Tag Archives: Book Review

Catholic Republic: Why America Will Perish Without Rome

Timothy Gordon
Sophia Institute Press, 304 pages


Did America’s founding fathers, nearly all Protestants or Enlightenment Deists, draw inspiration from the likes of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Robert Bellarmine, and Catholic natural law? Although they wouldn’t admit as much, philosopher Timothy Gordon says it’s so, and America’s moral and social decline is attributable to our gradual drift from those founding principles. “America is wired Catholic, labeled Protestant, and currently functioning as secular,” he writes. The solution: Since Catholic natural law is essential to the success of any republic, we need to get back to it – before it’s too late.

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To Raise the Fallen: A Selection of the War Letters, Prayers, and Spiritual Writings of Fr. Willie Doyle, S.J.

Patrick Kenny
Ignatius Press, 209 pages

Paralleling Legatus magazine’s March 2019 review of Bravery Under Fire – the documentary on Fr. Willie Doyle, S.J., a World War I chaplain who died on the battlefields – this is the book on Fr. Doyle by Patrick Kenny, who was interviewed prominently in that film. Fr. Doyle’s inspiring story of holiness and self-sacrifice comes through strongly in his writings collected here. “Heroism is a virtue which has an attraction for every heart,” Fr. Doyle writes in one meditation. “It seems to lift us out of our petty selves and make us for a moment forget our own selfish interests.” This book likely will have a similar effect on readers.

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Still Amidst the Storm: A Family Man’s Search for Peace in an Anxious World

Conor Gallagher
St. Benedict Press/TAN Books, 172 pages

Living in today’s stressful world, where and how does one find time and space to decompress, to find peace? Recall that even Jesus withdrew from the crowds and took time away to spend time alone in prayer. But too often people are like the Apostles in the boat, asea in a storm, fearing the worst. In this little book, Conor Gallagher, a father of 12, suggests practical ways to find some peace even amid helter-skelter lives. It’s all about focusing on the present moment and listening to God’s voice – timeless pillars of common sense and of Christian spirituality.

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Everyday Evangelism for Catholics: A Practical Guide to Spreading the Faith in a Contemporary World

Cathy Duffy
TAN Books, 150 pages

“Evangelization” is one word that makes many Catholicsglaze over. “Stewardship” is another. Yet as Christians we are called to be good stewards, and we are called to spread the Good News of salvation — to evangelize. How do we start? This is a good beginner’s guide on how to share our faith with others. We don’t have to become great theologians; we just have to live as good Christian witnesses, listen to others, form good relationships, ask questions, and gently guide others to consider Christ and all he offers us. And we don’t need to go it alone: the Holy Spirit always accompanies us.


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The Manly Art of Raising a Daughter

Alan Migliorato
Sophia Institute Press, 144 pages


Much is made of the importance of the father-son relationship, but what of the fatherdaughter relationship? Alan Migliorato notes that daughters need their father just as much as sons do. This little volume offers clear and practical wisdom on the father’s role in introducing his daughters to the faith, teaching them about modesty, getting to know their friends, preparing them for boyfriends and future husbands, gathering them for regular family meals, teaching them to defend themselves from abuse, and urging them to exercise prudence in social media. But don’t look for a trophy, he cautions: true sacrificial love doesn’t seek that. It’s a really fine book.

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Defending Boyhood: How Building Forts, Reading Stories, Playing Ball, and Praying to God Can Change the World

Anthony Esolen
TAN Books, 212 pages



“Boys will be boys” is an expression sometimes used to excuse bad behavior, but Anthony Esolen has something else in mind here: at the risk of sounding misogynistic and politically incorrect, he proposes that boys need to be in the business of doing what boys are supposed to do – becoming real men, the guardians and protectors of all that is good and true — and that parents should raise and form their sons accordingly. His references to history and literature bear out his point expertly. Esolen’s voice of reason seeks to dispel confusion and restore the “tranquility of order” in malefemale relationships.


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The Missionary of Wall Street: From Managing Money to Saving Souls on the Streets of New York

Steve Auth
Sophia Institute Press, 184 pages


Steve Auth, a seasoned Wall Street financial wizard, doesn’t quite fit the stereotype it conjures. He also organizes street missions in New York City whereby teams of missionaries stationed at intersections near churches ask passers-by if they are Catholic, offer them a rosary, and invite them inside where priests are waiting to hear Confessions. It’s a gritty, courageous apostolate, and it gets results. This inspiring book describes how it’s done, tells what it means to have the “heart of a missionary,” and relates moving stories of the encounters Auth and his teams have experienced in inviting strangers to accept the love and mercy of Christ.


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Man Virtues: What the Hell Am I Doing with My Life?

Robert P. Lockwood
Our Sunday Visitor, 144 pages

When Bob Lockwood passed away in March of this year, he left behind a legacy of wisdom reflected in newspaper columns he had written over his long career as an editor and publisher. His musings on his Old Man, his Catholic upbringing, living a mature faith, and the folly of the American League’s designated-hitter rule are timeless and legendary. He was an exponent on men’s spirituality before it became trendy. This book captures that Lockwood magic as he offers real-life advice for men on living the cardinal and theological virtues — which, as he points out, is ultimately the way to true happiness.


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The Good Sense of Jesus: A Commentary on the Beatitudes

Fr. Iván Pertiné
TAN Books, 272 pages

Written as a retreat for men seeking consecration in the St. John Society, these meditations nevertheless apply to any layman who wishes to follow Christ more closely. The Beatitudes “reveal the character of Christ himself,” Fr. Pertiné writes, and “there can be no holiness in Christ without suffering, without the Cross.” As difficult as living the Gospel message may sometimes appear to us, it is far more difficult to live without God and to be subject to the whims of our passions and temptations that can lead us astray, diverting us from our eternal home. Spiritual exercises that end each chapter make this volume suitable for a self-guided retreat.

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Steadfast in Faith: Catholicism and the Challenges of Secularism

David G. Bonagura, Jr.
Cluny Media, 287 pages


The erosion of faith in God as well as the religious practice among believers in today’s world is both evident and measurable. Our secular culture, favoring relativism and subjectivism, presents a formidable challenge in its hostility to religion and objective truth. Still, David G. Bonagura isn’t pushing the panic button; rather, he explores the reasonableness of faith for today’s Catholics so as to equip us to confront and win over our opposition. Converting civilization won’t be easy, he admits, but “knowing what we have learned about God through the witness of others, do we trust Him enough to pick up His cross and follow Him?”


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