Book Review: Candles in the Dark (Biography of Fr. Richard Ho Lung)

Candles in the Dark tells the life story of Father Richard Ho Lung, “poet, teacher, mystic, musician” (from book description) and the founder of the Missionaries of the Poor religious congregation. I remember seeing Father Lung on EWTN once a long time ago so I am happy to have had the chance to read this book and learn about this humble man of the poor.

In reading about Father Lung’s life, I am struck with the feeling that he is almost a male counterpart to Blessed (Mother) Teresa. Like her, he felt called by God to serve the poorest of the poor. But of course, their lives were very different. According to Candles in the Dark, Father Lung was born to a poor family in Jamaica. He is a convert to Catholicism (from Buddhism) and lost his mother at a young age. As you journey through the book you walk with Father Lung as he goes to seminary, becomes “famous” and begins his missionary work to the poor.

The book is well-written and full of inspiring anecdotes, stories and inspiration from his life. They give you a sense of his fearless faith and devotion to God and His people. Father Lung is not afraid to speak out for those who have  no voice and to call out those not living according to moral principles. And he is willing to use any means, such as music and musicals to get his message across. As a matter of fact, he wrote music that was popular in Jamaica which led to his nickname, “Reggae Priest.” We also read several heartwarming and heart-wrenching stories about the work of the Missionaries of the Poor.

I think you will enjoy this book and give it 3 (three) stars.


I received this book free from the publisher through Saint Benedict Press <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. I saw this advertised by Ignatius Press in their most recent catalog and would love to get it. Father Ho Lung’s apostolate is, I think, helped through the Benedictines of Clear Creek – they collect donations for him. Reggae – a form of music I like. Thanks for the review.
    Barb Schoeneberger…recently posted…Sunday Snippets – A Catholic CarnivalMy Profile

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