NEW: 'Give Me your Heart: Preparing for Eternal Life' excerpts from the writings of Charles Rich edited by Ronda which is displayed on this web-site as a booklet. This is an ideal book for those of you who like short passages on spirituality to meditate on and to give to friends not likely to read long books. It is arranged by state of the reader's soul such as "when you feel disgusted, resentful, anxious, etc."
NOTE: This book is now only available as a free e-book on Ronda Chervin's own website - click here to view
Friends of Charles Rich has been devised by Ronda Chervin, his biographer, and is sponsored by disciples Alex and Joan Kondracki. Friends of Charles Rich will be a meeting place for old and new friends and readers of Charlie (as everyone who knew him called him) who want to know more about him, about results of prayers asking for his intercession, and want to contribute testimonials or follow writings and conferences since his death.
After this first long set of pages, additions will be made from time to time. Copies will be sent by snail mail to those who are not on the web.
Who Was Charlie Rich?
One of the most fascinating Jews who became Catholics of all times was Charles Rich (1899-1998). Born in Hungary in a Jewish village similar to the one in Fiddler on the Roof, Charles was noticed by the rabbis as an extraordinarily religious boy. He loved to stay in the forests to pray alone. His father joined one of the many waves of Jews who went to America to seek better opportunities. After establishing himself in New York City, he sent for the family. This was the beginning of a very dark time for Charlie. He found it impossible to be close to God in the teeming city and among the strict legalistic rabbis he had to study with. Eventually he lost his faith. He worked as a waiter and went every day for 8 hours to the 42nd St. public library searching world literature, philosophy and religion for the God he had lost. Eventually he fell into despair and tried to commit suicide. Three times he tried; three times he failed, being rescued the last minute.
Feeling even more of a failure, one day he went into a Catholic Church. From a painting on the wall, Jesus spoke to him directly, in his heart, telling him that He was God and to trust in him. Instructed by the Jesuits, Charlie became a Catholic and then a lay contemplative, spending hours and hours of the day rapt in prayer. Catholics seeking a deeper prayer life were attracted to him, including Jewish converts such as myself.