Anthony de Mello
|Anthony de Mello|
4 September 1931|
Bombay, British India
|Died||2 June 1987
New York, New York
|Occupation||Jesuit priest, author|
|Known for||Spiritual writings and teachings
Anthony "Tony" de Mello (4 September 1931 – 2 June 1987) was an Indian Jesuit priest and psychotherapist. A spiritual teacher, writer and public speaker, De Mello wrote several books on spirituality and hosted numerous spiritual retreats and conferences. He continues to be known for his unconventional approach to the priesthood and his storytelling which drew from the various mystical traditions of both East and West.
Life and work
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De Mello was the oldest of five children born to Frank and Louisa née Castellino de Mello. He was born in Bombay, British India, on 4 September 1931. He was raised in a Catholic family and dreamed of one day joining the Jesuit order. As a teen, he entered the Society of Jesus in Bombay. He was ordained into the priesthood in March 1961.
De Mello was first attracted to the Jesuits for their strict discipline. Those who knew him during his earlier years in the order described him as somewhat conservative in his theology and reluctant to explore other religions.
De Mello's first published book, Sadhana – A way to God, was released in 1978. It outlined a number of spiritual principles and "Christian exercises in eastern form" inspired by the teachings of Saint Ignatius. Other books published during his lifetime include The Song of the Bird, One Minute Wisdom and Wellsprings. The first two were collections of stories and the last a collection of exercises similar to Sadhana.
In 1998, 11 years after de Mello's death, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the leadership of its Cardinal-Prefect, Joseph Ratzinger (who later became Pope Benedict XVI), conducted a review of de Mello's work and released a lengthy comment expressing their theological concerns. In particular, notification argued that de Mello believed, "Jesus is not recognized as the Son of God, but simply as the one who teaches us that all people are children of God". While the group showed appreciation for many of de Mello's writings, they determined some of his positions to be "incompatible with the Catholic faith". In response to the statement, the Indian magazine Outlook claimed it was an attempt by Rome to undermine the clergy in Asia and indicative of widening fissures between Rome and the Asian Church. The books are available in many Catholic bookshops in the West, but include the advisory: ‘The books of Father Anthony de Mello were written in a multi-religious context to help the followers of other religions, agnostics and atheists in their spiritual search, and they were not intended by the author as manuals of instruction of the Catholic faithful in Christian doctrine or dogma."
A number of de Mello's works were published posthumously as collections or based on notes or recordings of his conferences.
- Sadhana: A Way to God, 1978. ISBN 0-385-19614-8
- Wake Up! Spirituality for Today, 90 minutes of talks given before a live audience.
- The Song of the Bird, Image, 1982. ISBN 0-385-19615-6
- Wellsprings, 1984. ISBN 978-0-385-19617-8
- One Minute Wisdom, Image, 1985. ISBN 0-385-24290-5
- The Heart Of The Enlightened, Doubleday, 1987. ISBN 0-385-24672-2
- Taking Flight, Image, 1988. ISBN 0-385-41371-8
- Awareness, Image,1990. ISBN 978-0-385-24937-9
- Contact with God, Loyola Press, 1991. ISBN 0-8294-0726-X
- The Way to Love, 1992. ISBN 978-0-385-24939-3
- One Minute Nonsense, Loyola University Press, 1992 ISBN 0-8294-0742-1
- More One Minute Nonsense, Loyola University Press, 1993 ISBN 0-8294-0749-9
- Call to Love, Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 1996.
- Rooted in God, St Pauls, 1997.
- Awakening, Image, 2003. ISBN 978-0-385-50995-4
- A Way to God for Today, RCL Benziger, 2007
- Seek God Everywhere, Image, 2010 ISBN 978-0-385-53176-4
- The Prayer of the Frog Vol. 1 & Vol. 2. In the English printing, these are titled Taking Flight and The Heart of the Enlightened.
- de Mello, Bill (2013). Anthony Demello SJ: The Happy Wanderer. Orbis Books. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-62698-020-4.
- Kononenko, Igor (2010). Teachers of Wisdom. Dorrance Publishing. p. 344. ISBN 978-1-4349-5410-7.
- Nazareth, Malcolm. "Here and Now with Anthony De Mello". Archived from the original on 2009-02-21.
- Traub, George W. (editor) (2008). An Ignatian Spirituality Reader. Loyola Press. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-8294-2723-3.
- Wicks, Robert J. (1994). Handbook of Spirituality for Ministers, Volume 1. Paulist Press. p. 274. ISBN 978-0-8091-3521-9.
- Biography, by Bill deMello Archived 24 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- 02/12/2013 12:31 pm EST. "The Last 20th-Century Pope | Charles J. Reid, Jr". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. "Notification Concerning the Writings of Fr. Anthony de Mello, SJ". Retrieved 26 March 2017.
With the present Notification, in order to protect the good of the Christian faithful, this Congregation declares that the above-mentioned positions are incompatible with the Catholic faith and can cause grave harm.
- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. "Notification Concerning the Writings of Fr. Anthony de Mello, SJ". EWTN Global Catholic Network. Archived from the original on 15 November 2006. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
- "Gospel According To De Mello | Saira Menezes | Nov 16,1998". Outlookindia.com. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
- "About". Anthony de Mello Resource. 2007-10-20. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
- "CDF – Writings of Fr. De Mello, SJ". Ewtn.com. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Anthony de Mello|
- Tony de Mello, S.J.: A Short Biography, by Bill De Mello (brother)
- De Mello Spirituality Center website
- Online de Mello resource including videos and MP3s
- "Notification Concerning the Writings of Fr. Anthony de Mello, SJ"
- Spiritual Stories from Anthony de Mello
- Quotes by de Mello
- "Rediscovery of Life", a conference by de Mello in five parts
- "Remembering Anthony DeMello", Humankind Public Radio program recorded at a retreat held at Fordham University shortly before his death.