Thursday, August 4, 2022

Debut novel paints journeys to forgiveness, wholeness

(CNS photo/courtesy Katy Carl)
By Lindsey Weishar | Catholic News Service

Of her first novel, writer and editor-in-chief of the literary journal “Dappled Things,” Katy Carl says:

“The task of art is to represent, at some depth, reality as we find it and as it might be. This includes the front line of the battle between good and evil as Solzhenitsyn writes about it, a line that — too true — runs through every human heart without exception. … On this line only will we be able, if we really wish it, to find ourselves.”

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Graphic novel illustrates God at work in the midst of war

(Observer photo / Gary Haughton)
By Megan Peterson | The Observer

The typical path of a seminarian involves years of study with fellow seminarians, growing in his faith and fellowship. 

But although 1940s seminarian Gereon Goldmann is first shown reading from his Bible at a campfire alongside other young men, it becomes clear that Goldmann’s path to priesthood is far from typical. 

In illustrated panels of somber blues and grays, Goldmann lays out his plight and that of his home, Germany: “The authorities rejected Christianity and the Catholic Church. They rejected their own humanity as well. When I was 22, and a seminarian, I was drafted into their ranks. I became a compulsory Nazi.” 

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Children’s books for summer showcase saints, adventure

(CNS composite) 
These are among books suitable for kids’ summer reading according to Catholic News Service reviewer Regina Lordan.

“Carlo Acutis: God’s Computer Genius” by Ellen Labrecque, illustrated by Dan Wegendt. Pauline Books and Media (Boston, 2021). 63 pp., $21.95.

Carlo Acutis is one of the only teenagers on the path to sainthood. Born in 1991, he lived his short life focusing his interests and talents toward doing God’s work — in person and online. 

He was a humble evangelizer through his example of being a joyful student who played soccer and the saxophone and who served the poor in his home city of Milan, Italy. 

Laden with sidebars about geography and the sacraments, “Carlo Acutis: God’s Computer Genius” also includes graphics, photographs and illustrations. Ages 9-13.

Scriptural sleuth: Paradoxical priest character enlivens Canadian writer's fiction

(CNS photo/ courtesy Mark Quinn)
Anne Emery
By Mike Mastromatteo | Catholic News Service

Canadian writer Anne Emery admits that it was the beauty of traditional sacred music that led her from an indifferent practice of the faith to a new appreciation of the eucharistic celebration and the dedication and service of priests.

It’s a transition the author describes masterfully through her character Father Brennan Burke, the wily protagonist who shows up in the majority of her crime and mystery stories.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Author shares Catholic view on common mental health challenges

(CNS photo/courtesy Ave Maria Press)
By Nancy L. Roberts | Catholic News Service

Depression, anxiety, trauma and grief are common mental health challenges. In the sea of advice given to deal with them, “St. Dymphna’s Playbook” offers a Catholic perspective.

Tommy Tighe, a licensed marriage and family therapist, combines his extensive clinical experience with insights from Scripture and the saints to give readers practical tools to cope.

Based on Tighe’s podcast of the same name, each chapter of the book gives an accessible explanation of a specific mental health concern. These include loneliness, irritability, hopelessness and relationships.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Book traces history of religious cinema

(CNS photo/courtesy BearManor Media)
By Nancy L. Roberts | Catholic News Service

The life story of Jesus Christ has fascinated filmmakers for more than 100 years. It’s not surprising that more movies have been made about Jesus than about any other subject, but the variation among these portrayals is stunning.

We see the classic, miracle-performing Son of God in epics such as “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (1965) with its all-star cast of Max von Sydow as Jesus and Charlton Heston as John the Baptist. This film achieved success as “an intellectual epic that carefully unfolded the power of Jesus’ ministry,” writes the author of “Jesus Christ Movie Star,” Phil Hall.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Dog stories highlight God's presence

(CNS photo/courtesy Howard Books)
By Regina Lordan | Catholic News Service

“Dogwinks” is a collection of remarkable short stories highlighting that nothing is impossible with God, and that sometimes His blessings are even more apparent with dogs along life’s twists and turns.

Written by SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt, authors of the best-selling “Godwinks” series, the book features tales of heroic canines, second chances and seemingly serendipitous encounters. Each true story represents a wink from God, an acknowledgment that He is present in the lives of humans.