Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen

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8 x 11 in. Signed Print

“What makes us human is not our mind but our heart, not our ability to think but our ability to love.”

Nouwen was a Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer, and theologian. He wrote over 39 books on spirituality during his lifetime. He taught theology at Notre Dame, Yale, and Harvard, but after many years he found it a very ambitious, competitive environment and yearned for community. In 1986 he accepted an invitation to become pastor for the L’Arche community of Daybreak in Richmond Hill, north of Toronto, Canada where he would spend the last ten years of his life. While at Daybreak Nouwen was paired with Adam Arnett, a core member with developmental disabilities."It is I, not Adam, who gets the main benefit from our friendship," Nouwen insisted. He would later reflect on how the community at Daybreak was where he began to experience perhaps his deepest fulfillment as priest, friend, author, lecturer, and mentor. En route to Russia to do a documentary about Rembrandt’s painting of the Prodigal Son, Nouwen suffered a heart attack in The Netherlands. He died on Saturday, September 21, 1996. Nouwen is buried in Richmond Hill, Ontario, close to his beloved Daybreak community.