MANILA -- Ibarra M. Gonzalez, the son of late National Artist NVM Gonzalez, has shared his life's journey before and after the priesthood and his struggle for discernment in his new book called "Confessions of an Ex-Jesuit."
Gonzalez spent years in the Society of Jesus where he led several posts as vocation director, chair of the Ateneo de Manila University Department of Communication, retreat director, Sunday priest, and head of 2 nongovernment organizations.
"What did God want of me? … I was not in trouble with the institution; I never had problems with my superiors or fellow Jesuits. I was a very happy Jesuit, tired and overworked, yes, but that was no reason to leave 35 years of happy religious life behind and move to an uncertain future," he wrote in the book's introduction.
Fr. Jose de Leon, SJ of the Ateneo, describes the book as "a stimulating reading that gives an appropriate mirror of human existence in our most turbulent times."
Critic and communication professor Isagani Cruz of De La Salle University, said Gonzalez also follows in the footsteps of his father.
"Nim Gonzalez is both NVM Gonzalez and not. Nim has the same deceptive simplicity of expression, the same effortless profundity, the same genuine concern for the reader. But he is also Nim and not NVM. As we follow Nim recollecting the twists and turns of his life on earth, we sense a presence that cannot be natural," Cruz said.
He added: "Nim is his father’s son, but more precisely, his Father’s son."
The launch of the book's hardcover edition will be held on Sunday, December 8, at the Ateneo. A Mass will first be heard at the Church of Gesu at 3 p.m. followed by the program and book signing at 4 p.m. at the Faber Hall in Loyola Schools.
The book launch will be streamed live via San Anselmo Publications, Inc.'s Facebook page.
Copies of the book can be purchased at the book launch, and online via order at www.sananselmopress.net and through its Facebook page. The book will also be available at bookstores after the launch.