Fr Richard Leonard SJ was in St Paul’s bookshop by Westminster Cathedral on March 22 to promote his latest book Where the Hell is God?
The Australian Jesuit wrote the book after Tracey Leonard, his sister, was involved in a car crash which left her quadriplegic.
In the book Fr Leonard addresses the many questions people ask when faced with tragedy and suffering, and gives a theological response to the different comments and interpretations people express to those who are victims of such accidents.
This is a very moving and thought-provoking book, the title of which is taken from his mother’s initial question after Tracey’s accident: “Where the hell is God?”
During his talk Fr Leonard also made mention of Tracey’s own book, The Full Catastrophe, in which she tells her own story about her time as a nurse in India and Australia prior to her accident. Both books are available from St Paul’s Bookshop and website Stpauls.org.uk.
During his visit to London, Richard was interviewed by BBC Radio 2 for Aled Jones’s Good Morning Sunday programme and Premier Christian Radio. Fr Leonard is the director of the Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting. He studied arts education and theology at undergraduate level and has a Masters in systematic theology.
He did further graduate work at the London Film School in Covent Garden. In 2004 he graduated with a doctorate in cinema studies from Melbourne University writing on “The Mystical Gaze of the Cinema: the Films of Peter Weir”.
He lectures in cinema and theology at the United Faculty of Theology in Melbourne and has been a visiting lecturer in Australian cinema.
In 2006 Dr Leonard was a visiting professor at the Gregorian University in Rome. He has also written: Movies That Matter: Reading Film Through the Lens of Faith (Loyola Press, Chicago). In 2007 he published Preaching to the Converted Throughout the Sundays and Feastdays of the Year (Paulist Press, New York).