Category: On Books

Three New Lenten Resources
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Three New Lenten Resources

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Bringing Lent Home with Pope Francis: Prayers, Reflections, and Activities for Families by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle Ave Maria Press, 2015 Bringing Lent Home with Pope Francis is designed to “provide and encourage a daily occurrence of family prayer and communication as you move through this holy season together. By following the suggestions regarding how your […]

Book Review: Rediscover Jesus
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Book Review: Rediscover Jesus

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As Catholics, we often think that we know Jesus. After all, most of us have been hearing the stories of his life since we were small children. They are part of who we are, and that is good. But sometimes, we can feel too familiar with the stories and we start to tune them out […]

Learning from the Moms
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Learning from the Moms

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I’m a new priest and I have a lot to learn. Of course, working in a parish affords me many opportunities to work with different and diverse groups of people. A group of mothers approached me a few months ago and asked if I would be willing to lead a book discussion for them. I […]

Book Review: Our Lady, Undoer of Knots: A Living Novena
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Book Review: Our Lady, Undoer of Knots: A Living Novena

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On October 12, 2013, “Pope Francis revealed to the world his special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title Our Lady, Undoer of Knots. . . He spoke of Mary as the ‘new Eve’ who unties the knot of Eve’s disobedience.” In May 2014, Marge Fenelon traveled to the Holy Land with the […]

How to Discern Whether Adoption is Right for You
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How to Discern Whether Adoption is Right for You

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In honor of National Adoption Month, here’s my review of Jaymie Stuart Wolfe’s excellent discernment guide, Adoption: Room for One More?, from Pauline Books & Media. A few years ago, between babies #3 and #4 (or #4 and #5), my husband and I contemplated adopting a baby girl from China. We were moved by stories […]

Book Review: Waiting for Eli
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Book Review: Waiting for Eli

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This book is a must read. It is the beautiful story of what could be considered a miracle birth, and as such it can help couples who may find the going very difficult when confronted with a very challenging pregnancy. Waiting for Eli chronicles this spiritual journey from fear of one’s personal limitations to self-abandonment […]

Book Review: Intimate Graces
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Book Review: Intimate Graces

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The Jubilee Year of Mercy is right around the corner. Why not take advantage of that year to work on your marriage? In Intimate Graces (Ave Maria Press, 2015), Catholic media maven Teresa Tomeo (Pastore) and her husband Deacon Dominick Pastore examine how practicing the works of mercy can bring out the best in marriage. […]

Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary
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Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary

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The Hail Mary is such a beautiful prayer in honor of our Blessed Mother, one every Catholic knows. Sarah Reinhard, a convert to the faith, describes the Hail Mary as her “blankie prayer . . . Just as my children cling to their worn-soft, faded blankies, so I cling to my Blessed Mother’s skirt through […]

The Cause of High College Tuition
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The Cause of High College Tuition

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Ah, the autumn is upon us. College campuses are buzzing with activity — as college kids and their parents rack up massive debt to cover the cost of high tuition. The origin of such debt is interesting to trace. In 1987, reports Slate, President Reagan’s secretary of Education, Bill Bennett, published a New York Times […]

Book Review: Pray with Me: 7 Simple Ways to Pray with Your Children
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Book Review: Pray with Me: 7 Simple Ways to Pray with Your Children

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Pray with Me: Seven Simple Ways to Pray with Your Children (Ave Maria Press, 2015) is a great gift to Catholic parents everywhere. Grace Mazza Urbanski, the director of Children’s Ministry for the Apostleship of Prayer in the United States, has degrees in English and Theology, and is also the mother of five children. She […]

The Married Life of St. Gianna, Patron of the World Meeting of Families
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The Married Life of St. Gianna, Patron of the World Meeting of Families

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As The World Meeting of Families draws to a close, we can all take a moment to pray to one of the meeting’s patron saints, St. Gianna Molla. (The other patron saint, also dear to my heart, is Pope John Paul II.) St. Gianna is easier to relate to than many earlier female saints who […]

Five Ways to Keep Your Faith at the Forefront During Busy Back to School Days
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Five Ways to Keep Your Faith at the Forefront During Busy Back to School Days

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The air is turning cooler, football is on TV and the kiddos are back in school. While for some that may be a sigh of relief, we quickly realize that back to school doesn’t really free up much of our time. Soccer practices, homework, dance class, school parties and religious education begin to fill up […]

Book Review: Catholic Family Fun
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Book Review: Catholic Family Fun

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Catholic Family Fun by Sarah Reinhard is a great book—a great book. Two thoughts kept coming to me as I read it, the first was: Wow! My kids would love this! The second was: Hey! I could totally do this! And having field tested a bunch of things from the book, I’m glad to report […]

The Birds and the Bees and Children’s Literature
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The Birds and the Bees and Children’s Literature

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When my children were younger we spent a lot of time at our local public library. We went to the weekly story time and the annual fairs, joined the summer reading programs to win prizes for books read, and spent a lot of time sitting on rugs and tiny chairs reading, reading, and reading. It’s […]

Pilsen Snow: Poems
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Pilsen Snow: Poems

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In Pilsen Snow, Philip C. Kolin has written a collection of poems that share his stories of growing up as one of many Czeck immigrants in Pilsen: a neighborhood located on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois. I have had the privilege of reading Kolin’s poems over the years. His are of a standard that many, including myself, aim to achieve. It […]

What is Past is Prologue: Dietrich von Hildebrand’s “Battle”
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What is Past is Prologue: Dietrich von Hildebrand’s “Battle”

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Under pressure of opposition, Catholic doctrine has usually developed out of necessity. For example, much of the Nicene Creed (AD 325) was a response to the threat from Arianism. Similarly, the Protestant Revolution prompted the Council of Trent to reform Catholicism. Likewise the pressures associated with a powerful regime of political oppression and overt evil […]

What Do Twilight, Fifty Shades, and Leviticus Have in Common?
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What Do Twilight, Fifty Shades, and Leviticus Have in Common?

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Most who discuss them agree that the Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey fiction series are the same basic story line with different characters. What seems to differ among those discussing the two, however, is why they are so popular that they developed a cult following. I have a suggestion along that line: What if the wild fascination […]

Book Review: The Catholic Guide to Dating After Divorce
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Book Review: The Catholic Guide to Dating After Divorce

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Lisa Duffy, an author and speaker for the CatholicMatch institute, overcame a painful divorce and annulment, remarried in the Church, and has spent the past twenty years ministering to those who have been wounded by divorce. In The Catholic Guide to Dating after Divorce (Ave Maria Press, 2015), Duffy provides authentic Church teaching on divorce, […]

Life Lessons in the Dear God Series
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Life Lessons in the Dear God Series

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There’s nothing like reading a good book before bedtime, especially for kids. Too often, the busyness of life leaves parents feeling that we have not done enough of one thing or another. Reading with our children rectifies much of that that. I found that reading the “Dear God Series” (Liguori Publications) by Patti Maguire Armstrong […]

Flannery's Existentialist Stamp
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Flannery’s Existentialist Stamp

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In one of his last works before his masterpiece, The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoyevsky wrote The Dream of a Ridiculous Man. In this story, the narrator goes to another solar system and lands on a planet where the inhabitants are people just like us, but untainted by the Fall in the Garden. They live, the narrator tells us, […]

Two Takes on Chastity
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Two Takes on Chastity

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Ave Maria Press recently published two books on chastity. While the books come to the same conclusions, the authors do so from very different viewpoints. The first, Chastity is for Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin, by Arleen Spenceley, is by a twenty-nine year old woman who is still looking for Mr. Right. She […]

Gifts of the Visitation by Denise Bossert
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Gifts of the Visitation by Denise Bossert

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Gifts of the Visitation: Nine Spiritual Encounters with Mary and Elizabeth (Ave Maria Press, 2015) is a story of grace, conversion and surrender. Denise Bossert beckons us to go deeper than ever before into the world of Our Blessed Mother and of St. Elizabeth as they joyously await the birth of our Lord and of St. John the Baptist. […]

The Second Greatest Story Ever Told
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The Second Greatest Story Ever Told

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As one might expect, the first greatest story ever told is that of God creating the world and then sending His son to save us from our sins. Throughout human history, God has wanted His people to know Him, to love Him, and to Trust Him, but due to sin, this has not been an […]

Book Review: Gifts of the Visitation
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Book Review: Gifts of the Visitation

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The Visitation refers to the time when Mary, receiving the news from the angel Gabriel that she was going to become the mother of Jesus as well as that her cousin Elizabeth was going to have a baby, rushed to her elder cousin’s side. Gifts of the Visitation by Denise Bossert (Ave Maria Press, 2015) […]

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