When I was asked to review Camerado, I Give You My Hand, I had no idea who Father David T. Link was. However, given our common experiences in the law and prison ministry, he seemed like someone I wanted to meet. I could not do that personally and would have to depend on the author introducing this man to me. Maura Poston Zagrans did not disappoint! Father Link jumped off the pages. When I finished the book, I felt as if I had come to know him and his deceased wife as well as if I had had the privilege of having lived among them for a good portion of my life.
You will find this book an interesting and quick read. I really did not want to put it down. The author weaved her way through this unique man’s life by switching back and forth between Father himself, his family, acquaintances, friends professional colleagues and most powerfully through the words of the prisoners he serves and loves.
Those readers who do not believe we are all made in the image and likeness of God, and that with, through and by His graces, all of us (including the murderers to whom Father Link ministers can become new creations) might have difficulty understanding this unique man and priest or why he would pursue a priestly vocation at a time in his life when most men his age look toward retirement.
As an attorney and Catholic, I appreciated his life-long commitment to approaching all the issues in his life –personal, familial, spiritual, legal, and professional – through the demanding lens of “justice” i.e. striving not “to win and come out on top” but endeavoring to see that each person receives that which justice dictates he should receive given the specifics circumstances of each case.
What was equally inspiring and heartwarming is his ability to convince even the long-term incarcerated, including the “lifers” who would never leave prison except to be buried, that their earthly lives were still worth living - because a merciful, forgiving, transforming God whose love for each of them was unending wished to offer them total and complete freedom – eternal life.
None of these men could undo the mess they made of their earthly lives. They could not bring back to life those they had killed or compensate their victims’ families for their loss and years of anguish and pain. But because of God’s mercy they could still have an eternal life. Thanks to the good Father’s obedience to God’s call more than a handful of men may now receive an eternal reward they never appreciated or believed was theirs.
Father Link has worn many hats in his lifetime and has accomplished much. It is clear from reading this book that he succeeded because he placed God first, his family next and all others before himself.
I am better for having read this book and for “meeting” this unique man. You will feel the same way.
Get the book. Read it and pass it along.