New Book Focuses On Justice

The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul hosted a launch for the latest book by a well-known Kingston author and social justice advocate.

The congregation’s Office of Justice and Peace sponsored the launch of Faith and Freedom: The Life and Times of Bill Ryan SJ, co-written by Kingston writer Jamie Swift. Swift and co-author Bob Chodas spent more than a year researching this detailed biography of a Jesuit priest working for a better world at home and abroad.

The event took place on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Heathfield, Providence Motherhouse. Both authors were on hand, as well as the book’s subject, Bill Ryan.

Published by Novalis, Faith and Freedom approaches Father Bill Ryan’s life story as a lens through which to view the tensions and accomplishments of the past 50 turbulent years of history. From the lumber camps of the Ottawa Valley, to the classrooms of Harvard, to leadership within the Jesuits, Bill Ryan has made social justice a central focus of his life and work. Under his leadership, the Canadian Jesuits launched a cluster of initiatives that redefined their mission in the modern world, both in Canada and beyond its borders.

Swift dedicated his contribution to the book in memory of two late Sisters of Providence, Mary Hamilton and Joan Whittingham.

“They were remarkable women,” said Swift. “They never wavered in their belief that this can be a better world and they were dedicated to making that happen.”

Swift’s previous books include a biography of economist Eric Kierans, as well as the best-selling Getting Starting On Social Analysis and Civil Society In Question. He is also well-known for his work on the CBC Radio show Ideas and was the 1996 winner of the Michener Award for excellence in Canadian public service journalism.

Bob Chodas was the editor of Compass; A Jesuit Journal from 1987 to 1997, and more recently of Canadian Forum. His books include biographies of Brian Mulroney and Paul Martin.

Faith and Freedom: The Life and Times of Bill Ryan SJ By Jamie Swift and Bob Chodas
Publisher: Novalis
ISBN: 2-89507-246-9
Price: $34.95 hardcover