‘Reiser’s Ramblings’ earn book honor

The late Rev. Bernard Reiser’s spiritual book, “Reiser’s Ramblings,” has earned an honorable mention in the 2012 Eric Hoffer Book Award Contest.This honor is a nationally recognized literary award that recognizes salient writing published by small publishers across the country over a variety of categories.

Books go through rigorous judging with dozens of titles within its category. Each winner is determined to be unique, worthy and well produced in all aspects of writing and publishing.

As quoted from The U.S. Review of Books website May 13, “Reiser’s Ramblings” – “A collection of weekly newsletter columns from the former pastor of… Epiphany Parish in Coon Rapids, this book is a mixture of humorous, sad, nostalgic and inspirational pieces.

“By turns thoughtful, provocative, or just plain funny, it is the kind of book one can sample, read and reread, or share stories from with family and friends. It is nicely illustrated with black and white photos and drawings.

“The columns are short, but memorable, and always provide something to think about or learn from. Never stuffy or preachy, Reiser has created an enjoyable reflection of life.”

Other literary acknowledgments “Reiser’s Ramblings” has received are finalist in The USA Best Books 2011, the Seal of Approval from The Catholic Writers Guild and a positive review and strong recommendation from the Midwest Book Reviews.

Over 3,400 books have been sold since its release in June 2010 and all profits from the sale are being used for Haitian relief efforts sponsored by Reiser Relief, Inc, founded by Reiser.

These “Ramblings” are a collection of the best columns that Reiser had written over the past three decades with everyday topics such as family, kindness, gratitude, prayer, helping others and staying focused on what’s important in life.

Artwork illustrations were by Minnesota professional portrait painter Mark Sanislo, a longtime friend of Reiser and parishioner of Epiphany Church.

The Eric Hoffer Award for short prose and books was established at the start of the 21st century as a means of opening a door to writing of significant merit. It honors the memory of American philosopher Eric Hoffer.

The winning stories and essays are published in Best New Writing, and the book awards are covered in the U.S. Review of Books.

Reiser was born in 1924 and was ordained to the priesthood June 4, 1949. His first assignment was to St. Mary of the Lake parish in White Bear Lake.

In 1964, Archbishop Leo Binz asked Reiser to start a parish in the quickly-growing Minneapolis suburb of Coon Rapids.

Under Reiser’s leadership, Epiphany grew to become one of the largest Catholic communities in the state.

While retired he volunteered his time to parishes in and around the Twin Cities.

Reiser Relief Inc., a volunteer run non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, was founded by Reiser, who was involved with Haiti outreach programs for over 13 years.

The mission of Reiser Relief, which is based in Coon Rapids, is to help the impoverished people of the Caribbean country of Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Reiser died Dec. 27, two days shy of his 87th birthday.

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