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Camerado, I Give You My Hand: How a Powerful Lawyer-Turned-Priest Is Changing the Lives of Men Behind Barsby Maura Poston Zagrans
Synopses & Reviews
1. Who is a Camerado?
2. How do you understand the expression, "love is a verb; everything else is chatter"? What does it mean to you?
3. Of the brothers Father Dave serves, what did you learn from their stories?
4. Who are Father Dave’s heroes?
5. What steps are needed to resuscitate hope for the homeless and those in prison? What steps can you take to help?
6. Father Dave sees the potential for the justice system to incorporate itself as a vital part of the healing professions. What role can lawyers play in healing social conflict?
7. Consider the contrast between Father Dave's early years and the childhoods of the prisoners. What importance can a strong father figure have in a man's life? How can we cultivate positive male role models and strengthen bonds in families and communities?
8. Many of the prisoners we meet in <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Camerado attribute their profound changes to the experience of having just one person believe in them. For these men, having a positive mentor affected their minds, hearts, and behaviors for the better. Have you had a mentor or role-model help you through a tough time? Have you had the opportunity to be a mentor for others in need? What did you learn from those experiences, and how can you share them with others in need?
9. In his Crime Peace Plan, Father Dave writes, "Every law-abiding citizen should demand drastic changes in the criminal justice system, changes that will interrupt the crime cycle." How has your perspective on the crime cycle been affected by <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Camerado? What changes to the criminal justice system would help your community?
10. Which prisoners’ stories in Camerado evoked your desire to see prison reform begin to take place?
11. Who are the camerados in your life? What qualities do they share with Father Dave? What qualities do they share with the prisoners we meet in <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Camerado?
12. We culturally dehumanize those who have made mistakes. Father Dave shows that the men profiled here are humanized by their mistakes and are given the opportunity for redemption. What human qualities do you have in common with the men you meet in <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Camerado? How can you help those who have made mistakes in your community?
13. Having read <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Camerado, if you were pen pals with a prisoner, what are some of the things you would say?
14. Camerado explores several areas of Father Dave’s life: At Notre Dame, as a prison Chaplin, and as a loving husband and father? What Notre Dame story affected you the most? Which story from the prision made the deepest impression on you? What aspect of Dave and Barbara's story moves you?
For many years Dr. David T. Link helped young men and women prepare to become lawyers. After his wife died, and at a time in his life when most people retire, Dr. Link felt called to serve the Church and to aid the men that his profession normally put behind bars, ministering healing and forgiveness to murderers, thieves, and what many would call the least of society.
This is a book about the value of human life, and about the transformative power of friendship and compassion. Meeting Father Dave gives us hope that one person can make a difference and, through successive reinterpretations of his own life's purpose, he makes the case for adding our own unique gifts to help the least of these, our brothers and sisters from all walks of life.
"Song of the Open Road" by Walt Whitman
Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?
About the Author
Maura Poston Zagrans interviewed a wide spectrum of professionals and academics in writing this nonfiction narrative of Reverend David T. Link. To get the full story, she went behind the razor wire, where she spoke with and photographed prisoners at maximum-, medium-, and minimum-security facilities. Maura, a mother of six, is author of Miracles Every Day: The Story of One Physician’s Inspiring Faith and the Healing Power of Prayer.
Reverend David T. Link became an ordained priest in 2008, at the age of seventy-one. An attorney-at-law, he is also Founding President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame, Australia and Dean Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame Law School. He was the recipient of both the Young Federal Lawyer Award and the Secretary of the Treasury Award for exceptional service to the United States during the Kennedy Administration. Active in civil rights since the 1960s, Link co-founded the Center for the Homeless in South Bend. Married for 45 years to the late Barbara Link, Father Dave is a legal author, international lecturer, father of five, and grandfather of fourteen.
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