Father Edward M. Hays was the author of more than thirty books on contemporary spirituality. He was the co-founder and moving spirit of Forest of Peace Publishing and founding director of Shantivanam, a Midwest center for contemplative prayer. He served as a chaplain of the state penitentiary in Lansing, Kansas, parish priest, and spiritual director. Hays spent extended periods of pilgrimage in the Near East, the Holy Land, and India while remaining a prolific writer and painter. Fr. Hays died in 2016.