Patrick Ahern, an auxiliary bishop of New York, is widely regarded as one of the foremost experts on the spirituality of Saint Therese of Lisieux. He lives and works in Manhattan.
Ahern, the auxiliary bishop of New York, explores the relationship between the Carmelite nun St. Thérèse of Lisieux and a struggling young priest, Maurice Bellière, by compiling the 21 letters exchanged between them and providing biographical details. St. Thérèse had a short life, dying at the age of 24 of tuberculosis, but she expressed in her prose meaning and inspiration that brought peace to troubled souls. Through this correspondence, the reader is able to "listen in" on the intimate conversation she shared with Maurice as she encouraged his self-acceptance. The two became soulmates through their letters from 1896 until St. Thérèse's death in 1897. Expressing the suffering and passion of two imperfect persons touched by God, their story captures what St. Thérèse did best: showing by example how to be holy in life. Recommended for large religious collections.‘Leo Vincent Kriz, West Des Moines Lib., IA
-In his balanced, insightful narrative, Bishop Ahern avoids the pitfalls of hagiography: He gives us no plaster saint, but a full-bodied portrait, full of shadows and light. The reader is left with a sense of the sheer divine mystery of the love and suffering?in every sense the passion?of these two young people touched by God. It is a most timely book for a secular age; it is also a gift.---Charles Scribner III -A beautiful and inspiring story; truly a book about a saint for sinners.---Mary Higgins Clark -A marvelous book. Perhaps I knew Therese as a saint before I read her letters to Maurice and his to her; I did not know her as a woman. Now she fascinates me more than ever.---John Cardinal O'Connor