Murray Bodo, Franciscan priest and author
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Gathering Shards: A Franciscan Life

Gathering Shards: A Franciscan Life
Foreword by Sr. Margaret Carney
Tau Publishing, 978-1-61956-483, 2016
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In Gathering Shards Murray Bodo celebrates 60 years as a Franciscan friar by telling the story of how God found him and called him to the Franciscan life when he was a young boy in Gallup, New Mexico, a life which has taken him far from his New Mexico roots, only to bring him home again to savor the desert and mountains that formed his early life.

The shards he gathers into this memoir are not the pottery shards he gathered as a boy, but the diverse shards that make up his life and that cohere because of the presence of God in all of them. The book celebrates his being a teacher and writer, a pilgrim and a pilgrim guide, a spiritual friend and companion, a poet and priest, and how all of these roles reveal the contours of his life, their unique shape and color adding to the forming bowl which defines his Franciscan life.

"The narrative is wonderful in itself...the artful inclusion of poems...are tools for discerning the inner and outer landscapes that are constantly invoked as formative elements that shape consciousness, fill memory, and invite increasingly profound introspection."—Sr. Margaret Carney, from the Foreword. Read the Foreword.

"...the book reveals a life that has contained much joy and satisfaction and whose difficult parts have been approached with a patience and confidence that never spills over into self-satisfaction or arrogance."—London Grip Read the London Grip review.


Autumn Train

Autumn Train
Foreword by Barbara Wuest
Tau Publishing, 978-1-61956-290-5, 2015
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To read the poems in Murray Bodo’s Autumn Train is to take an incredible journey in which one can easily imagine being with him on a metaphorical train, looking out the window and becoming fully engaged in what he sees. In fact, the art of seeing seems to be a major theme. Of course, this seeing is more about understanding than simply observing birch trees or clouds or the people he loves.

Read a full review of the book by Michael Bartholomew-Biggs from the London Grip Poetry Review.


Enter Assisi

Enter Assisi: An Invitation to Franciscan Spirituality
Franciscan Media, 978-1616367091, 2015
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Enter Assisi takes the reader on a journey through the gates of Assisi, where you will discover in your own life the way to follow Jesus as St. Francis did. The walls of the medieval town surround a place where your imagination can explore holy ground.

"This is a memoir only a poet could write, full of journeys, caves, and longings from the life of St. Francis. I hope everyone who loves Francis will read this love story."
Jon M. Sweeney, author of When Saint Francis Saved the Church

"This book is one of Murray Bodo's best. It is an amalgam of experience, reflection, prayer, information and love for Assisi. By the book, read it, and keep reading it!"—Sr. Frances Teresa Downing, O.S.C.

"Richly textured with personal narrative, this spirigual-guidebook-meets-memoir is a work of art painted with the words of a gifted poet."
Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M., author of The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton


Francis and Jesus

Francis and Jesus
Franciscan Media, 978-0867169959, 2013
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""You are about to be led on a wonderful journey with both Jesus and Francis, by Fr. Murray Bodo, who has earned the right to speak about both of them."—From the foreword by Richard Rohr

In this dramatic telling of the story of Francis's close connection and relationship with Jesus, we see a multi-dimensional Francis—the ultimate disciple of Jesus. Bodo traces Francis's life as the saint worked to more perfectly reflect Jesus every day. You'll learn about Francis the sufferer, the itinerant, the misunderstood while also following his development as a prayer, teacher, and lover and protector of the poor. Francis shows us how to imitate Christ in every age, in every walk of life.

Read a full review of the book by Sr. Janet Fearns, FMDM.


Of Francis and Clare

Of Francis and Clare
Tau Publishing, 978-1619561434, 2013
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Of Francis and Clare brings together in one volume all of the poems relating to St. Francis and St. Clare that I've written from 1980 to 2013. Cumulatively, they provide a sort of landscape of the world of Francis and Clare that writing the poems revealed to me. Each of these poems is a small journey of discovery, and all of them together are, I hope, the landscape of a larger journey into the heart of the Franciscan vision and charisma.


Books in Print

Something Like Jasmine

Something Like Jasmine
Tau Publishing, 9781619560239, 2012
Includes a CD of poems read by the author
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"One of the most moving and thought provoking collections of poetry that I have read for a long time. Murray Bodo has that rare gift of understanding, only too well, the joys and sorrows of our everyday lives. As I read, I began to live with the poet as he himself lives his poetry."—Anne Beresford, poet and author of Collected Poems (1967-2006).

"Murray Bodo's sinewy and original poems in Something Like Jasmine are sharply focused, truthful and - most strikingly - brave. They are not ashamed to speak in the voice of the child who shot songbirds by mistake or the adult who now delights in animals as companions. And they do not shy away from speaking frankly of death and loss. Throughout this fine and varied collection, Bodo's Christian faith is evident - sometimes shining as brightly and unexpectedly as a high-flying jet in the sun that suggests the arms outstretched that mark Good Friday; but elsewhere as gently persistent as the scent of jasmine."—Michael Bartholomew-Biggs, poet and poetry editor of the online cultural magazine, London Poetry Grip.

"The clear, luminous, consoling poems of Father Murray Bodo's Something Like Jasmine "brave a soothing hand/like this on your troubled shoulder." Buoyed by kindest saints and the natural world of gulls and sycamores, by encounters with a sparrow and a street singer, he does not remain cloistered but sets his poetry en plein air, like an Impressionist painter, and empathizes with the struggles of real people. After the moving, richly evocative "Suite in Memory of Herbert Lomas," the collection culminates in the poet's awareness that "Those who've died clng to him like/Fragrant night-blooming jasmine." What's divine comes through in the vivid earthiness of Murray Bodo's generous imagination."—John Drury, poet and teacher, author of the Refugee Camp and The Poetry Dictionary

Read a review of Something Like Jasmine on the Image blog.


The Way of St. Francis: The Challenge of Franciscan Spirituality for Everyone
The Way of St. Francis Franciscan Media, 978-0867162448, 1995
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The Way of St. Francis challenges the reader with a renewed understanding of the saint: a Francis who shows us a way of life both stimulating and troubling, who asks us to look again at the possibilities within us and around us, and to whom we turn repeatedly in interpreting our own human experience of God. The Franciscan way helps, transforms and renews us. The book is composed of chapters on ways of letting go, of achieving poverty, simplicity and nonviolence.


The Road to Mount Subasio

The Road to Mount Subasio
Tau Publishing, 978-1935257899, 2011
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A revised reprint of one of The Place We Call Home. Join Fr. Murray on this incredible journey from his home in New Mexico to the Mount Subasio, the place that St. Francis and his early followers retreated to above the city of Assisi.



Francis the Journey and the Dream

Francis: The Journey and the Dream
St. Anthony Messenger Press
978-1616360641, 40th anniv. edition, 2011
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This is my first book, written in 1972. It has sold over 200,000 copies and to date has been translated into ten languages. The book is now available from St. Anthony Messenger Press in a handsome hardback 40th Anniversary Edition which includes a new Preface, a Foreword by John Michael Talbot, new material in the text, a bibliography, an author's interview, and a reader's guide.

Click here to read an interview in the Franciscan Newsletter about the 40th Anniversary of the book.

Click here to read about the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the book.


A Retreat with Francis and Clare
A Retreat with Francis and Clarewith Susan Saint Sing, Ph.D.
Read about Susan's new book, Play Matters
Tau Publishing, 978-1935257318, 2010
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Your directors for this retreat are Francis and Clare of Assisi, contemporaries who were determined to follow the Christ who spoke to them from the cross of San Damiano and to rebuild the Church by living the gospel of Jesus. You will walk in the footsteps of Francis and Clare through Assisi and the Umbrian countryside, focusing on pilgrimage and retreat, the going forth and the going within of the soul's journey.


Clare A Light in the Garden

Clare, A Light in the Garden
Tau Publishing, 978-1935257325, 2010
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Clare's life with God lies deep within, and no one knows that story but God. But I do know that someone with Clare's capacity for human love and fidelity must surely penetrate the heavens when that love is directed to the All-Good God. I believe our love for one another is the only reliable measure of our love fro God. Clare's pure love for Francis and his Dream is for me the perfect analogue of her love for God -- from the Foreword


Brother Juniper God's Holy Fool

Brother Juniper: God's Holy Fool
Tau Publishing, 978-1935257103, 2009
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The story of Brother Juniper, an early companion of St. Francis. Based upon a 14th century story, Fr. Murray's tale is told by Brother Juniper as he reminisces and mourns the death of his friend and soul-mate, Brother Tendalbene.



Visions and Revisions: Poems Celebrating 800 years of the Franciscan Way of Life
Tau Publishing, 978-935257097, 2009
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Visions and Revisions

Taking his title from T.S. Eliot's "Prufrock," Murray Bodo constructs his "RSVP" to the invitation all Franciscans share this year to celebrate the eighth centenary of the Order's origins. This poetic response begins in Part 1 with wonderful word-frescoes depicting scenes from the lives of Francis and Clare and evoking something of the mystical aura enshrined in legends and works of art. The following three sections of this work move us from medieval memorials to modern incarnations of this Franciscan life which is never removed from primordial human reality. At times poignant, at others probing, Bodo allows us an intimate glimpse into the world of a twenty-first century experience of the ways of Francis and Clare. Language that is stripped and utterly focused, like the lives of its subjects, dominates this work. We cannot forget, caught in his web of words, that the modifier "Franciscan" is best paired with the subject man/woman - at once at home in the world and on pilgrimage to its uttermost horizons. -- Margaret Carney, OSF, President, St. Bonaventure University


Wounded Angels

Wounded Angels (Poems)
Blissfool Press (UK), 978-0956237200, 2009
Paperback, Eighth Day Books (USA)
These poems are aware of how, simply by living, we hurt our fellow creatures... how, by living in the collaterally murderous mammon-driven consumerism we've inherited and continue to create, we're complicit in it. This is the hurt centre of the book, but it makes possible the strength. The book opens with dreams -- the happy dreams of boys, and the backward dreams of old men, remembering. There are adventures with Navajo Indians, memories of father fly fishing, literally and imaginatively. There's a whole lifetime in this book -- really several lifetimes; and Beauty, one of the three great Platonic attributes of God, along with goodness and truth.-- Herbert Lomas, English poet, translator, and critic

Murray Bodo’s latest collection takes its title from the Hugo Simberg painting “The Wounded Angel”. This picture (reproduced on the book’s cover) shows two boys carrying a stretcher on which sits an angel with bandaged head and damaged wings. Bodo calls his book Wounded Angels, using the plural probably because he wants to explore the everyday hurts all his readers have experienced – and probably inflicted. It is also fitting that children appear in the picture, because Bodo uses part of the book to reflect on his own childhood.

Murray Bodo is a Franciscan priest and also a professor of English in Cincinnati. His poetry may not have been very well known in the UK before Blissfool Books launched Wounded Angels but in fact he has many publications in the USA including a best-selling book on St Francis. His Christian faith clearly informs his poetry; but it is important to say that the poems do not insist on the reader sharing his faith. He writes with compassion, humour and humanity about everyday life and experience.-- Michael Bartholomew-Biggs, London Grip
Read the rest of the review.


The Threefold Way of St. Francis

From Paulist Press:
The Threefold Way of St. Francis

From St. Anthony Messenger Press:
Francis, the Journey and the Dream
Song of the Sparrow: New Meditations and Poems to Pray by
The Way of St. Francis
Landscape of Prayer
The Earth Moves at Midnight (Poems)
Mystics: Ten Who Show Us the Ways of God
The Simple Way: Meditations on the Words of St. Francis


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