2020 Catholic Press Association first place award, memoir
Valerie Schultz almost stumbled into prison ministry, a happy accident of a beginning. Initially fearful of the scary people she'd meet and the dark place she'd be working, she found that some inmates were dangerous, but many were kind; some were mean and some were friendly; some were misogynistic and some were respectful; some were quiet and some were loud. In short, they were a lot like the non-incarcerated population.
As Schultz went from volunteering to working in a clerical position and then running a library on a yard, she learned to see the prisoners as human beings. They possessed all the quirks and gifts and flaws, the nobility and the sin, that define humanity-every single one of them a human being created and loved by God. It was no challenge to find God in all things in prison, because God was palpably everywhere.
In Overdue, Schultz shares what she learned and the grace she received during her fourteen years inside an American prison. Her experience and insights will transform how you see the people around you and the world we all share.
Valerie Schultz is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in Give Us This Day, America magazine, and in her regular column for the Bakersfield Californian. She is also the author of the book Closer: Musings on Intimacy, Marriage, and God. She and her husband Randy have four daughters.