Book Review: As It Was in the Beginning by Robert McClory


Author: Robert McClory Title:  As It Was in the Beginning Publication Info: New York : Crossroad Pub., c2007. ISBN: 9780824524197 Books by the same author: Faithful Dissenters Summary/Review: McClory boldly declares that democratization is coming to the Catholic Church, and soon, something not readily evident by the Church hierarchy’s growing conservatism in the past 3…

Retropost: Confessions of a St. Patrick’s Day Curmudgeon


In honor of this special day let’s revisit one of my favorite posts. While most kids look forward to Christmas, when I was a child, St. Patrick’s Day (along with Thanksgiving) was one of my favorite days of the year.  It was a big day in my family usually involving going to the parade in…

Book Review: From the Pews in the Back edited by Kate Dugan and Jennifer Owens


Author: Kate Dugan and Jennifer Owens Title: From the Pews in the Back Publication Info:  Collegeville, Minn. : Liturgical Press, c2009. ISBN: 9780814632581 Summary/Review: This excellent collection of essays allows young women to focus on their lives and identity in the Catholic faith (Full disclosure: I know Jen Owens from when we both part of…

Book Review: Catholic Does Not Equal the Vatican by Rosemary Radford Ruether


Author: Rosemary Radford Ruether Title: Catholic Does Not Equal the Vatican Publication Info: New York : New Press, c2008 ISBN: 978-1-59558-406-9 Summary/Review: This short “manifesto-style” book is a call for a more authentic experience of church in the Catholic tradition.  The author  – a scholar, activist, and feminist theologian – compiles a half-dozen essays that…

Book Review: Brideshead Revisited


The William & Mary Boston Alumni Chapter selected the Evelyn Waugh classic Brideshead Revisited (1945) for our May meeting. The novel is the reflections of Charles Ryder upon his relationship with the aristocratic Marchmain family after coming upon their crumbling homestead Brideshead while serving in the military in wartime England. In the first section Ryder…

Book Review: Quest for the Living God by Elizabeth A. Johnson


Elizabeth A. Johnson, C.S.J. explores the many ideas of God that have emerged in the past century in Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God (2007).  The book functions as a quick summary of these many “new” theologies of God – albeit rooted in ancient tradition and faithful to scripture….

Confessions of a St. Patrick’s Day Curmudgeon


While most kids look forward to Christmas, when I was a child, St. Patrick’s Day (along with Thanksgiving) was one of my favorite days of the year.  It was a big day in my family usually involving going to the parade in New York and seeing family and friends we hadn’t seen in a while. …

Book Review: A Portrait of Jesus by Joseph Girzone


In A Portrait of Jesus(1998), Joseph Girzone uses a similar approach that he uses in his fictional series of Joshua novels to understanding the historical Jesus.  That is, to avoid theology, doctrine, and Christology and look at Jesus as a real person who came to earth to spread His message of love and freedom through…

Book Review: Faithful Dissenters by Robert McClory


Robert McClory puts the Catholic church under the historical lens in Faithful Dissenters: Stories of Men and Women Who Loved and Changed the Church (2000) to show instances when individuals have stood up against official Church teachings and hierarchy.  These dissenters are sometimes punished in their time, but all have been revealed to be prophetic…

All Saints Day


Last year when I went through a liturgical year with posts on my favorite saints, inspired by Fr. James Martin’s book My Life With the Saints, I failed to make a post for All Saints Day.  I spent that day otherwise occupied witnessing the birth of my son Peter (an appropriately saintly name for my…

Peter & Paul


Since I made it through the cycle of saints last year I haven’t been writing as many Catholic things on this blog, but I do want to touch on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter & Paul even though I wrote about it last year in a hasty manner. Peter and Paul are cornerstones of the…

Podcasts Always Come in Threes


Three more episodes of podcasts worth listening too: “Disgustingly Adorable” – Colonial Williamsburg: Past & Present covers the annual spring lambing, a big event for Phi Pi fans. Previous sheeplore: Fuzzy Pigs and Out Like a Lamb. “News from Lake Wobegon” – A Prairie Home Companion is a classic radio show, although it’s a bit…

Papal Mass in Washington


Yesterday, I watched Pope Benedict celebrate Mass with 48,000 people at Nationals Park in Washington. I wouldn’t usually do this because like fireworks, there’s something about Mass on tv that just isn’t the same. I’m also something of a “low church” kind of Catholic, to use an old fashioned term. But I was home from…

Book Review: Googling God by Mike Hayes


I’m a fan of Mike Hayes from the BustedHaloCast so I read his book Googling God: The Religious Landscape of People in their 20s and 30s (2007). This thin volume is basically a guide for ministers to young adults in the Catholic Church, although I read it more as a young adult looking for ministry….

Book Review: Jesus Before Christianity by Albert Nolan, O.P.


Jesus Before Christianity (1976, 2001) by Albert Nolan, O.P. is a book which removes the lens of Christianity from looking at the historical Jesus, and provides the context for the times in which Jesus lived, walked the Earth, and taught His people. Interestingly, Nolan minimizes Jesus’ supernatural acts and even his divinity, but in a…

Book Review: Saints Behaving Badly: The Cutthroats, Crooks, Trollops, Con Men, and Devil-Worshippers Who Became Saints by Thomas J. Craughwell


Saints Behaving Badly: The Cutthroats, Crooks, Trollops, Con Men, and Devil-Worshippers Who Became Saints (2006) by Thomas J. Craughwell is a collection of short essays of Saints who lived rather unsaintly lives. Usually this was before their conversion, of course, but sometimes even after turning their lives to God we see that even the saints…

Book Review: How Big Is Your God? by Paul Coutinho, SJ


How Big Is Your God? The Freedom to Experience the Divine (2007) by Paul Coutinho, SJ is a book about relationships, specifically the relationship each one of us has with God. Coutinho is an Indian-born priest, his worldview greatly influenced by Eastern religions and mysticism. Yet, if that’s not your thing, don’t let it keep…

Puzzling Through Lent


It’s hard to believe that we’re already three weeks into Lent.  Of course, Lent snuck up on me this year and I have confirmation (Father Lasch, for one) that it is unusually early.  That is because Easter is a movable feast that occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the first…

Book Review: God’s Library by Joe Parocki


The thin volume of God’s Library: A Catholic Introduction to the World’s Greatest Book by Joe Parocki is a very basic overview to starting one’s own study of the Bible.  If you have any experience at all with the Bible you can probably skip the first 2-3 chapters although these would be great to reccomend…