Robert Ellsberg


Thanks to having our own post office on the Maryknoll campus Orbis Books is officially located in a place called “Maryknoll, New York.” Look us up on a map and you will find that we are also located in Ossining, New York, a river town on the Hudson north of New York City. Maryknoll is only one of two major Ossining landmarks, the other perhaps more infamous being Sing Sing Prison. Comparing the two, the quip holds that one offers a glimpse of heaven while the other is a vision of hell. But it is possible to find God even in hell.

First-time author Fr. Ronald Lemmert served for sixteen years as the Catholic chaplain at Sing Sing. His new book, Refuge in Hell: Finding God in Sing Sing, is unsparing in depicting the brutalities of prison life. Yet as Fr. Lemmert chronicles the lives of the prisoners he has served, he shows how there is no place so dark that God’s love cannot be found. As he writes, “God’s love provides a refuge in whatever hell a person may be experiencing. My prayer is that this story about the love of God for prisoners may help the readers of this book find that same oasis in their own lives.”

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