'Confessions of an Ex-Jesuit': New book from Ibarra Gonzalez
MANILA, Philippines – When he was a Jesuit priest, Ibarra "Nim" M. Gonzalez wore many hats – as vocation director, chair of the Ateneo de Manila University Department of Communication, retreat director, Sunday priest, and head of two nongovernmental organizations.
After more than 3 decades, he decided to leave the priesthood. Gonzalez wrote about his decision, what he went through before and after life as a priest, and other aspects of his life in Confessions of an Ex-Jesuit published by San Anselmo Publications.
In the book’s introduction, Gonzalez presents a letter to a friend and fellow priest, revealing his struggle for discernment that even lay people can relate to.
What did God want of me?… I was not in trouble with the institution; I never had problems with my superiors or fellow Jesuits. I was a very happy Jesuit, tired and overworked, yes, but that was no reason to leave 35 years of happy religious life behind and move to an uncertain future.
Reverend Father Jose de Leon, SJ of the Ateneo de Manila described Confessions of An Ex-Jesuit as "a stimulating reading that gives an appropriate mirror of human existence in our most turbulent times," San Anselmo Publications said in a press statement.
The statement also cited critic and communication professor Isagani Cruz of De La Salle University, who said that Gonzalez follows in the footsteps of his father, the late National Artist for Literature NVM Gonzalez.
“Nim Gonzalez is both NVM Gonzalez and not. Nim has the same deceptive simplicity of expression, the same effortless profundity, the same genuine concern for the reader. But he is also Nim and not NVM…. As we follow Nim recollecting the twists and turns of his life on earth, we sense a presence that cannot be natural," Cruz said.
“Nim is his father’s son, but more precisely, his Father’s son,” he added.
The hardcover edition of the book will be launched on December 8, Sunday, at the Ateneo de Manila University. There will be a mass at the Church of the Gesu at 3 pm before the program and book signing at Faber Hall in Loyola Schools.
Confessions of An Ex-Jesuit can be purchased at the book launch, and online through www.sananselmopress.net and the San Anselmo Publications page on Facebook. The book will also be available at bookstores after the launch. – Rappler.com