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'Faith and Struggle on Smokey Mountain' -- Is There Hope for a Planet in Peril?; From Orbis Books -- Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers
Contact: Mike Virgintino, Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, 914-941-7636 ext 2219
MARYKNOLL, N.Y., Dec. 11, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- In his new book "Faith and Struggle on Smokey Mountain," Father Benigno P. Beltran questions the state of a planet with so much poverty and environmental destruction. He concludes that mankind should retain hope for this world in peril, and he arrived at this view after years of serving the poor of the Philippines and literally living on a mountain of manmade waste.

"I lived for more than 30 years in a huge garbage dump called Smokey Mountain in the heart of the city of Manila," said Father Beltran. "It was a journey through the heart of darkness, a pilgrimage through the crucible of despair to emerge into joyful hope in the end."

For many years, Smokey Mountain served as an emblem of third world squalor. In many ways, it is a metaphor for a planet slowly choking on garbage. But Father Beltran, a Society of the Divine Word priest who served as chaplain to the 25,000 scavengers who survived off this reeking heap, it also is a metaphor of hope. It is an emblem of the will to survive, the ability to create joy and find meaning even in the midst of poverty.

Published by Orbis Books, the book division of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, "Faith and Struggle on Smoky Mountain" describes the spiritual resilience of struggling people and how, through their eyes, the author has learned to read the Gospel anew. The lessons learned by Father Beltran provide a message for all who struggle for a better world.

Founded during 1970, Orbis Books publishes works that enlighten the mind, nourish the spirit and challenge the conscience. Orbis seeks to explore the global dimensions of Christian faith and mission, to invite dialogue with diverse cultures and religious traditions, and to serve the cause of reconciliation and peace. Learn more at www.orbisbooks.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/orbisbooks.

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers follow Jesus in serving the poor and others in need in 28 countries that include the U.S. All Catholics are called to mission through baptism and confirmation, and Maryknoll's mission education outreach in parishes and schools throughout the country engages U.S. Catholics in mission through vocations, prayer, donations and as volunteers. Maryknoll missioners share God's love and the Gospel in combating poverty, providing healthcare, building communities and promoting human rights. For more information, visit the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers at maryknollsociety.org and follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/MaryknollNews.