Camerado, I Give You My Hand: How a Powerful Lawyer-Turned-Priest Is Changing the Lives of Men Behind Bars is one of those books that tells an incredible personal story. Author Maura Poston Zagrans has brought to the readers the moving story of Father David Link. From lawyer, to college dean, father, widower and now priest. It is a story that has to be read to be believed.
Maura takes the reader through the incredible life story of Father Dave in this well written and easily read volume. You will read about his work and career successes as a lawyer. During his time as a College Dean you will see the man’s compassion in the telling of the story about a young student that would do anything to attend Notre Dame. Heartbreak is also an early part of Dave Link’s life when he and his wife Barbara experienced the pain of the loss of a child.
It becomes evident throughout the book that Father Dave has a deep running compassion for his fellow man. This evidenced by his work with the homeless and his part in the establishment of a shelter. The most amazing story related to this stage of his life was the homeless man he aided one night who was obviously drunk and had the early stages of frostbitten feet. This is a story that must be read so I will not spoil it for you in this review. Trust me…it’s unbelievable!
At the urging of his wife Barbara, Dave next turned his attention to prisoners. His compassion for those behind bars and his love for these men would eventually pull Dave out from the darkest moment of his life. On Nov. 1, All Saints Day, 2003 his dear wife Barbara lost her battle with ovarian cancer. His grief was so deep that their children thought they would lose their father as well as their mother. Ultimately though, Dave Link became Father Dave as he entered the priesthood. His love and compassion for the men behind bars saved Father Dave and righted his ship. In a testament to how deeply he cared for the inmates at Indian State Prison upon his ordination to the priesthood, father Dave help one of his three Masses of Thanksgiving at the prison.
What you realize while reading the book is covered nicely in the following quote by Father Jim MacDonald. “When I arrived at the Law School, the stories were legendary of Dean Link reaching out to people who were suffering in some way. But throughout his entire life, there has been a consistency of focus that moves from one sphere to another. He worked for the homeless. He worked for the Law School. Now he’s a priest, and he’s working for prisoners and the criminal justice system. They all hold together in a concern for people who are in difficult straits. Even before, when Barbara was alive, he had the same concerns as he has now. He is all of one character.”
Father Dave’s guiding philosophy itself reveals much about this man. “Who we are and what we have accomplished in our lives is not what will be discussed when we pass from life to afterlife, What will matter most of all are how many others we bring along with us to the gates of heaven.”
This book is a genuine story of human compassion and a modern day example of how one person can truly make a difference. In closing get this book, turn off the negative nightly news and read a story about faith, hope and love. Read the story of Father David Link.
I received a copy of this book for this review from Image Catholic Books.