About The Calling
Based on a never-revealed Church cover-up uncovered by Dr. Emile Jean Pin, my deceased husband, world renowned former Jesuit priest and Vatican professor–The Calling is a gripping tale of sex, corruption and intrigue. Jean and I wrote this novel together, perfecting it over decades. I finally published it after Jean left his body!
In a deserted cemetery outside Verona Italy, an old man lay bleeding to death, stabbed by a kitchen butcher knife. His dying words, “That damned priest.”
The victim’s parish priest, Father Daniele, is accused of murder on circumstantial evidence. Suspecting police corruption, Father Daniele’s best friend, Father Bernardo, a young Jesuit priest, embarks on a private investigation to prove his friend’s innocence. The investigation ultimately draws Father Bernardo into the world of prostitution, awakening his dormant sexual desires.
The Calling is a sexy, suspenseful fact-based mystery novel that keeps you turning the pages until the shattering truth is finally revealed. The Calling offers an unprecedented, behind-the scenes look at the emotional struggles priests endure in their efforts to maintain celibacy…and the lengths to which the Church will go to avert a sexual scandal.
About Dr. Emile Jean Pin (also E. Jean Pin, Emile Pin):
Emile Pin was a prominent Jesuit priest, social activist, and scholar. He is well known for his public opposition to the Catholic Church’s attempts to block the legalization of divorce in Italy (the Concordat and the Divorce Bill). His fight for religious freedom resulted in the legalization of divorce in Italy. (See Paris Match, March 28, 1970. Pin’s remarks are quoted following the Pope’s; Le Monde, March 6, 10, 11, 12, 1970 and April 2, 1970; Time Magazine, January 11, 1971; Le Figaro, March 10, 11, 1970; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 9, 1970, and many other newspapers and magazines worldwide.*)
The first French priest to study sociology, Dr. Pin’s Ph.D. dissertation, “Practique Religieuse et Classes Sociales,” was a study of the social correlates of various religious practices in a parish of the City of Lyon. (Published by Spes, 1956. Partially reproduced in Religion, Culture and Society, ed. John Wiley 1964, 411-420). This book came to the attention of Pope Paul VI, who called him to Rome to serve as professor of religious sociology and social classes at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
Out of the Greg, Dr. Pin founded and directed CIRIS, the Vatican’s first and only international social research center, where he uncovered the cover-up that forms the basis of this novel. Pin’s research has been published in the form of numerous books and articles that have been printed in many languages.
Pin is considered one of the pioneers in the field called “Liberation Theology.” A few of his books, The Church and the Latin-American Revolution (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1966), Practique Religieuse et Classes Sociales Dans une Paroisse Urbaine (Paris: Spes, 1956), Les Classes Sociales (Paris: Spes,1962, Translations in Spanish and Portuguese), Elementos Para Una Sociologia del Catolicismo Latino-Americano (Madrid-Fribourg: FERES, 1965), and Introduction a l’Etude Sociologique des Paroisse Catholique (Paris: Action Populaire, 1956), are considered classics in the field of Liberation Theology.
His writings are still discussed on websites worldwide and in current day books such as Church and Social Action: A Critical Assessment and Bibliographical Survey by Dorita F. Bolger and Roger T. Wolcott (Santa Barbara, California: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1990) and chapter two of Edward L. Cleary’s Crisis and Change: The Church in Latin America Today (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, July 1985).
Pin also lectured on Liberation Theology at Ivan Illich’s Center for Intercultural Formation in Cuernavaca, Mexico and Petropolis, Brazil during the years 1962 to 1970.
Dr. Pin was a humanist who spent his life serving the world without consideration of the risk to himself. When he was a young Jesuit, he smuggled documents for the French Resistance; later, he traveled the world and conducted research to determine whether the church was actually meeting the needs of the faithful. He introduced the first social research in which he conducted face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of the study population. He learned ten languages so that he could speak to the people directly. After understanding the specific concerns, unique words and expressions of the people he was studying, he then constructed a questionnaire that would “speak” to them. Dr. Pin’s methods became the standard of all sociological research that followed. His book The Religiosity of the Romans (and others) debunked many popular beliefs about Catholics and their religious needs and practices, and taught priests worldwide how to better serve the faithful.
He also conducted the worldwide survey of the Jesuit order and was the Secretary General of the International Conference of Religious Sociology.
In the early 70s, he was laicized and appointed by Vassar College to serve as full professor and chair of the Department of Sociology until 1990. At this point in his life, to mark his new identity, he began using his middle name, Jean, as his first name.
Always learning and growing, in his seventies Dr. Pin took an MSW at Fordham University. In his last professional position, he served as a psychotherapist and social advocate for Catholic Charities.
During the last twenty-seven years of his life, he lived with his beloved life partner and wife, Dr. Jamie Turndorf. Together, they co-authored The Pleasure of Your Company: A Socio-Psychological Analysis of Modern Sociability (Westport CT: Praeger, 1985).
On September 17, 2006, Dr. Pin left his body following a bee sting while traveling with his wife, Jamie Turndorf, in Italy.
Dr. Pin’s miraculous after-death spirit manifestations (often in front of witnesses) prove that we don’t die and our relationships aren’t meant to end with bodily death. Dr. Turndorf shares their eternal love story in her no. 1 international bestseller, Love Never Dies: How to Reconnect and Make Peace with the Deceased.
* For other news stories on Pin’s fight for religious freedom (Concordat and Divorce Bill) see:
Le Monde, March 6,10,11,12, 1970 and April 2, 1970.
Paris Match, March 28, 1970; Pin is quoted along with the Pope.
Le Figaro, March 10, 11, 1970.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 9, 1970.
Epoca, March 22, 1970, May 1, 3, 1970.
Il Giornale D’Italia, March 22, 1970.
Il Giorno, June 2, 1970.
Sette Giorni in Italia, March 15, 22, 1970.
L’Unita, April 2, 30, 1970.
Paese Sera, April 2, 30, 1970.
Avvenire, April 3, 1970, May 1, 1970, June 2, 1970.
Il Borghese, March 22, 1970.
La Stampa, March 10, 11, 12,13,14,31 1970 and June 4, 16, 1970.
Stampa Sera, March 9, 1970.
Il Messaggero, March 8,9,10,11,12,13,14, 1970 and June 3, 1970.
L’Espresso, March 15, 22, 1970.
L’Osservatore Romano, April 15, 1970.
Il Tempo, March 15, 1970.
Il Regno, April 15, 1970.
Corriere della Sera, March 8, 10, 11, 1970.
ABC, March 20, 1970 and April 3, 1970.
Libre Belgique, March 9, 1970.
Adista Agencia Di Informazioni Stampa, February 21, 1970.
Bolletino Salesiano, May 1, 1970.
Rocca, April 15, 1970.
Panorama, March 26, 1970.
Le Devoir, March 12, 1970.
Visit Emile Pin’s Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emile_Pin
“This novel succeeds on so many levels that reading it feels like a guilty pleasure. I couldn’t put it down! It begins with a murder for which a priest soon becomes the primary suspect, and as we follow the investigation we are drawn into the complex lives of young men struggling to serve God in roles that seem to us to be hopelessly rigged against them. Their stories are unsparingly told by Jamie’s co-author, her beloved husband Jean Pin, who had been a prominent Jesuit scholar before he was laicized in the early seventies. He personally lived these young priests’ struggles, and he elevates even their small travails to a satisfying level of dignity and power. The novel is set in Italian villages, an environment that Jean Pin knew well, and so many details are so richly described that I was actually smelling flowers and garlic, feeling the lush Mediterranean sun, even hearing the voices of Italian peasants merry in the narrow streets. The Calling is so replete with details of time and place and the riveting minutia of these young priests’ lives that reading it feels like witnessing history.
All good fiction makes us think, and with The Calling what lingers in your mind is the way this tale freshly illuminates the universal human struggle for ultimate goodness. In order to serve God, these young men are required to renounce every normal human instinct, to abase themselves and punish themselves physically, to deny themselves not just sex but even personal love. It is one thing to think that the Catholic Church’s insistence on celibacy is probably unhealthy. It is quite another to watch how the rule plays out in the lives of good young men that we come to care for very much. I will never again see a priest or bishop without sympathizing with him as a human being! Jamie Turndorf and Jean Pin have given us not only a rousingly good mystery, but also and much more importantly a satisfying tribute to the resilience of the human spirit.”– Roberta Grimes, #1 Bestselling Author of Liberating Jesus.
“This sizzling page turner, based on the never before told true story of an actual Vatican cover-up is a wake-up call–and a path to redemption–for the Church and the world.“—Reverend Temple Hayes, Author and Spiritual Leader
“The Perfect Week-End Page Turner”
When I first came across this novel, I was a tad skeptical. I wasn’t sure that a book dealing with Catholicism, murder and local scandal would peak my interest. How wrong I was. In this quick page-turner, the author serves up a murder-mystery replete with descriptive scenery, memorable characters and an ending you won’t see coming. In particular, I enjoyed the main character in his quest to venerate a colleague while dealing with a personal internal conflict that calls into question the man he is and the man who he will become. A great weekend read, you won’t be disappointed with this one. Erik
“A Novel of Suspense and Intrigue”
“I have two confessions to make: I am a great admirer of Dr. Turndorf’s writing and I am naturally drawn to writings about the Catholic Church, particularly if the writing involves a true-tp-life Vatican scandal. In reading The Calling I was fully satisfied on both levels. clearly the author knows how to spin a yarn and keep the reader turning the page. She also knows a great deal about the comings and goings and ins and outs of the Catholic Church–in part, no doubt, because of her husband–and she certainly know how to weave fact and fiction together into an intriguing and suspenseful read. I highly recommend this book.” Bill Hammond
“This is a beautiful book about love,faith and one mans dogged determination to save his friend. It’s an excellent mystery with a truly surprising ending. It’s an examination of the consequences of imposed celibacy within the Catholic Church. And it shows how people are more willing to believe in a moment of circumstantial sensationalism than a lifetime of honor. It asks us to examine why we do things, and in the final analysis it shows that love is always the answer. The Calling is a wonderful read: well written, heart felt and full of twists and turns. I loved it!“ Phyllis Hathaway
“Such intrigue! I couldn’t put this book down. I kept turning page after page. I read the book in a matter of days because I had to know how it ended. Father Bernardo is one of the most noble characters that I have read in a long time. I am lucky enough to have a deep connection to the author and her husband. Reading this book and knowing it was written by Jamie and Jean together, was like sitting with them by the fireplace in their home and listening to them tell the tale. You can feel Jean’s heart in this story and you can feel that he had a story that needed to be told. Jamie, his beloved and lovely bride, does the story great justice.” Killian0917
“The Calling: Who am I?”
I am not typically a consumer of the “whodunit” genre, but I have studied its tropes as part of my self-education as a fiction writer. I can confidently state that The Calling by Jamie Turndorf will satisfy aficionados of the genre: a twisty plot launched by a late-night anonymous phone call, an atmospheric murder scene, a hero with inner conflicts, cops with their own agendas, ambiguous clues, courtroom shenanigans that distort justice, a time-pressured chase for final answers… oh yes, and sex. One entire chapter is dedicated to an explicit scene that is best described as a universal male dream come true. Definitely more fantasy than realism, but hot!
Full disclosure: Dr. Jamie Turndorf has been my therapist for nearly a decade. Her deep understanding of the effect of childhood emotional wounds on adult behavior is one of the strengths of this novel, lending empathy and subtlety to the psychological struggles inherent in following a priestly calling… or deciding not to. A foundational theme addressed in this book may present a serious challenge for dutiful Catholics: the story is a loud statement of opposition to the rule of celibacy for priests.
The fact that this tale’s lone hero investigator is a Catholic priest puts the novel on the fringes of the popular priest-as-detective tradition that may have begun a century ago with G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown. But The Calling’s Father Bernardo is no amateur sleuth looking for crimes to solve; he’s a reluctant detective forced by circumstance to try his best to save the life of an unjustly-accused fellow priest, his childhood friend. He succeeds because that is the genre convention: the mystery must be solved. The mystery cannot be allowed to remain a mystery because questions without answers are just too uncomfortable! Or so the conventional wisdom insists.
In this case, another agenda is added: the mystery must be solved so that a real-life Church coverup can be exposed. Jamie Turndorf’s late husband and co-author of this novel was once a prominent Jesuit, so he provides authentic insider knowledge. According to the marketing blurb, the novel is “Based on a never-before-revealed Vatican cover-up….” While the promise of Vatican-level intrigue is never fulfilled, we do get a priest’s convincing view of rampant sexual hypocrisy in a northern Italy diocese in the 1960s – 70s.
For me, the best “mystery novels” are those where the plot’s mystery (the unsolved crime) is really just a pointer toward deeper mysteries, existential or even cosmic, the unsolvable kind — questions without answers. So that’s what I look for. In The Calling, the most important investigation, in my opinion, is not about the murder at all. It is Father Bernardo’s search for his elusive Self — that congruent core that is his truest inner being, free of the controls of Mother, Duty, or Church. In those passages, the book enters my preferred realm of “metaphysical detective fiction,” in which the world is one of questions, not answers; interpretations, not solutions; and the sleuth is seeking not “Whodunit” but “Who am I?”
This review can also be found on my blog at Ultimate-Indivisibility dot com. Brent Robison
“I’m a big fan of Dr. Jamie Turndorf’s books. When I heard that she had written a novel, I couldn’t wait to read it. And, this novel was more than I could have ever dreamed of. The story swept me away. The scenes of Europe were like word paintings! I wanted to read slower to savor the descriptions, the way you like to savor a great meal. But at the same time, I couldn’t slow down. The book read itself! I actually read it in two sittings. The plot, the dialogue, the characters, the courtroom trial, and the sex are all top-notch. What is most amazing is the sensitive behind the scenes look at the secret lives and struggles that priests experience in trying to stay celibate really touched my heart. This fact-based story could actually change the future of the Church. I hope every Christian reads this amazing story!” Naveed
“I’m a fan of mystery novels, and have read ’em all. The Calling is beyond great. If you like The Young Pope, you are going to love this book. Written by the no. 1 bestselling author, Dr. Jamie Turndorf and her now deceased husband, internationally renowned former Jesuit priest and Vatican professor, Emile Pin. The story is based on a never revealed Vatican cover-up that Pin uncovered while doing research out of his Vatican-based research center. This well-written, page-turner will keep you burning the midnight oil and keep you guessing till the last page. I love it. You will too!” Christina Garzino
“The Calling is The DaVinci Code meets the Young Pope! That it’s based on an actual Church cover-up that’s never been revealed, had me eager to read this novel. The Calling is so rich on so many levels. The descriptions swept me away to Italy, the characters really got under my skin and the plot had me grab from the first page. I also loved the fascinating inside look at the Church and the struggles priests face to maintain celibacy. You can tell that this book was written by an ex-priest. This novel has the power to begin a revolution that culminates in the abolition of priestly celibacy.” Larisa Vanetta
“I love this book. The pages turn themselves. The priests’ struggles really tugged at my heart. The fact that this is based on never told, church cover-up is so mind-blowing. You just have to read this book!” Andrea Lane
“Ive read all of Dr. Turndorfs books and they all have helped me in me dealing with different aspects
of pain I was going through. This one was thrilling and I read through it much faster as it was hard to put down some nights even had dreams about. That rarely happens to me.” Uma Egyptian
“When I heard that Dr Jamie had published a novel I had to read it cuz I’m a big fan. The fact that it’s based on a true Vatican cover up really caught my attention. The story is so riveting well-written and heartfelt to the point that I became friends with the characters and didn’t want to say goodbye. This book is a winner. if you read only one book this year make it this one.” Christine Donohue