Skip to content

Reyes’ Nobody Cries When We Die named Book of the Year

ST. LOUIS, December 4, 2018

Nobody Cries When We Die: God, Community, and Surviving to Adulthood,  documenting Patrick Reyes’ story of how his community saved him from gang life, abuse, and the economic and racial oppression that threatened to kill him before he ever reached adulthood, has been named 2019 Book of the Year by the Hispanic Theological Initiative (HTI).

In his memoir, published by Chalice Press in partnership with the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE), Reyes describes in vivid detail the violence he saw – and the grace modeled by his grandmother, the Christian Brothers who saved him, and the educators who saw the potential of a young boy at risk on the streets of Salinas, Calif.

“Vocation is the call to life, beginning with survival. I wanted to honor my grandma, my community, and all those who know the chill of death in their bones.  I start the question of ‘how to discern purpose and meaning’ from experiences of the divine and life that were left out, cast aside, and intentionally forgotten,” said Dr. Reyes, now FTE’s Director of Strategic Partnerships for Doctoral Initiatives.

The HTI book prize, established in 2002, encourages and recognizes Latinx scholars who publish works in the fields of theology and/or religion.  The book has caught the attention of other organizations such as the Children’s Defense Fund who recognized Dr. Reyes as a “Great Teacher and Preacher” in 2017 and 2018 alongside Dolores Huerta, Taylor Branch, and Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III.  He will be featured at TheoEd Talks in 2019 and Nobody Cries continues to be taught and read in classrooms, communities, and prisons. 

Comments from HTI’s Selection Committee included:

  • Nobody Cries  is new, fresh, and creative. It is the kind of book that is hard to put down.”
  • “This book can definitely be used in the classroom, either in whole or in parts.”
  • “I believe that Reyes’s book is both scholarly and readable, which is a great combination.”
  • Nobody Cries  is very timely given the increasing presence of Latinx in higher education and especially working in the humanities.”

The husband of Carrie Reyes and father of two, Patrick holds a Doctorate from Claremont School of Theology, a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology, a Master of Arts from Claremont School of Theology, and a Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Sacramento. He currently resides in suburban Atlanta.

This book audience includes young adults and those who care for them, especially for young adults of color who are navigating violence; people searching for life amidst harrowing circumstances;communities seeking to embody peace and justice, informed by their members, ancestors, and traditions;and institutional leaders and educators who want to inspire the next generation through story and practice. 

The Hispanic Theological Initiative announced the award November 16 in Denver. The prize will be formally presented at HTI’s twenty-third annual Professional Development Conference at Princeton Theological Seminary this June. Following the award presentation, Reyes will discuss his prize-winning book, and the presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by a reception and book signing.

Nobody Cries When We Die is available at and everywhere books are available.

The Hispanic Theological Initiative is a consortium made up of twenty-four prestigious PhD-granting institutions.  Together their mission is to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of Latinx PhD students across the nation, and to provide forums to exchange best practices to address the needs of Latinx faculty and students in theological and religious education.  The program provides doctoral-level students with mentoring, workshops, and networking funds. The book prize, which was established in 2002, is another way to encourage and recognize Latinx junior scholars who publish works in the fields of theology and/or religion.

The Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) is a leadership incubator that inspires young people to make a difference in the world through Christian communities. Since its founding in 1954, FTE has provided resources, events, networks, grants and fellowships to cultivate tomorrow’s leaders, pastors and theological educators. FTE provides a forum through which gifted, purposeful students, young adults and partners explore their passion, purpose and call.





HTI: Ángela M. Schoepf,, 609.252.1733

FTE: Kimberly Daniel,, 678.369.6755

Chalice Press: Deborah Arca,, 720.300.3086