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28 September 2012

Watershed: Turning points on the spiritual road
Michael Ford
DLT £9.99
Church Times Bookshop £9 (Use code CT231 )

WATERSHED is about choosing our direction in life and how those choices make "all the difference".

Ford, a journalist, is drawn to people who have faced one crisis or another. All of them show that, far from letting the crisis overwhelm them, they have moved into new­ness of life.

We are faced with choice and its cost, the balance between stability and change, with hurt and healing, with hope amid deep loss. We meet people who struggle and come to faith. We explore the need to find reality amid illusion, and explore also the areas of abandonment to God and of trust.

The book begins in New York after 9/11 with Lt. Col. Cleary, who was in the Pentagon when a hijacked plane crashed into it. Also from this time, we are told of Anne McHugh, who sacrificed her life for others. The third person from New York, a niece of Mario Lanza, was an actress with Elvis, and gave him his first on-screen kiss. Yet she felt an inner voice calling her to become a nun, and is now the prioress of a Benedictine community.

We meet Bruno Tonioli, and the hard decisions about leaving home and community. Among others, we encounter a father whose son was killed in the Omagh bombing, and Grace Sheppard facing terminal cancer. Finally, we discover that Ford has offered himself for the priesthood. I hope that he will prove that the words quoted from Maggie Ross, "ordination is spiritual suicide," are not always correct.

David Adam

Canon Adam is a former Vicar of Holy Island

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