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Robert Ellsberg: Saints and Stories

Episode 58 of Messy Jesus Business podcast, with Sister Julia Walsh.

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“We’re shaped … and affected by what we love, what we care about, what we pay attention to, what we admire.” – Robert Ellsberg


“Our faith is rooted not in maxims, but in a narrative,” shares publisher and editor-in-chief of Orbis Books, Robert Ellsberg, in his conversation with Sister Julia in Episode 58 of the Messy Jesus Business Podcast. Other topics explored in the discussion include the meaning of holiness, the communion of saints and the mess of being a Christian disciple.

Robert’s own narrative has been a movement to peace and a path to spiritual writing that brought him to Dorothy Day, the Catholic Worker Movement and Sister Wendy Beckett; to the ethos of authorship about the lives of saints and their perspectives of the presence of God in all of us. Their humanity, partly through all the difficulties and happy accidents that gave them powerful presence in our lives, has been Ellsberg’s inspiration to write, in order to “spread… these seeds of mindfulness and compassion and awareness.”


Robert Ellsberg is the editor-in-chief and publisher of Orbis Books, where he has worked for 35 years. He spent 1975-80 working with Dorothy Day at the Catholic Worker, two years as managing editor of the paper; and he has edited Day’s selected writings, diaries, letters, and other work. Robert has written and edited 25 books, including six books on saints and holiness. For over 10 years he has written a daily entry, “Blessed Among Us” for “Give Us This Day” (Liturgical).

Robert’s most recent book is Dearest Sister Wendy…A Surprising Story of Faith and Friendship.

Dorothy Day’s Selected Writings, edited by Robert: https://orbisbooks.com/products/dorothy-day?_pos=4&_sid=e6af7dd2e&_ss=r

Robert’s essays in America Magazine: https://www.americamagazine.org/voices/robert-ellsberg

Follow Robert on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobertEllsberg

MESSY JESUS BUSINESS is hosted by Sister Julia Walsh. 

Produced and edited by Colin Wambsgans.

Email us at messyjesusbusiness@gmail.com



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