “The shepherd cannot run at the first sign of danger.”
Click here to read the rest of Lisa's Q & A discussion with me!