An unusual biography of Fr. Maurice Boucher, a popular and inspirational 85-year-old French-American Roman Catholic priest who announced his retirement this month, has turned out to be a regional bestseller.
Some area independent bookshops and Vermonts Borders and Barnes and Noble report that the book is among the most popular penned by local authors in recent weeks. Bouchers life story is titled, A Miracle Comes to Vermont.
Within three weeks of its early September publication, Rouses Point, NYbased businessman-turned-author Mark L. Barie said the entire first printing of a thousand copies was sold out; a second printing of the book is underway.
We knew that Fr. Boucher was well liked (by Vermont Catholics), but we were not prepared for the huge response, the author.
According to Barie, some mail orders for the biography were received from Vermont, New York, Florida, all of the New England states, parts of Quebec, and even France.
A second printing of 1,000 additional copies has been ordered by the publisher Crossborder Publishing and a slightly revised version will be available by mid-October. All profits from the sale of the book are being donated to the priests favorite charities.
Barie wrote the book after hearing reports in Chittenden and Addison counties that the priest has a special ability with people who are terminally ill or facing the loss of a loved one.
Fr. Boucher heals people, but not in the conventional sense, said Barie. Fr. Boucher mends broken hearts. The priest was best known to area Catholics on pilgrimage as director of St. Annes Shrine, built on the site of an 17th century French log fort, on Isle LaMotte in Lake Champlain. The site was where the first known mass in Vermont was celebrated in 1609 with Samuel de Champlain in attendance.
The 135-page biography, which includes numerous references to Vermont locations and families, can be purchased at several Vermont bookshops, online at Crossborder-publishing.com, or by calling 800-545-8125.