For Priests Who Leave Their Vocation, Re-Entry Can Be Difficult

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Many still believe but feel their worth lies elsewhere.

Many religious orders are struggling to attract people to serve as ministers or priests, and fewer young men enter the seminary each year. At the same time, the Catholic Church, for one, continues to lose priests through attrition, retirement or sometimes just a crisis of conscience. A recently published novel just takes on these tough realities unabashedly.

In his novel, "Late and Soon," one of Robert J. Hughes's characters deals with his life after leaving the priesthood. Frank has felt that while he was a believer, his decision to embark on a life of vocational work was not the right one for him. So he struggles to figure out his place in the world.

According to Hughes, “Frank is one of several characters in "Late and Soon" who confront their confusions in love. Since leaving the priesthood, Frank -- still a believer -- is unable to find happiness. He’s estranged from his brother, and wants to connect with his brother's ex-wife, Claire. So he travels to New York to see if she can help him break out of his shell, his solitude, his sense of having wasted his life.”

Novelist David Ebershoff ("The Danish Girl," "Pasadena" and other bestsellers) calls "Late and Soon" a novel rich with "emotional insight" and Robert J. Hughes a "writer of many talents, perhaps none greater than his ability to observe and render the truth." Robert J. Hughes, who is also a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, addresses many areas in his debut novel -- the need to make amends with one's family, the place of art in one's life, the business of commerce and culture. He can speak on all of these topics, from the fast-paced auction world to matters of public and private behavior – and always does so entertainingly.

Robert J. Hughes, who is also a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, is intimately familiar with the art market and the cultural world and is available to talk on these and the many other topics that "Late and Soon" explores.


Betsy Steve


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