"To Heaven and Back tells the story of Fr. John Tourangeau's near death experience that took him to the threshold of heaven and back. That episode alone makes this book undeniably memorable. But what makes it important-and a gift for the reader-is that after this life-altering experience Fr. Tourangeau discovers that if he is truly to move from death back to life, he must deal with his own pain and brokenness, with the memories and fears that hold him bound, and with all the things that rob him of hope. In his discovery that he is called to be a "wounded healer," Fr. Tourangeau becomes a trustwor-thy spiritual companion and guide who reminds us that we find free-dom and peace only when we are not afraid to be the person that God's love summons us to be. Most of all, To Heaven & Back is a blessing because it is written with the heartfelt conviction that God always calls us to fullness of life."
FROM THE BOOK:
"While connecting me up to various machines and monitors and placing nitroglycerine tablets under my tongue, the doctor looked at me early on and said: "You waited too long to get here, sir." I was petrified. There was no immediate response on my part, only a deep sense of fear entombed by a completely paralyzed inner spirit. Much to my surprise, he spoke again: "Sir, you've waited too long to get here. You're not going to make it." And he continued: "If you believe in God, this is the time to make peace." In that very moment, I said to myself, "What do you mean, 'If you believe in God?' Of course I believe in God! I'm a man of faith and a Catholic priest!""
Meet Fr. John:
Fr. John Tourangeau, O. Praem., a Norbertine priest who had an afterlife experience following a major heart attack, emphatically states, "Heaven is for real!" Within this enlightening and hope-filled book, Fr. John weaves a powerful and dynamic tapestry of the Kingdom of God at hand through the exploration of Christian tradition, Sacred Scripture, Catholic teaching, as well as his own lived experiences. "While the fullness of heaven cannot be fully experienced in our life here on earth," Father explains, "we are able to more fully experience God's love for us through our relationships with others. For it is in and through these relationships that we draw closer to Christ and his promise for us."
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About the Author
Since 2012, John has been traveling around the country sharing his life story in a presentation entitled "Heaven: Is it for real?" From 2012-2015, over 10,000 people have attended more than 35 presentations; the success with which these presentations were received has resulted in the publishing of To Heaven & Back: The Journey of a Roman Catholic Priest by John Tourangeau and Travis Vanden Heuvel.
A thumbnail sketch of John's life as a Norbertine and priest includes service as a transitional deacon and newly ordained priest at Providence of God Parish (Chicago, IL), followed by a move to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, NM. There he served as Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Community (Albuquerque, NM), followed by pastorates at St. Gertrude Parish (Mora, NM), Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish (Clovis, NM), San Francisco de Asís Parish (Ranchos de Taos, NM), and St. Anne Parish (Albuquerque, NM). During those years John also served as Vicar Forane (Dean) and later as a member of the Presbyteral Council. Later, John would return to St. Norbert Abbey and serve as Vocation Coordinator and Pastor of St. Norbert College Parish.
John did his undergraduate studies at St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI. He holds a Master of Divinity Degree with Mission Specialization from Catholic Theological Union (CTU) in Chicago (1986), a Master of Social Work Degree (MSW) from New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas, NM (1997) and is currently a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the State of Wisconsin.
John also holds a Master of Business Administration Degree (MBA) from The University of Phoenix, Albuquerque, NM (2003), and is in the middle of a Ph.D. program in Organization Development.