Arriving September 17, 2024

The Kingdom of the Poor

By Charles Strobel with Foreword by Ann Patchett

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As Charles Strobel, beloved Nashville priest and champion of the unhoused, reached the end of his life in 2023, he began to contemplate the last message he wanted to leave his family, friends, and community. With the help of his niece, Katie Seigenthaler, and his colleague, Amy Frogge, Strobel began to dictate The Kingdom of the Poor. He wrote, “Mark Twain, the great American folk hero and writer, has said, ‘The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.’ The following pages help to explain why I was born.”

The “why” of Charlie Strobel’s life, which was devoted to helping those without support systems and homes to call their own, was a simple belief that we are all poor and we are all worthy of love.

The Kingdom of the Poor is the story of the people and experiences that led him to this understanding and inspired him to live his life accordingly.

“The Kingdom of the Poor cuts through the noise of the world with a clear, bright note: love, love, love, it tells us. In reading this book, we remember who we are. We remember what matters. We remember the person that Charlie saw in us, in every one of us. At last, we are standing as we were meant to stand: together.”

— Ann Patchett

About the Author

Charles Strobel (1943–2023) was the founding director of Room In The Inn, a continuum of care for unhoused people living on the streets of Nashville and beyond. A Catholic priest, Strobel was known for his innovative advocacy on behalf of human rights and economic equity, his ecumenism, and his opposition to the death penalty. He is the author of Room In The Inn: Ways Your Congregation Can Help Homeless People. He played in amateur baseball leagues into his 70s and was a passionate New York Yankees fan.  

About the Editors

Katie Seigenthaler, the niece of Charles Strobel, is the coauthor with Dr. Alex Jahangir of Hot Spot: A Doctor’s Diary from the Pandemic, published in 2022 by Vanderbilt University Press. She is a managing partner with FINN Partners and a former journalist with the Chicago Tribune.  

Amy Frogge is a long-term volunteer for Room In The Inn. She is an attorney, grant writer, former member of the Metro Nashville school board, and current member of the Nashville Symphony Choir.

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