Character in Real Life - One-Minute Testimonials

PATIENCE – A One-Minute Testimonial Announcement

Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Contributed by B. E. Tumbleson
Librarian, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, Cincinnati, OH

August 11, 2001


Henri J. M. Nouwen, 1932-1996, was a Dutch Roman Catholic priest, theologian, psychologist, educator, and author. He achieved international recognition in his early years by teaching at Notre Dame, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Utrecht. By life’s end, he had written more than 30 books. During his last ten years, Nouwen served as priest in residence at L’Arche Daybreak Community for the mentally impaired in Toronto, Canada. In all these pursuits, Nouwen demonstrated patience toward self and others. He accepted difficult situations whether academic, psychological, or physical in nature. To teach/mentor students is a long process of growth and development wherein one does not necessarily see the fruit of one’s labor. To write is a long process, transforming life experience to creative idea to final draft to published work. To care for the profoundly retarded is a long process. The patient Nouwen needed two hours to prepare Adam who was unable to talk, walk, or dress himself to start each day. Nouwen grew in humility and love. He steadfastly sought communion with God. He served a wide spectrum of humanity. He was transformed through his journey of “downward mobility”, becoming more like Jesus. Nouwen’s life is a lesson in patience in action.



This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.