Marquette University News Release

Catholic writer to share how he found his vocation

November 2, 2009

Author and Marquette alumnus Paul Wilkes will present “The Unlikely Making of a Catholic Writer” on Monday, Nov. 16, at 4 p.m., in room 001 of Cudahy Hall, 1313 W. Wisconsin Ave. The free, public program will be followed by a book signing and reception.

A nationally known author on religious belief and spirituality, Wilkes has written 20 books and numerous magazine articles. His most recent book, “In Due Season: A Catholic Life,” is an autobiographical piece about his struggle to find his vocation and faith.

After graduating from Marquette in 1960 with a degree in journalism, Wilkes worked at a canning factory before enlisting in the Navy, where he served as a communication officer for three years on a destroyer. He began his writing career at a newspaper in Boulder, Colo., and then moved to Baltimore. After a year at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, he began pitching story ideas about “extraordinary ordinary people” to magazines, which led to an opportunity to host and write the award-winning PBS television series, “Six American Families.” He has written articles for The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, America and Commonweal.  

In addition to his public presentation, Wilkes will talk to Marquette classes about social justice issues and his role in Home of Hope, an orphanage in Kerela, India. After getting involved with the orphanage in 2006, he founded a U.S. organization to support it, raising funds and recruiting volunteers to work and teach there. Home of Hope was started in 1987 by the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, an international Catholic Christian order of nuns, dedicated to serving disadvantaged youth.  

Media wishing to speak to Wilkes should contact Andy Brodzeller in the Office of Marketing and Communication, at (414) 288-0286 or

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