Hidden in the Rubble
by Gerard Thomas Straub

Orbis Books has published Mr. Straub’s book, Hidden in the Rubble: A Haitian Pilgrimage to Compassion and Resurrection. Mr. Straub was in Port-au-Prince just weeks before the earthquake, and returned just days after the earthquake. The experience had a profound and lasting impact on his life. During Holy Week of 2010, Mr. Straub returned to Haiti for a third time in order to try to better understand widespread death and the massive destruction in the context of the death and resurrection of Christ, and that week became, for him, the heart and soul of the book.

The book can be ordered from Orbis Books online or via phone. Their toll-free number is 800.258.5838.

“Gerry Straub is a story-teller with a camera. In an era when news has become so atomized and fast-paced it is almost impossible to get a sense of the whole, Straub engages two great risks. He takes us to see what much of the world would rather ignore, and he does it slowly and reflectively. The risks pay off here in a kind of meditation on Haiti that is simultaneously brutally frank and filled with the hope of religious imagination.”

– Tom Roberts
National Catholic Reporter

“Gerard Straub’s harrowing account of his voluntary descent into the agony of Haiti’s suffering – his choosing to become lost with the lost – disallows his reader to remain comfortable on the sidelines. While this book details the courage of the many who are coming to Haiti’s aid, Straub’s personal discovery of the miracle hidden under an earthquake’s rubble – the compassion for one another in extremis by Haitian’s themselves – is the true spiritual epiphany arising out of this book’s careful rendering of an unimaginable tragedy for our time and our world.”

-Jonathan Montaldo
Author of Bridges to Contemplative Living with Thomas Merton


Thoughts of a Blind Beggar
Reflections from a Journey to God

by Gerard Thomas Straub
blind-beggar-cover-orbis.jpg“We are all blind beggars reaching out with empty hands to a God who seems beyond our reach, far beyond our ability to comprehend.”

In these brief, poetic meditations, Gerard Thomas Straub probes the depths of his soul and the heart of humanity on a search for God. Thoughts of a Blind Beggar grew out of his own improbable journey, inspired by the example of St. Francis, which led from the glamour of Hollywood to the worst slums on earth. It was a journey from riches to rags, from unbelief to faith, from hollow success to a more profound happiness than he had previously imagined. But it also inspired a new calling, to awaken others to the reality of poverty, and to inspire compassion and solidarity. In this book, Gerry Straub graciously shares his reflections on a journey to God…a journey, he readily admits, that is far from over. Thoughts of a Blind Beggar opens our eyes and hearts to the love of God. It is a book to be savored, a companion for our own journey.

Gerard Thomas Straub, an award-winning author, photographer, and filmmaker, is founder and president of the San Damiano Foundation, which produces films celebrating the spirituality of St. Francis and concern for the poor, social justice, prayer, and the integrity of creation. He has written and directed thirteen documentary films, including “When Did I See You Hungry?” His book, The Sun and Moon over Assisi won a first place Catholic Press Association Book Award for spirituality.

“Gerry Straub underwent a spectacular conversion, from success as an atheistic Hollywood TV producer into the downwardly mobile world of St. Francis and Christian discipleship. Now a groundbreaking documentary filmmaker on behalf of the world’s poorest, Straub shares with us the contemplative side of that Gospel journey. Like the writings of Thomas Merton, Carlo Carretto, and Henri Nouwen, Thoughts of a Blind Beggar needs to be kept close by for early morning or late night meditation. It stirs up new insights into our own poverty, our own need for prayer, vision, and God’s healing touch, and pushes us forward on our own journey to God.”

-John Dear, SJ
Author of Living Peace, Transfiguration and The Questions of Jesus

“Gerard Straub’s transparency will bring our affluent and insulated hearts to their knees. Thoughts of a Blind Beggar provokes prayer and instigates action to repair our world’s brokenness. A profoundly simple but dangerously honest book destined to change lives.”
-Jonathan Montaldo
The Merton Institute for Contemplative Living

“Open this book to any page, and you will find the wisdom of one who has been illuminated by his care and love for the poor and the marginal. Straub is a blind man who sees with the eyes of the Christ he has seen in other human beings.”

-Murray Bodo, OFM
Author of A Journey and a Dream

“Gerard Straub has shown us the Christ of the Poor in a number of films but in this work he has turned to words. What both Straub’s films and his words amply demonstrate is that he has learned a profound lesson from the example of his beloved Saint Francis of Assisi: the powers of the imagination can be shaped by the love of Christ and those powers can radiate to others.”
-Lawrence S. Cunningham
John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology
The University of Notre Dame

The Sun and Moon Over Assisi
A Personal Encounter with Francis and Clare

by Gerard Thomas Straub

The Sun and Moon Over Assisi won first place in the hardcover spirituality book category in the annual Catholic Press Awards sponsored by The Catholic Press Association. The critique published in the June 2001 edition of “The Catholic Journalist” said:“This book is an invitation to listen to a seductive story of how this man, who had walked away from God, got ‘pulled’ back, not simply into a relationship with God, but into the mystery of God, led and lured by a guide who lived 800 years ago. You stay riveted to this beautifully written book, literally walking on the pilgrimage undertaken by Gerard Straub, feeling, as he comes to feel, an earth and all in it vibrating with holiness, transcending time, with all of us linked in unexplainable ways. The almost 600 pages of this book put a spotlight on the incredible circle designed by God that we call, boldly, the Communion of Saints.”The same organization awarded the book Third Place in the history/biography category, saying:“A surprisingly gripping tale of one person’s modern journey of faith intertwined with insights about the life and times of Francis and Clare of Assisi. A modern-day pilgrimage to Assisi is made all the more meaningful by countless quotations and comments from many of the best writings about these two thirteenth-century saints and spiritual masters.”

“This is a masterful work.”“This book is enchanting.”“…the book is compelling and hard to put down.”“The book is a spiritual tour-de-force…”

“…a profoundly human pilgrimage for the 21st (or any) century.”

“I believe this book will become a classic.”

“There is spiritual treasure on almost every page.”

“…a wandering and unfolding book that reveals deeper layers with every turn of page.”

“…a potent and powerful devotional work…”

“…perfect as a devotional for the liturgical seasons of advent and lent.”

“…an unlikely spiritual experience.”

“…a deeply moving journal of faith and pilgrimage.”

“… a primer on the art of Christian pilgrimage.”

“…moves with a storyteller’s charm…”

“Certain parts of the book radiate incandescently.”

“As I finished reading the book, I wanted to begin it again.”

“…an extraordinary, life-transforming book!”

“This is one of the most fascinating devotional books that I have read….”

“…a compelling account of his soul’s journey…”

“…a book to be savoured…”

“….a seductive story…you stay riveted…beautifully written…”

“[Straub] moves back and forth between the twentieth century and the thirteenth century
with the ease and magic of a filmmaker.”

“…I didn’t want it to end.”

“Straub is so engaging that I am finding myself getting up
a little earlier most mornings in order to add a dozen or
two pages of this book to my devotional reading.”
“…a rich compendium of spiritual wisdom…”

“…a Confessio in the manner of Augustine…”

“It’s a book to savor and to dip into from time to time…”

“…a dazzling…collage: history, biography, travelogue, memoir, theology,
aphorism, musing, excerpts from a personal journal – all held together by
energy and enthusiasm…”

“…an artful compendium of just about everything one would want to know
about Francis and Clare; about Assisi’s art and people and culture…”


When Did I See You Hungry?
by Gerard Thomas Straub

When Did I See You Hungry? is a photographic and textual meditation on the plight of the poor, telling the poignant, heartbreaking story of the homeless and poor while challenging and encouraging us to respond to the hungry among us.

Drawn by the values and example of Francis of Assisi, filmmaker and author Gerard Straub spent months living among the poor of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, Toronto, Rome, Nairobi, Brazil, India, the Philippines, and Jamaica. “Armed only with a pen and a 35-mm camera,” he listened to their stories, photographing the men, women and children who live desperate lives of poverty and hunger.

“A beautiful and wrenching meditation on the poor…comprised of Straub’s 250 striking and very intimate black-and-white photographs and his compelling words.”

-Helene Slesserav-Jamir
Sojourners Magazine

4 Responses to “Books”

  1. 1 Juan Albert September 15, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    I recently completed your book The Sun and Moon over Assisi and was truly inspired by your writing. You took the reader like myself to Assisi to experience the life of St. Francis. For those of us like myself, attempting to rediscover the true meaning of life, your book brought enormous light. Thank you.

  2. 2 Barbara January 4, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    I was a Franciscan sister for eleven years. Nearing the end of that time I came across your book The Sun and Moon Over Assisi. However, I had such sadness in my life then that reading anything about Francis or Clare or Jesus for that matter brought even more sadness. But I have now found great peace in my life, realized I would always be a follower of Francis and beloved of God. It has been about five years since I left and I remembered your book and asked for it for Christmas. I’m only on pg. 72 and am taking my time because my heart gets full and needs time to empty into the rest of me. I love how honestly you share about your life. I’m grateful your search for God never stopped…even when you thought it did. I am enjoying the quotes on your blog as well. pax et bonum

  3. 3 sblanch November 19, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Hi Gerry, I am trying to reach you for a radio interview. Can you please contact me. Susan Blanch WCCO Radio in Mpls., MN 612-408-1103 or sblanch@cbs.com Thanks.

  4. 4 Jenny Boyack August 26, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    I too have just completed “The Sun and Moon over Assisi” and could happily go back to page 1 and read it all over again. Thank you Gerry for your beautiful and honest account of finding God again – it has encouraged me in my own prayer life and challenged me about the allure and danger of busyness. May you continue to be blessed.
    Jenny (from New Zealand)

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