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The Homeless Bishop is Latest Story from Joseph F. Girzone; First Novel Published by Orbis Books - Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers

Contact: Mike Virgintino, Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, 914-941-7636 ext 2219

MARYKNOLL, N.Y., Oct. 19, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- What if a bishop decided to live as a beggar, and then as a bishop again? New York Times bestselling fiction author and priest Joseph F. Girzone, known for his Joshua Series, tells such a story in The Homeless Bishop.

In the first novel published in the 41 years of Orbis Books, the book division of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, an intelligent and talented Catholic archbishop (Carlo) is granted permission to take an extended leave to understand why Jesus loved the poor and disadvantaged. Carlo gives up his status and worldly goods to experience life in America as a homeless man.

When he returns to his diocese in Italy, Carlo decides to build housing for the homeless. He adopts eight homeless children and asks his cousin to be their mother. Carlo turns a cold and empty mansion into a place of life and laughter. Soon after, Carlo becomes homeless again, though not of his choosing, and he is sent on a sensitive diplomatic mission.

The Homeless Bishop is an imaginative "what if" journey that takes readers from the halls of the Vatican to the streets of New York and even to unexpected places such as Iran. The story shows that instead of fear and mistrust, the disadvantaged can be healed with love, forgiveness and help.

Creating his first new character in 25 years, Father Girzone was motivated by an increasing concern about the attitude of Americans, especially Christians, toward the poor. He considered how Christian scripture emphasized Jesus' special love for the poor.

"I set about to explore this question for myself," said Father Girzone. "Why is Jesus so obsessed with the poor?"

Founded during 1970, Orbis Books endeavors to publish 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.

Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is the overseas mission outreach of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, following 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 Maryknoll's mission education outreach in parishes and schools throughout the country engages U.S. Catholics in mission through prayer, donations, as volunteers and through vocations.

During 2011, Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers will commemorate its centennial with a theme of The Gift of Mission -- The Maryknoll Journey. These missionaries will celebrate as they continue their journey into the next 100 years to share God's love and the Gospel in combating poverty, providing healthcare, building communities and promoting human rights.

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