Happy Birthday - Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen, still regarded as one of the leading spiritual writers of the 20th century, spent the last twelve years of his life living in a L'Arche community in Toronto, Canada, called L'Arche Daybreak.

Henri's desire for community and passionate conviction that those rejected by society have essential and prophetic gifts to offer took shape during the 1960's through his involvement with the American civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr. Trained in psychology, his career took him to a variety of teaching positions at Notre Dame, Yale and Harvard, and ongoing involvement in American peace and social justice movements. In all of these, Henri looked for ways to help people deepen their spiritual foundations and cultivate community. He is one of the most popular and prolific spiritual writers of the later twentieth century.

Henri's ultimate home and ministry as pastor within L'Arche Daybreak was the culmination of a spiritual journey which began in his native Holland, and took him to America, where he became a writer, academic and theologian, and a campaigner for social justice. When he died in 1996 aged 64, he was the author of more than forty books.

He wrote many of his most popular books while living in L'Arche, including The Road to Daybreak, Return of the Prodigal Son and Adam (the latter is about his relationship with a man with profound learning disabilities).

For more read his Wikipedia article here. Also of great interest are his thoughts on Rembrandt's Return of the Prodigal Son.

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