From Publishers Weekly
The road to priesthood in the Society of Jesus is arduous. Jesuits, like most other Catholic religious orders, demand a lifetime of poverty, chastity and obedience. They also require years of postgraduate study and hard work before ordination. At age 27, Krivak joined the order, already equipped with two degrees as well as experience writing poetry and working in a boatyard. Over the next eight years he studied philosophy and theology, visited hospitalized AIDS patients, taught writing to college students, worked in the Dominican Republic, Russia and Slovakia—and fell in love. The search for love is an important theme running through this artfully written memoir: the love of God, the strong but imperfect love of Krivak's father and eventually the deep, reciprocated love of a woman. Life, he tells a friend, is a long retreat—an awareness that God is everywhere present and can be trusted. Now married and the father of a son, Krivak shows no bitterness as he explores his painful decision to leave the Society of Jesus. I walked a long but worthy road that led to a place where I didn't belong, he told his spiritual director. I don't feel any resentment. I feel gratitude. (Mar.)
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"A LONG RETREAT is not just a fascinating insider's look at Jesuit formation, but a beautifully written case study in prayerful discernment of one's proper vocation. Few memoirs of religious life are as wise and revelatory as this." –Ron Hansen, author of Mariette in Ecstasy and Exiles
"This is the best spiritual memoir I've read since THE SEVEN STOREY MOUNTAIN--and that was a long time ago. Andrew Krivak conveys his own ardent search while also capturing the fragmented spirit of our times, making his "long retreat" the occasion for a wise, tough and sometimes refreshingly comic meditation on faith. I read it like a detective story, unable to put it down--and then unable (and unwilling) to stop thinking about its lingering questions." --Patricia Hampl, author of Virgin Time
"Here is a personal remembrance and reflection become an instrument of summoning spiritual witness--and an account of a soul's progress amidst the possibilities offered by our contemporary secular world, all told incisively and with a haunting candor that will reach and touch the grateful reader." --Robert Coles