Image Author 101: George Weigel

This month, in our Author 101 series, we’re featuring author George Weigel.

In 2010, George Weigel completed his epic biography of the pontiff who changed the course of history. The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II — The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy is the triumphant sequel to the New York Times bestseller Witness to Hope, and was praised the world over.  The book is the result of fifteen years of conversations with John Paul II himself and previously unrevealed communist secret police files. Pulitzer Prize winning author Jon Meacham had this to say: “[George Weigel] has now finished the story he began so brilliantly…[detailing] John Paul II’s battle against totalitarianism and chronicles the Holy Father’s humble acceptance of suffering at the end of earthly life. As ever, Weigel writes with confidence, clarity, and insight.” It is a book that reflects the brilliance of John Paul the Great, soon to be one of the Catholic Church’s newest saints.

George Weigel was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, where he attended St. Mary’s Seminary and University. He later received his masters degree from St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto. He is the recipient of eighteen honorary doctorates in fields including divinity, philosophy, law, and social science, as well as the papal cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice and the Gloria Artis Gold Medal from the Polish Ministry of Culture. For a short time, he lived in Seattle, Washington, serving as Assistant Professor of Theology and Assistant Dean of Studies at the St. Thomas the Apostle Seminary School of Theology and Scholar-in-Residence at the World Without War Council of Greater Seattle. He eventually moved back to Washington, D.C. where he is currently a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and holds EPPC’s William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies. Weigel is widely considered one of America’s leading public intellectuals.

From 1989 through June 1996, Weigel was president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he led a wide-ranging, ecumenical and interreligious program of research and publication on foreign and domestic policy issues. From June 1996, as a Senior Fellow, he prepared a major study of the life, thought, and action of Pope John Paul II. Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II was published to international acclaim in the fall of 1999, and has since been translated into twelve languages, with a Chinese edition currently in progress.

Weigel is the author or editor of some twenty other books; the most recent of these include Practicing Catholic: Essays Historical, Literary, Sporting, and Elegiac (Crossroad, 2012); Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church (Basic, 2013) and Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches (Basic, 2013). His essays, op-ed columns, and reviews appear regularly in major opinion journals and newspapers across the United States. A frequent guest on television and radio, he is also Vatican analyst for NBC News. His weekly column, “The Catholic Difference,” is syndicated to sixty newspapers.

Weigel and his wife Joan live in North Bethesda, Maryland. They have three children.

Read a sample chapter of The End and the Beginning here.

This month we’re giving away 5 copies of The End and the Beginning. Simply fill out the form below for a chance to win! One entry per person, please.
This month we’re giving away 5 copies of Sacred Fire. Simply fill out the form below for a chance to win! – See more at: http://www.imagecatholicbooks.com/page/2/#sthash.btBxf1SZ.dpuf

READING GUIDE: Camerado, I Give You My Hand

In Camerado, I Give You My Hand, author Maura Zagrans tells the inspiring story of how a widower became a Catholic priest and is now changing the lives of men in the dangerous prisons in the heartland of America. Father David Link, Dean Emeritus of Notre Dame Law School, spent over four decades working in jurisprudence and now, in his new role as pastor, sees our criminal justice system as a lost, prodigal son in serious need of guidance and direction. This is a profound, moving story of healing and redemption, one that reminds us about the value of human life, the power of forgiveness and the everyday need for compassion and friendship. Go even deeper with these discussion questions for the book. Use them for individual reflection or for a group study!


Who is a Camerado?

How do you understand the expression, “love is a verb; everything else is chatter”? What does it mean to you?

Of the brothers Father Dave serves, what did you learn from their stories?

Who are Father Dave’s heroes?

What steps are needed to resuscitate hope for the homeless and those in prison? What steps can you take to help?

Father Dave sees the potential for the justice system to incorporate itself as a vital part of the healing professions. What role can lawyers play in healing social conflict?

Consider the contrast between Father Dave’s early years and the childhoods of the prisoners. What importance can a strong father figure have in a man’s life? How can we cultivate positive male role models and strengthen bonds in families and communities?

Many of the prisoners we meet in Camerado attribute their profound changes to the experience of having just one person believe in them. For these men, having a positive mentor affected their minds, hearts, and behaviors for the better. Have you had a mentor or role-model help you through a tough time? Have you had the opportunity to be a mentor for others in need? What did you learn from those experiences, and how can you share them with others in need?

In his Crime Peace Plan, Father Dave writes, “Every law-abiding citizen should demand drastic changes in the criminal justice system, changes that will interrupt the crime cycle.” How has your perspective on the crime cycle been affected by Camerado? What changes to the criminal justice system would help your community?

Which prisoners’ stories in Camerado evoked your desire to see prison reform begin to take place?

Who are the camerados in your life? What qualities do they share with Father Dave? What qualities do they share with the prisoners we meet in Camerado?

We culturally dehumanize those who have made mistakes. Father Dave shows that the men profiled here are humanized by their mistakes and are given the opportunity for redemption. What human qualities do you have in common with the men you meet in Camerado? How can you help those who have made mistakes in your community?

Having read Camerado, if you were pen pals with a prisoner, what are some of the things you would say?

Camerado explores several areas of Father Dave’s life: At Notre Dame, as a prison Chaplin, and as a loving husband and father? What Notre Dame story affected you the most? Which story from the prision made the deepest impression on you? What aspect of Dave and Barbara’s story moves you?


VIDEO: Celebrating our 60th Anniversary in Catholic Publishing!

Image Books was founded in 1954 to provide quality religious titles to readers at an affordable price. Now, 60 years later, we’re proud to continue to uphold that same tradition.

Over these years we have been blessed with a uniquely rich history of publishing leading and classic Catholic-interest authors such as Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop Charles Chaput, Father Robert Barron, Mother Angelica, Mother Teresa, John L. Allen, Jr., Raymond Arroyo, Colleen Carroll Campbell, Bill Donohue, Scott Hahn, Ronald Rolheiser, and more.

We wouldn’t be celebrating our 60th anniversary without you, our readers. We’re deeply grateful for your support over the years and your dedication to Catholic studies and spiritual growth. We hope you enjoy this video – a small tribute to our authors and books. Deo Optimo Maximo.

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