2012 Book Award


2012 Book Award
"Heart of a Priest" wins a 2012 Book Award from the Catholic Press Association of U.S. and Canada

5 July 2012 - Traverse City, MI: On June 22, The Catholic Press Association of United States and Canada (CPA) named The Heart of a Priest a winner of a 2012 Catholic Book Award. The book, by Traverse City author Paul LaPorte, is a biography of Father Edwin Frederick, “Father Fred.” Monsignor Edwin Thome of Traverse City wrote the foreword for the work.

This biography is told through stories from family, friends, patients, parishioners, volunteers, and clients of the foundation he started when the Traverse City State Hospital closed. In their announcement, the CPA wrote: “The Catholic faith endures in the hearts and hands of individuals. This is the moving story of a priest who quietly brought Christ’s love and mercy to the mentally disabled, sick and poor, and has been compared to Mother Teresa.”

“We are honored with this international award,” said LaPorte, “and we owe so much to the inspiration and story of Father Fred and to the people who have supported this project. The award is really gratifying for me and my family.” LaPorte also expressed his thanks to Monsignor Thome, for his collaboration with him on the book.

The book is a plainly written, inspirational story of an ordinary man who was born in Grand Rapids in 1925 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1925 in Grand Rapids. As a young priest, he was on a fast track to a leadership position in the Church. In 1959, at age 34, he was unexpectedly assigned to a chaplaincy position at Traverse City State Hospital, a state psychiatric facility. Although deeply disappointed with the assignment, he accepted it and served there for over thirty years. Not only did he thrive in those unusual surroundings, he flourished. Through the remainder of his life, this humble, ordinary man helped thousands of people find their way to God through his unusual ministry; and he ignited a sense of volunteerism, compassion, and social justice in northern Michigan.

LaPorte worked for over three years, researching and writing the book. His company, Mission Communications published the book in September 2011. After recovering the publication costs, LaPorte and his wife, Carol, have been donating 100% of the profits from the sale of the book to enhance the work and preserve the legacy of Fr. Fred. “We are making donations directly to individuals with a specific need, exactly the way Father Fred would,” explained LaPorte.

The oversized, hardbound book is 240-pages and includes nearly eighty photos. Retail price is $29.95. There is also a Collectors Limited Edition of 100 books that are leather-bound, numbered, and signed by the author and Msgr. Thome. The price of the limited edition is $100. Books are available at Horizon Books in Traverse City, Cadillac, and Petoskey or through the book’s web site.

For more information on the book, visit www.FatherFredBook.com, or call (231) 946-8232.

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