January 16, 2014 Articles

Book Review: Camerado, I Give You My Hand

Perhaps this book will open some eyes toward prison reform.

By Dennis Owens

Maura Poston Zagrans
Camerado, I Give You My Hand: How a Powerful Lawyer-Turned-Priest Is Changing the Lives of Men Behind Bars
Image Imprint (Random House)

We read a large number of biographies: great judges, scientists, founding fathers, Civil War soldiers, and world leaders. Most of the subjects have died. This book is the life story of a living person. It is also the first biography we have read of a person we actually know. David T. Link taught us, inter alia, tax law at the University of Notre Dame. Our class named him our “best teacher.” Just as we graduated, he was named dean of Notre Dame Law School. He held that post for well over two decades. (The tenure of law deans is typically only a few years.) Besides his leadership work at the school, he found time to work with the homeless. His wife, Barb, suggested that he also visit prisons. He was surprised to learn how much impact he could have. About the time that he retired, his wife died. Mr. Link asked the bishop about becoming a deacon and doing prison ministry. The bishop suggested instead that he go to seminary and enter the priesthood. And that is what he did.

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