Welcome to the U.S. Catholic Book Club
From Camera to Pen: An Award-Winning Photojournalist Captures God in a Hurried World
By Matt Knisely
Review: In our increasingly distracted and plugged-in world, it’s tough to find moments to stop, slow down, and be present. But in Framing Faith, photojournalist Matt Knisely reminds us that although we have eyes, we often fail to see. Those spare moments exist, but they often pass us by as we flit from Twitter to Facebook, email to Instagram. Rather than filling our days with these distractions, Knisely encourages us to find God in those often overlooked spare moments. Framing this faith journey with photography, Knisely challenges us to shift our eyes from our screens and look through his lens. Not only does he show us what he’s found—he helps us realize what we’ve been missing.
—Sarah Butler, Assistant Editor, U.S. Catholic
Thomas Nelson says: Framing Faith is a book for people seeking to focus their lives, to find a deeper knowledge of God, and a more authentic Christian faith.
Available from Thomas Nelson at 800-251-4000 ex. 1176 or www.ThomasNelson.com
Master of Ceremonies: A Novel
By Donald Cozzens
Review: As a former vicar for priests, Donald Cozzens knows and understands the inner workings of the Catholic Church, and especially the clerical culture, better than anyone. In recent years his honest, courageous, and insightful writing has shed much light on the root causes and the cultural and systemic failures that led to the clergy sexual abuse crisis.
In his first novel, Master of Ceremonies, Cozzens now uses all that inside knowledge to spin a page-turning tale around the consequences of clergy sexual abuse, the machinations of a secret society of careerist and hypocritical priests and bishops, and a few good Catholics working to uncover the truth. There is scandal, murder, love, and intrigue—you’ll have a hard time putting it down.
—Meinrad Scherer-Emunds, Executive Editor, U.S. Catholic
ACTA Publications says: Father Donald Cozzens has written an unflinching story of clergy sexual abuse and its very personal consequences. A thriller of a novel, not for the squeamish or faint of heart.
Available at bookstores or from ACTA Publications: 1-800-397-2282 or shop online at www.actapublications.com.
Just call me Lopez: Getting to the Heart of Ignatius Loyola
By Margaret Silf
Review: A simple happenstance can change the course of the future. When Rachel finds herself injured in a bicycling accident, she’s lifted up by a stranger named López, whom we recognize as St. Ignatius of Loyola.
Margaret Silf’s Just call me López follows the unlikely friendship between the 16th-century saint and the 21st-century woman. Their journey together in this historical fiction centers on transformation: St. Ignatius’ shift from being a raucous youth to a devoted pilgrim of God, and Rachel’s change as her newfound friend gently guides her through the daily struggles of life. Their grace-filled and reflective conversations—over many cups of coffee—will slowly shape your heart and soul as well.
—Caitlyn Schmid, Assistant Editor, U.S. Catholic
Loyola Press says: In Just call me López, a twenty-first-century woman, Rachel, meets the man who becomes the saint, and both are transformed by their unlikely friendship and series of thought-provoking conversations.
Available at bookstores or from Loyola Press: 800-621-1008 or shop online at www.loyolapress.com.
The Wisdom of the Beguines: The Forgotten Story of a Medieval Women's Movement
By Laura Swan
Review: This fascinating account tells the story of a little-known but surprisingly widespread movement of medieval women that started in the early 1200s. The beguines, active across Europe, were laywomen who formed their own communities, served the poor and sick, ran successful businesses, preached, wrote spiritual tracts, and achieved an unusual degree of independence.
Some of their medieval visions, practices, and reported miraculous occurrences may sound strange to modern ears, but Laura Swan tells the stories of these strong women leaders—their great resilience and success, as well as the envy, criticism, and persecution they suffered—with great sympathy. In the process she makes a compelling case that the beguines offer readers “hope and a fresh path … to live with prophetic courage.”
—Meinrad Scherer-Emunds, Executive Editor, U.S. Catholic
BlueBridge says: Beguines were medieval laywomen defined by their visionary spirituality, unusual business acumen, and strong commitment to the poor and marginalized. The beguines invite us to seek out their wisdom and to discover them anew.
Available at bookstores or from BlueBridge: 800-343-4499 or shop online at www.bluebridgebooks.com.
When Saint Francis Saved the Church: How a Converted Medieval Troubadour Created a Spiritual Vision for the Ages
By Jon M. Sweeney
Review: Jon M. Sweeney’s compact book sets the poor man of Assisi in the context of the church and society of his day, demonstrating how Francis often trod on dangerous ground—and why no pope had taken his name for 800 years. Early on, the author dispatches our weak, pious notions of Francis. In their place he describes a man whose revolutionary approaches to friendship, poverty, spirituality, death, nature, and people on the margins drew many to his side, even though few could hack what it really meant to follow him.
Sweeney deftly shows how Francis, ahead of his time, is also a man for our time, less interested in doctrines and debates than in how humans ought to treat the world and one another.
—Catherine O'Connell-Cahill, Senior Editor, U.S. Catholic
Ave Maria Press says: Bestselling author Jon M. Sweeney offers a surprising new look at the world’s most popular saint, showing how this beloved, but often-mythologized character created a spiritual vision for the ages and may very well have rescued the Christian faith.
Available at bookstores or from Ave Maria Press: 800-282-1865 or shop online at www.avemariapress.com.
The U.S. Catholic Book Club is a collaborative project of U.S. Catholic magazine and the Catholic Book Publishers Association. The titles featured in the U.S. Catholic Book Club are selected each month by the magazine’s editors from submissions by participating book publishers. The publisher provides a paid advertising in U.S. Catholic magazine for the featured book.