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Priest Who Died on Mt. Hood Receives Prestigious Eric Hoffer Award

Contact: Sylvia Scott, 845-517-0180 ext 115

CHESTNUT RIDGE, N.Y., May 20, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- The news that Father Robert J. Cormier died in a climbing accident when a snow cornice collapsed beneath him on Mount Hood, Oregon arrived the same morning as the email notifying the publisher that his latest book received the Eric Hoffer Award. "BETTER THAN WE BELIEVED," read the letter, "endured rigorous judging and surpassed dozens of titles within its category. Each winner was determined to be unique, worthy, and well produced in all aspects of writing and publishing. Your title helps maintain the circulation of ideas, which is a vital and necessary function for a thriving society."

May 13th, 2014, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima, was reported to have been a glorious morning when Father Bob, as he was known, stood on the summit of Mount Hood, the highest peak in Oregon. About 100 years earlier, naturalist Dallas Lore Sharp had written:

    "There are loftier mountains, … there are peaks which fill with awe and that strike with terror, while Hood only fills the soul with exultation, with the joy of beauty, of completeness and perfection…It's greatness is not physical, not height nor power; but form rather, and spirit, and position…. Serene and soaring in the far-off Heaven, and lo! A vision of the future!"

These words about the majestic mountain pertain as beautifully to the life and the substantial writings of Robert J. Cormier (www.TheFaithKit.org).  Ahead of his time, he developed a new and strikingly clear way to speak about God, presuming nothing, convinced that everyone can experience the truth of faith for themselves. And as passionate as Fr. Bob was about living life to the fullest as priest, pilot, sailor, mountain climber, and world traveler, he was most passionate about a faith that makes sense of our lives in the light of our experience of God.

In BETTER THAN WE BELIEVED this vision of faith is applied to struggles that most of us know first-hand: anger, depression, stress, betrayal, illness and death; and the spiritual responses "giving us a way to live our lives in peace." (Roseanne Pezzola, artist and illustrator.)

A FAITH THAT MAKES SENSE contains the fundamentals of a contemporary spirituality, of which the late Arthur Caliandro of Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan said: "[Cormier] makes faith come alive in words that people can understand. He makes you want a life of faith, and he shows you how to find it."

WHY WE LOOK UP explains the basic concepts and practices of the Catholic faith within the creation of humankind. "Our lives mean nothing unless they are shared…Actually, the belief that we were made to be a family pulls together and helps us understand all our other basic beliefs." (from the book.)

Father Bob was unambiguously faithful to the people in his care -- the parishioners of the churches he served, the prisoners he visited every week, the people at Project Life, and the many students he taught. His everyday was marked by tireless service, inner strength and genuine enthusiasm; his was indeed a life lived very well. Often he had no time to go out and promote his own books, yet he deeply wished that more and more people would hear about the good news of a faith that can be understood, and desired, and lived today and for the future -- because this faith, he was sure, is the only thing that can ever fill our deepest desires and give us the peace, purpose and unending joy we so long for. How thrilled would Father Bob have been to receive the acknowledgement of an award named for the independent thinker Eric Hoffer. And, yes, in God's providence, Robert J. Cormier is enjoying that news even now.

For further information go to www.BetterThanWeBelieved.com or email publisher@crossroadpublishing.com.