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A Long Retreat: In Search of a Religious Life

This memoir tells the story of one man's search for his religious calling - a search that led him into the Jesuit order, to the Dominican Republic and central Europe, to Moscow and the South Bronx, and finally out of the priesthood and into married life with a woman whose search for God coincided with his own. In 1990 Andrew Krivak - poet, yacht rigger, ocean lifeguard, student of the classics - entered the Society of Jesus, which trains Catholic men to be priests who work "in the world" but aspire to live "in the order" forever. The heart of Jesuit training is the Long Retreat, thirty days of solitude, silence, and prayer in which the Jesuit novice reflects on his own experiences in light of the Gospels, testing his desire for the priesthood. For Krivak, eight years of Jesuit formation turned out to be a long retreat in its own right, as he tested all his desires - for poetry, for travel, for independence, for love - against his pledge to do all "for the greater glory of God.