Book Overview

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An Overview of the Book
Profits will be donated

At a time when we need to hear some good stories about Catholic priests, comes this richly written and inspirational story of Father Edwin Frederick, “Father Fred.”

As a young priest, Father Fred was on a fast track to a leadership position in the Church. Then, in 1959, at age 34, he was unexpectedly assigned to a chaplaincy position at a state psychiatric hospital in Traverse City, Michigan. Faced with this enormous disappointment, he was true to his vow of obedience, accepted the assignment, and went to work. Not only did he thrive in those unusual surroundings, he flourished and elevated the position of chaplain in the eyes of the State of Michigan; led a community-wide ecumenical effort to build and operate an inter-faith chapel; helped thousands of people find their way to God through his unusual ministry; and ignited a sense of volunteerism and compassion in northern Michigan.

Not until he was sixty-five years old was he assigned a parish and became a pastor for the first time in his priestly vocation. Throughout his life, he believed that everyone deserved to be treated with dignity.

LaPorte, a lifelong Catholic who knew the charismatic and amiable priest, was inspired to research and write his biography over a three-year period. “There are fewer and fewer people who knew and worked with Father Fred and it is critical to capture and tell this story now,” says LaPorte. Because Fr. Fred was so capable and nimble in his ability to express his compassion for everyone he met, few people realize that, like the rest of us, he faced setbacks in his own life. It is in his reaction to these setbacks that we are inspired by his unflagging enthusiasm and unrelenting ability to ask: “What can I do for you?”

This is a heartwarming and inspirational story of a beloved ordinary priest, affectionately told through stories from family, friends, patients, parishioners, volunteers, and clients of the foundation he started when the hospital closed. Over fifty photos support and illustrate the story of this humble, ordinary man who helped and inspired so many.

It’s no wonder that when Father Fred died in 2000, the headline on the local newspaper read: “The Faithful Father Fred: TC’s ‘Mother Teresa’ leaves lasting legacy.”

The Heart of a Priest is a 240-page, 7" X 10" hardcover book with over seventy black and white photos. Price is $29.95. The ISBN Number is 978-0-615-50842-9

There is also a Limited Edition of 100 books that are leather-bound, numbered, and signed by the author and Fr. Thome, who wrote the foreword. Price is $100.00.

Mission Communications will donate the profits from the sale of this book to advance the work and preserve the legacy of Father Fred.