Living in the spirit of
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DR MICHAEL FORD
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To the surprise of his colleagues, Michael left his staff producer job at the BBC with a specific aim: to make Henri Nouwen's life and writings more widely known, and to develop his pastoral theology. This sense of vocation was later confirmed through a special blessing from a monk which took place in a Benedictine church on Nouwen's birthday. In 2012 Michael was ordained 'deacon to the Church of God' but, again to the surprise of his colleagues, it soon became clear that God was not calling Michael to any form of conventional ministry. Over time, he came to understand his ordination as a further endorsement of his Henri Nouwen Mission which could not be limited by ecclesiastical boundaries. After all, says Michael, vocation is deeply personal and can only be truly known in retrospect.
Following a Radio 4 interview with the spiritual writer, Michael became the first student in Europe to research a doctorate on Nouwen, the subject of his first biography, 'Wounded Prophet.' He has now written a second biography, 'Lonely Mystic', and edited several anthologies of Nouwen's writings. Rooted in the catholic expression of Christianity, leading retreats, giving talks and offering spiritual guidance, he is the author/editor of a range of books which blend journalism with ancient and contemporary spiritual insights.
Michael trained as a journalist in South Wales, spent his early years on newspapers and worked as a researcher on This is Your Life. He then read for a degree in theology and religious studies, specialising in the Christian mystical tradition, medieval art and Thomas Merton - all Nouwenesque areas of interest.
For many years, Michael worked for BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service as a Religion & Ethics journalist. His interests include Bach, jazz, art, animal welfare and travel, especially through Italy and France.
With Brother Roger of Taizé in Burgundy
Meeting French film actress Juliette Binoche in Paris to hear about the influence of Taizé on her life
On location in Connecticut with Mother Dolores Hart. A Benedictine prioress, she is a former Hollywood actress who starred with Elvis Presley
'Career and vocation are not mutually exclusive ... a career disconnected from a vocation divides' (Henri Nouwen, Compassion).