Awakening the Faithful, Reaching
the Lost, Making Church Matter
Michael White and Tom Corcoran, foreword by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan
Ave Maria Press $16.95
In this inspiring, humorous, and practical book Fr. Michael White, pastor of the Church of the Nativity in Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland, and Tom Corcoran, pastoral associate, describe their successes and failures in revitalizing their suburban parish of “demanding consumers” into a vibrant community of disciples. While remaining faithful to Catholic tradition, White and Corcoran took bold steps to engage parishioners, successfully drawing on elements of the evangelical culture—especially megachurch pastors Rick Warren and Bill Hybels. This experiment didn’t appeal to all, angering parishioners opposed to change and causing some to leave the parish. White and Corcoran offer a starting point and how-to guide for anyone interested in reviving a parish or addressing the critical issue of Catholics leaving the Church. As Cardinal Timothy Dolan says in the foreword, “If you love your parish, read this book!”
Liturgy and Life
Emily Strand, MTS
Liguori Publications $14.99
In this easy-to-read book about the Catholic Church’s most essential act of worship, Emily Strand traces the development of the Catholic Mass from the very early days of the Church, when the disciples gathered to celebrate the mystery of their faith in the breaking of the bread, to today’s revised version of that ancient celebration. Intended for cradle Catholics, converts, or anyone who just wants to know a little more about the Mass, Mass 101 provides a solid foundation for developing a better sense of why and how Roman Catholics gather to pray. As Strand helps readers break out of their comfort zone, she leads them toward a deeper and more mature understanding of the Paschal mystery the Mass celebrates. She also demonstrates what the Eucharist means in the everyday lives of those who celebrate it. Those who enter into the mystery of the faith through Mass and the celebration of the Eucharist must live their faith by serving those they encounter with the same kind of loving service Jesus showed his followers at the first Eucharistic celebration.
Tending the Mustard Seed
Living the Faith in Today’s World
Dennis J. Billy, CSsR
New City Press of the Focolare $11.95
Redemptorist Fr. Dennis Billy explores the call to faith and its relationship to reason, prayer, suffering, healing, and community-building. His experience of faith during a three-year battle with leukemia lends poignancy and -authenticity to this discussion. Fr. -Billy’s reflections include references to Scripture and encyclicals, reflection questions, and meditative prayer. This book is not only a perfect springboard for fertile discussions in catechetical settings, parishes, and faith-sharing groups—it’s also a fruitful medium for anyone interested in deepening his or her faith formation.
The Lady of the Angels and Her City
A Marian Pilgrimage
Wendy M. Wright, foreword by
Cardinal Roger Mahony
Liturgical Press $19.95
Wendy Wright gives us much more than a personal pilgrimage narrative about her hometown’s many Marian churches and shrines; she also offers important insights into the history of Los Angeles Catholicism, American Catholic culture, Mary’s place in Catholic theology and tradition, and the relationship between vivid devotional faith and the Church’s common worship rituals. Wright’s reflections on familiar places are enjoyable to those who know Los Angeles, but her reflections on the devotions to the Virgin Mary are universal. Wright raises questions about ethnic celebrations, global traditions, and the place of each in the vast multicultural Catholic world, demonstrating how devotions to the Virgin have enriched the American Catholic Church and the global Catholic experience.
St. Francis of Assisi
Servant Books $12.99
With the same simplicity and authenticity that characterized the life he chronicles, Omer Englebert tells the story of St. Francis of Assisi, one of the Catholic Church’s best-known and best-loved saints. Englebert blends spiritual insight and careful research to recast the life of St. Francis for modern readers who wish to connect with this simple son of Assisi.
Mind Your Body, Work Your Soul
Liguori Publications $7.99
Being healthy is a journey, and not just a physical one. Author Clare -Strockbine reminds us that living healthfully is about more than diet and exercise—it’s about finding balance between two important, highly connected aspects of our being: the physical and the spiritual. She discusses the connectedness of our spiritual and physical persons and the importance of balancing these two disparate but complementary aspects of who we are. Understanding the interconnection of faith and physical health and finding a balance that supports both our physical and spiritual needs puts us on the path toward a healthy lifestyle and to becoming the better person we want to be.