Many centuries ago the ancient Desert Fathers and Mothers moved into the wilderness to leave behind the compulsions of the world and draw near to God. For Mary Lou Kownacki, a Benedictine nun and long-time peacemaker, her wilderness is the inner-city of Erie, Pennsylvania, surrounded by poor families trying to survive and keep hope alive in the midst of drugs, violence, and despair. From this outpost on the margins, she observes the world in poetic meditations, written with the passion of a prophet and the heart of a mystic.
"I write about days when spiritual security, not fear, was a neighborhood's gift to children. I write about the sin of ignoring those who have the same needs we all do but no way to satisfy them. It is one way of trying to stretch my monk's robe until it embraces the suffering world."