Publication of "In the Eye of the Beholder"

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Review of In The Eye of the Beholder: Five True Stories With a Wink, a Nod, and a Tear by T. D. Knopf-Bigelow

Autumn 2004
By Will Beauchemin

"You should write a book."

Perhaps in your life you've said that to someone whose life seems larger-than-life.  They've witnessed more challenges, humor, and human drama than most of us.  Such has been the life of Minnesota priest Monsignor Thomas Knopf-Bigelow.  

"You should write a book," his friends told him.

North Star Press has published a collection of five stories from the life of Monsignor Knopf-Bigelow, titled In The Eye of the Beholder: Five True Stories With a Wink, a Nod, and a Tear.  In this book, Bigelow tells us true-life stories that are in turns funny, tragic, and heart-warming.

The interesting life of Thomas D. Knopf-Bigelow began in southern Minnesota, where he was born and raised.  After a stint in the Air Force as a policeman, he pursued a career as an investigator, working on cases that included the first prosecution under the Minnesota Human Rights Law.  After many years, he realized that he had a calling to a greater public service.  He became a priest in the Old Catholic Church.

Today, Monsignor Knopf-Bigelow continues his interesting life as a servant of God.  He works as a sheriff's chaplain for Ramsey County, does investigative work for a humanitarian group based in El Salvador, and provides support to an orphanage in Vietnam.  He has served as an ordinary parish priest.  In a great demonstration of fearlessness, he has also been a high school driving instructor.

In his book, Bigelow introduces us to fascinating people and events that have intersected with his life.  They include a disturbed woman whose tragic death mirrored the sufferings of Christ; a violent bigot who finally meets justice; a Native American woman in search of her long-lost family; and complete strangers who came together one night to herd an ark's-worth of animals to safety when an animal shelter caught fire.  We also get a story about how Bigelow got his hands on a 500-pound bell from a 16th-century Spanish warship and installed it at an Air Force chapel (much to the surprise of the chaplain).  His stories are as varied as his life has been.

Anyone who knows Monsignor Bigelow knows that there are many more stories in him.  For now, he has given us five that will make us laugh, cry, and cheer.

In The Eye of the Beholder: Five True Stories With a Wink, a Nod, and a Tear by T. D. Knopf-Bigelow (St. Cloud, MN:  North Star Press, 2004).

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The Reverend Monsignor Thomas Knopf-Bigelow
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Original text and certain graphics and photographs 2006 Thomas D. Knopf-Bigelow.  All rights reserved. Certain graphics 2003 Riverdeep Interactive Learning Limited, and its licensors. All rights reserved. Certain graphics 2003 Hemera Technologies, and its licensors. All rights reserved. Maps 2006 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.  Website designed and created by Will Beauchemin, Minneapolis, Minnesota.