During his more than forty-year writing career, Paul has published twenty books. His articles been featured in the New York Times, The New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly. His documentary film on Thomas Merton is why popular author and television commentator, Fr. Jim Martin, entered the priesthood.

For the past ten years, however, and in between his lectures on religion, building orphanages in India (www.homeofhopeindia.org) and his busy writing schedule, Paul has, each Thursday, visited hospital rooms and – without prodding - offered Holy Communion to the most unsuspecting individuals - a young man dying of AIDS, an illegal immigrant, a hospital nurse who, as Paul says in his book, is “God’s hands and face to those at their most vulnerable.”

Paul enters their lives in a non-judgmental way and leaves them with an important message, “God’s love is universal, unconditional and is always present, especially in our moments of suffering and sorrow, and - at times - in the face of death.”

“I’ve seen some 5,000 people,” Wilkes said. “The book consists of vignettes, parables really, from that work.” Their stories are touching, Wilkes said, and even under the circumstances, a few are even quite funny. Holding God in My Hands: Personal Encounters with the Divine is both raw and beautiful and features some of Paul’s best writing to date.


Miles C. Daniels



For all inquiries, contact:

ISBN-13: 978-0764819452 • Hardcover August 2010 • Ligouri Publication


“The unheralded work of the eucharistic minister—the Catholic layperson who brings the consecrated host to the sick, the dying, and the homebound—is one of the most important ministries in the contemporary Church. In his new book, Paul Wilkes reminds us of the profound importance of this unique ministry, of the mysterious connections that link the “healthy” and the “sick” (and how those terms are often the opposite of what appearances indicate), and of the great bond that links us, the Body of Christ, to our loving God. It's not always easy, and the answers to ministerial problems aren't always clear (or without controversy), but Wilkes strives to be the most compassionate minister he can be to the Body of Christ.”

James Martin, SJ, best-selling author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life

“When a superbly gifted writer reflects on the mystery of suffering and the mystery of God's presence in the Eucharist, expect a blessing. In Holding God in My Hands, Paul Wilkes movingly captures the holy Communion we share in the humility of our common Lord, I am not worthy. These reflections on the hidden presence of Christ are balm for the sick and hope for us all.”

Rev. Donald B. Cozzens, author of The Changing Face of the Priesthood: A Reflection on the Priest's Crisis of Soul and writer-in-residence, John Carroll University

“Holding God in My Hands by Paul Wilkes is one of the best books I have read on the important work of eucharistic ministers who visit hospitals or other facilities that nurse patients with physical and psychological illnesses. Wilkes offers some splendid approaches to this vital work in the Church. This book deserves a wide audience for all who come in contact with people having health problems.”

Brother Patrick Hart, OCSO Monk of Gethsemani and Thomas Merton's last secretary and editor

To read an excerpt from the book, 
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Personal Encounters with the Divine

by Paul Wilkes

For inquiries:


Paul Wilkes is one of America's most respected writers on religious belief and personal spirituality. He is the author of twenty books, and the host, writer, director or producer of seven PBS documentaries. His most recent book, In Due Season: A Catholic Life, was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of 2009's 100 outstanding books.

Paul lectures across the country about the role of religious belief in individual lives as well the place and impact of religion in public life. As a commentator on religious issues, he has appeared on all major television networks. His book, In Mysterious Ways: The Death and Life of a Parish Priest, was a Book of the Month Oub selection, and won a Christopher Award. In addition to MERTON, which aired on PBS, Paul Wilkes was host, writer, and associate producer of the acclaimed television series, SIX AMERICAN FAMILIES, which won a duPont-Columbia award for documentary excellence. He has written for numerous national magazines, such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic and The New York Times Magazine, and is a former reporter for the Baltimore Sun and the Boulder (Colorado) Daily Camera.

From a man dying with AIDS, to an illegal immigrant sick and far from home, to a woman who feels guilty and beyond God’s love, each Thursday, Paul Wilkes entered their lives and left them with a simple message, “Gods love is universal, unconditional, and is always present, especially in our moments of sorrow and suffering, and - at times - in the face of death.”

Jemila Ericson from WHQR in Wilmington, NC, interviews Paul Wilkes about his latest, “Holding God in My Hands.” The interview is included here in two parts:


Interview on WHQR

Article in Raleigh’s News + Observer