Henri Nouwen was one of the most influential spiritual thinkers of the twentieth century. Born in the Netherlands, Nouwen was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest and trained as a psychologist. He spent much of his life in America, where he ministered and taught throughout the continent. He wrote wrote thirty-nine books, including such classics as The Return of the Prodigal Son and Life of the Beloved.
In addition to writing, Henri Nouwen was a great teacher. Over the course of his life, he was a popular professor at Notre Dame University, Yale Divinity School, and Harvard Divinity School. He was also an innovative psychologist who taught and ministered throughout the world, touching countless lives. After nearly two decades of teaching, Nouwen became a pastor at L’Arche Daybreak, a community for people with intellectual disabilities in Richmond Hill, Ontario. He ministered there from 1986 until his death in 1996.