To start with the writing: I am the author, co-author, or editor/compiler of 10 published books, all having to do with religion and spirituality. They are:
Cooking with the Bible: Biblical Food, Feasts, and Lore (co-author with The Rev. Rayner W. Hesse, Jr.)
100 Names of Mary: Stories and Prayers
Be Mindful of Us: Prayers to the Saints
At Prayer with the Saints
Advent and Christmas with the Saints
Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Padre Pio
Padre Pio: In My Own Words (winner of the Whitney Radio Author of the Year 2000 Award)
Pope John XXIII: In My Own Words
Pope John Paul II: In My Own Words
We Thank You, God, for These: Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets (co-author with The Rev. Rayner W. Hesse, Jr.)
I have also published a number of pamphlets in the "An Hour with..." series; these are devotional pieces and are centered on the spirituality of a particular saint. Those I have written about include Saint Francis, Saint Therese of Lisieux, Saint Patrick, Saint Katharine Drexel, Pierre Toussaint, Blessed Faustina Kowalska, Saint Padre Pio, Saint John Neumann, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Hildegard of Bingen, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, and Mary the Mother of Jesus. (In case it's not obvious by now, I've spent a lot of time studying the saints of the Roman Catholic tradition.)
I have also written book reviews for www.nimblespirit.com (run by my friend Michael Wilt, who has also graciously "published" some of my photos on his site).
As for photography, I have been photographing nature for more than 20 years, from the glaciers of Alaska to the beaches of St. Thomas. My photos have appeared on the covers and in the pages of books such as Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, Shrines of the Holy Land, Marian Shrines of the United States, Sadhana, Behold the Cross, and Affirmations from the Heart of God, and in magazines such as Bugle, Turkey Call, and Liguorian. My photos have appeared on exhibit at the prestigious Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland; the Hudson River Wildlife Festival in Kingston, New York; the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s In Celebration of the Bay in Annapolis, Maryland; and The Loft's Annual "Coming Out" Exhibit at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center in White Plains, New York.
What do I hope to do with this blog? Essentially, I'd like to work on combining my nature photography with my spirituality. Ideally, I'd love to publish a book of my photography someday, but until then, I'll "publish" my photos here, along with my thoughts about the Divine in nature, and the nature of the Divine. I hope that readers find my thoughts not only interesting but challenging, even provocative, if not provoking. And if we can develop a dialogue that recognizes the divine spark in every living being, even better!
I'll start off with one of my published photos, one that speaks to me of the tranquillity to be found in quietly contemplating the divine beauty of the natural world. Hopefully, it will also be a reminder to those of us now dealing with the frigid arctic cold that life is an eternal cycle and that spring will be here before we know it.
All photographs are copyright 2007 by Anthony F. Chiffolo and may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the photographer.