Minister and bestselling author to discuss finding hope amid grief

Community chaplain Kate Braestrup will give the 2016 Zerby Lecture at Bates. (Marti Stone).

Community chaplain Kate Braestrup will give the 2016 Zerby Lecture at Bates. (Marti Stone).

A New York Times bestselling author, law enforcement chaplain and Maine community minister, Kate Braestrup delivers the lecture Sacred Responses to Grief at Bates College at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15, in the Muskie Archives, 70 Campus Ave.

The annual Zerby Lecture is open to the public at no cost. For more information, please contact the Bates College Multifaith Chaplaincy at 207-786-8272 or

Braestrup is the author of the bestseller Here If You Need Me (Little, Brown and Company, 2007), praised by The Washington Post as “a superbly crafted memoir of love, loss, grief, hope and the complex subtleties of faith.”

The daughter of a foreign correspondent, Braestrup spent her childhood around the world, living in Algiers, New York City, Paris, Bangkok, Washington, D.C., and Maryland before moving to mid-coast Maine in 1986 when her husband joined the Maine State Police. Braestrup worked as a writer of both nonfiction and fiction, publishing essays and the novel Onion (Viking, 1990).

In 1996, Braestrup’s husband was killed in a car accident on duty, leaving her a widowed mother to four young children. Her husband had hoped to become a minister, and, inspired to realize that dream, Braestrup entered the Bangor Theological Seminary in 1997 and was ordained in 2004.

Since 2001, she has served as chaplain to the Maine Warden Service, partnering with search-and-rescue teams to provide guidance and comfort to the bereaved. Her writings often focus on the lessons she has learned from this work.

Braestrup’s publications include Marriage and Other Acts of Charity (Reagan Arthur Books / Little, Brown, 2010), Beginner’s Grace: Bringing Prayer to Life (Atria Books, 2010) and last year’s Anchor and Flares (Little, Brown and Company).

Sponsored by the Multifaith Chaplaincy, the Rayborn Lindley Zerby Lectureship on Contemporary Religious Thought was established in 1965 to honor Zerby, a former professor of religion and dean of the faculty at the college.

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