Anthony de Mello, SJ (1931-1987)

Indian-born Anthony de Mello was a psychotherapist and priest who became widely known for his popular speaking and best-selling books on spirituality. Influential first amongst Indian Jesuits and other Religious, de Mello became well-known in the United States by the mid-1970s. He was often invited to present retreats and workshops in America and used often hilarious stories and examples. De Mello was a speaker and wisdom teacher, but much of what he shared has been reconstructed from the notes of those attending his talks.

Sadhana: A Way to God is his best-known work, although The Song of the Bird and Wellsprings have also proven popular. De Mello melded his psychotherapist’s training with Eastern and Western spiritualities. He wanted people to “awaken” and become more fully aware of the reality around them.

De Mello died suddenly in 1987. In 1998, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith issued a notification regarding his writings. Despite this, De Mello’s popularity continues, and his books are still widely sought.