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Book dedicated to local priest

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By Stevie Lowery

Father Ivo Cecil is remembered fondly in Marion County as a longtime, loving pastor of St. Augustine Catholic Church in Lebanon.
He’s also remembered for reaching out to the community at large, and advocating for bringing the prison to Marion County, a controversial position at the time, but one likely born out of his previous work in prison ministry.
His prison ministry is what inspired a recently published book, “Inside With Felons: A Chaplain’s Story.”
The author, Paul R. Jordan of Bardstown, had gotten to know Father Cecil before his death on Jan. 30, 2012, and Father Cecil had shared a manuscript with him that he wrote, which focused a great deal on his prison ministry.
“It focused on what he did inside the prison… his experiences counseling convicted felons of every stripe,” Jordan said.
Jordan said Father Cecil tried to write a book about his experiences but “he wasn’t a writer.” When Jordan decided to write a book based on Father Cecil’s manuscript, Jordan asked him if he wanted to remain anonymous in the book. Father Cecil said no.
“That was the last conversation we had,” Jordan said. “I wish I could have known him better.”
Jordan said the book is a novel, but all of the quotes in the book are directly from Father Cecil’s manuscript.
“It’s sort of a profile of one man who immersed himself in a low level society and tried to do some good,” Jordan said. “The book has certain social qualities about it that may be redeeming. It also gives some insight about how prisoners were treated back then.”
The book is available at local book stores, along with Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

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Book signing
Author Paul R. Jordan will be at the Marion County Public Library for a book signing on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.