The Open Gate of Mercy by Fr. Joseph Maier


Title: The Open Gate of Mercy
Stories from Bangkok’s Klong Toey slum
Author: Fr. Joseph Maier
ISBN: 978-616-7503-14-1
Published: 2012
Format: Mass Paperback, 230 pages
Price: Baht595 / USD15.95

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The Open Gate of Mercy is a collection of real-life stories of the poorest of the poor who share our City of Angels. We have seen many of them on Bangkok streets, but we often pass them by without taking any serious thought about who they are.

School-aged children trying to sell flower garlands we try to ignore when we are stuck in our car in a traffic jam. Old women and men hastily pushing their junk carts trying to quickly cross a busy road. Street vendors who sell us fruits, lunches, snacks, t-shirts, knick-knacks, etc. Who are they? Where do they come from? What are their families like? What happiness, sorrows, hopes or fears occupy them in their lives? The answers to these questions most of us are blissfully unaware.

In nearly 40 individual stories, Father tells us about these people that we see but never really know. The stories Father Joes recounts also tell us about their families and their community, and others like them whom we ordinarily never have any chance to meet. Each story stretches our worldview and transports us to a universe where we witness the daily lives of slum residents. Father Joe guides us on a journey through the heart of a community that he’s devoted most of his life in serving. Always with love and respect, he shows us that in spite of a life devoid of privilege, everyone possesses an inner dignity.


“Always with love and respect, he shows us that in spite of a life quite devoid of privilege, everyone pursues an inner dignity. He writes vividly observed but deeply felt vignettes of what he sees around, and the people he loves in all their very human variety. This is a vital and worthwhile book.”
The Irish Catholic

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