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In Memory of John Kirvan, 1932-2012: Renowned Author, Respected Colleague

March 1, 2012

John Kirvan, author of twenty-one books with Ave Maria Press and Sorin Books, entered eternal life on Monday, February 27, 2012, after a long illness. John had turned eighty years old just two days prior to his death at a hospice center in Palm Springs, CA, where he lived.

John began his association with Ave Maria Press in 1995 with the Thirty Days with a Great Spiritual Teacher series, which he conceived and developed. Over eleven years there were seventeen books in the series, including the most popular titles on Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Avila, and Francis of Assisi. Translated into several languages, many books in the series remain in print today. John also authored a three-book series drawing on the wisdom of the mystics of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam titled God Hunger, Raw Faith, and Silent Hope. He was instrumental in the launch of the Sorin Books imprint at Ave Maria Press in 2000, and he served as its primary acquisitions editor until his retirement in 2004.

John was born February 25, 1932, in Ontario, Canada. He was ordained a Paulist priest on May 1, 1958. His first book, Restless Believers, was published in 1966 and became a bestseller for Paulist Press. As an editor at Paulist Press he was part of the team that launched of The Classics of Western Spirituality series. Later, as an editor at Winston Press, he worked closely with Richard McBrien to develop his work Catholicism.

John is remembered fondly by his friends at Ave Maria Press and the words with which he would often say goodbye remain in our hearts: “Peace and fortitude!”

Robert M. Hamma
Editorial Director


1 George P. LeBlanc

March 1, 2012
John touched the lives of many through his friendship and his writings. We are blessed to have him in our lives now and always. It is a privilege to call him friend and classmate as a Paulist and as an Alumnus of the Paulists. We love you, Frank. Our plan is to "meet merrily in Heaven".

2 Richard Dahl

March 1, 2012
Thank you for a well deserved tribute and remembrance for a truly special and wonderful human being, John Kirvan.

3 Lisa McArthur

March 9, 2012
I just want to say John Kirvan is going to be miss very much . I am his niece , i have most all his books they always cheer me up when i was down .

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