Tag Archives: Book Review

The Mentor’s Handbook: How to Form Boys into Inspiring and Capable Men

Fr. Peter M. Henry
Sophia Institute Press, 217 pages

There’s a “man crisis” in the Catholic Church today and indeed throughout society. Men need to step up and become what real men are supposed to be: gentlemen who stand firm for what is good and true, who do combat with evil, who defend the innocent and protect the vulnerable. It takes men like this to change the culture by forming boys into men of virtue who will carry on this rightful and heroic tradition, as Fr. Peter M. Henry explains. Parents, grandparents, coaches, ministers, troop leaders, and other men who lead boys should take seriously this critical mentoring role, and this book provides an invaluable guide.

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Money, Greed, and God: The Christian Case for Free Enterprise

Jay W. Richards
HarperOn, 302 pages

Can a good capitalist also be a good Christian? Yes, says Jay W. Richards, with emphasis. Here the research assistant professor at the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America defends capitalism by showing how entrepreneurship, undertaken virtuously, actually helps create a more just society. He also dispels several popular myths about free markets and their impact on communities, including the notions that they create a consumerist culture, threaten our environmental resources, or further enrich the wealthy to the detriment of the poor. This book offers thoughtful reading for understanding economic issues through the eyes of faith.

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The Virtue of Hope: How Confidence in God Can Lead You to Heaven

Fr. Philip Bochanski
TAN Books, 226 pages

Baptism infuses the Christian with the gift of faith, but there are two other theological virtues –hope and love – also bestowed – and often neglected. Fr. Philip Bochanski focuses on hope, which seems in short supply amid the relentless procession of bad-news headlines, the epidemic of depression, and other tribulations of today’s world. Hope, he points out, directs us to our ultimate goal of heaven and lends us the necessary strength and endurance to reach that goal. Stressing relationships, he uses the lives of saintly people to illustrate how humility, vocation, and recognizing our utter dependence upon God are the pathways for exercising this virtue.

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Marketing God: Inspired Strategies for Building the Kingdom

Donna Heckler
OSV Books, 128 pages

How is evangelization like marketing? You have a message, you want to get people’s attention, and you want them to respond by buying in to the message. Donna Heckler applies her broad experience in corporate marketing to the Catholic Church in this eye-opening book by offering successful business strategies to help the Church at every level do what it is called to do – attract people to the Gospel message and save souls in the process. In the end, it’s still a matter of individuals responding to grace, but there’s nothing like a good marketing plan to give the Holy Spirit something to work with.

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The Divine Plan: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Dramatic End of the Cold War

Paul Kengor and Robert Orlando
ISI Books, 288 pages

Did the Soviet Union collapse under its own weight? No way, say the authors of The Divine Plan. It wouldn’t have happened without the vision and collaboration of two remarkable world leaders, Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan. Each survived assassination attempts in the spring of 1981, and each came away recognizing their survival had a divine purpose – the annihilation of atheistic Communism, the cause of religious and political oppression, human-rights violations, and even death for hundreds of millions of people. Read this exhaustively researched work if you want to learn how the Cold War really ended.

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Forgiveness Makes You Free: A Dramatic Story of Healing and Reconciliation from the Heart of Rwanda

Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga
Ave Maria Press, 192 pages

Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga survived the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Eighty of his family members and 45,000 of his parishioners did not. Shaken by the tragedy, he has dedicated his ministry to reconciliation and healing between the Tutsis and Hutus whose long-simmering ethnic animosity ignited the slaughter of some 800,000 Rwandans. In this remarkable book, Fr. Ubald tells his story and relates a message of hope as he encourages forgiveness and peace wherever wounds are to be found. His “five spiritual keys” are central to his message, and he closes with a guided meditation for those who wish to overcome hatred and fear in order to find peace.

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Santa’s Priority: Keeping Christ in Christmas

Tom Peterson
TAN Books, 24 pages

Looking for a kids’ storybook on the real meaning of Christmas, and keeping the gift of Christ as its focus? Here it is. Legate Tom Peterson, host of the EWTN series “Catholics Come Home,” has published an illustrated children’s board book – with rhyming text and engaging artwork — in which Santa Claus comes to town in order to remind children of the real reason for the season. Pick it up for your children or grandchildren, and read it aloud right alongside the Nativity story and other Christmas classics on Christmas Eve — it may just help increase their appreciation for the celebration of Christmas Mass.

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Christmas Around the Fire

Ryan N.S. Topping
TAN Books, 296 pages

Ready for a Norman Rockwell moment? Read aloud from this fine collection at Christmas as loved ones gather around the fire — or the living room, or the dining table. The author has curated 36 of the best stories, essays, and poems that evoke the spirit of Christmas. An excerpt from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is here, of course, and Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” but there also are lesser-known classics from authors including Henry Van Dyke, Willa Cather, Ruth Sawyer, and Hilaire Belloc. This book will provide seasonal reading for years to come.

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In the Beginning: A Catholic Scientist Explains How God Made Earth Our Home

Gerard Verschuuren
Sophia Institute Press, 192 pages

There is no necessary conflict between science and religious faith, and that goes also for our understanding of creation: the first chapters of Genesis are neither historical nor literal in the manner Fundamentalists claim. Some scientists go awry when they suggest the universe and its creatures developed spontaneously or randomly. Properly speaking, faith tells us God is the Creator of all, and science attempts to explain the processes by which creation develops. This volume does a good job of explaining the cosmos, creation, and evolution in a faith-friendly manner, all the while skewering scientific hubris. Well-written and enlightening.

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Sermons in Times of Crisis: Twelve Homilies to Stir Your Soul

Rev. Paul D. Scalia
TAN Books. 196 pages

The Church today is in crisis. But when has it ever not been? Roman persecutions, Christological heresies, EastWest divisions, the Crusades, the Avignon papacy, and the Reformation are only a few of the challenges that long predated the post-Vatican II controversies and sexual abuse crisis. Yet the Church survives and even thrives, as Christ had promised. Here is a collection of great homilies of history addressing troubled times, from great pastors who are now Church Doctors and saints like St. Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, St. John Henry Newman, and others like Jacques-Benigne Bossuet to more contemporary leaders like Pope St. John Paul II, Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko, and then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Reading these pages buoys hope.

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