Speaking with Jim Towey
All Home Care Matters was honored to welcome a distinguished guest, Mr. Jim Towey.
Jim Towey was a trusted advisor and personal friend of Mother Teresa of Calcutta for twelve years and did the first reading at her Mass of Canonization in Saint Peter’s Square. He headed the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives under George W. Bush and served on his senior staff.
Jim’s career spans the presidency of two Catholic colleges for thirteen years, a seven-year stint as a US Senate staffer, and the leadership of Florida’s 40,000-employee health and human services agency. In 1996, with Mother Teresa’s encouragement, he founded the nonprofit advocacy organization Aging with Dignity and created the Five Wishes advance directive, which has sold over 40 million copies and is used in all fifty states.
Towey met his wife, Mary, in Mother Teresa’s Washington, DC, AIDS home, and they have five children and three grandchildren. He continues to provide pro bono legal services for the Missionaries of Charity. His book, To Love and Be Loved: A Personal Portrait of Mother Teresa, was published by Simon and Schuster in September 2022.
What are they saying about “To Love and Be Loved: A personal portrait of Mother Teresa?”
“Jim Towey’s To Love and Be Loved: A Personal Portrait of Mother Teresa is the loveliest book I’ve read in recent months, rich in reflection on contemporary sanctity and including one of the Five Funniest Catholic Stories Ever.”
— George Weigel, First Things
“Towey recounts the hours Mother Teresa spent daily in deep prayer as well as the cheerfulness and compassion with which she served people in crushing poverty…his retelling of his beloved friend’s persistent dark night of the soul makes the reader want to comfort her…Readers familiar with Mother Teresa’s biography will find fresh meaning in Towey’s account of her impact on his spiritual journey. Those unfamiliar with her life story will appreciate his accessible and gripping introduction.”
— America Jesuit Review, America Magazine
“To Love and Be Loved: A Personal Portrait of Mother Teresa is a powerful “white pill,” masterfully weaving together vignettes from Towey’s own life with the arc of the Albanian nun pursuing the will of God.”
— Nora Kenny, The Washington Free Beacon
“Towey portrays Mother Teresa in trademark sandals and sari, and also as a human who experienced loneliness, wrestled with doubts, and loved sweets…This personal portrait is by turns autobiographical, biographical, and devotional. Especially moving are the stories of Mother Teresa’s vivid calling through a vision, her dark night of the soul, and her final decline.”
“Though Towey’s personal, transformative relationship with Mother Teresa forms the central theme, he also offers a fascinating inside look into Mother Teresa’s daily life…Inspiring and joyful.”
— Kirkus Review