Book Review: Great American Catholic Eulogies

By Catherine O'Connell-Cahill| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews
Compiled by Carol DeChant
(ACTA, 2011)

Like any good eulogy, this book focuses not only on death, but on life. Carol DeChant gathers 50 eulogies that mark the passing of Catholics in America, in which “we get real glimpses of life’s meaning and our own,” says the undertaker poet Thomas Lynch in the worth-the-price-of-the-book foreword.


USC Book Club: Streams of Contentment

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October 2011:

Streams of Contentment: Lessons I Learned on My Uncle's Farm

By Robert J. Wicks

Review: The word contentment in the title may not be strong enough to shoulder all of the wise and helpful insights that Robert Wicks has stuffed into this small book. “Life is simpler than we make it,” he says at the outset. Then in 15 brief chapters and a month of five-minutes-a-day reflections, he demonstrates, through stories and self-deprecating humor, how to focus on what’s really important. 


Movie Review: The Debt

By Patrick McCormick| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews
Directed by John Madden (Marv Films, 2010)

John Madden’s cagey thriller about three Mossad agents sent to capture a Nazi war criminal hiding out in East Berlin raises ethical questions and goose bumps galore. Young Rachel Singer (Jessica Chastain), Stephan Gould (Marton Csokas), and David Peretz (Sam Worthington) must figure out how to kidnap the monstrous “Surgeon of Birkenau” (Jesper Christensen) and sneak the murderous physician over the Berlin Wall and back to Israel for a public trial.


The Bread of Angels: A Journey to Love and Faith

By Margaret Brennan| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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By Stephanie Saldaña (Anchor Books, 2011)

The Arab Spring, which began in Tunisia and spread into Egypt and Libya, has become a seemingly inexorable movement. With the late-summer protests in Syria and Qaddafi’s fall in Libya, Stephanie Saldaña’s memoir of her 2004-2005 Fulbright year in Syria is timely and welcome.


The Social Mission of the U.S. Catholic Church

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By Charles E. Curran (Georgetown University Press, 2011)

Catholic social teaching has been described as the church’s “best kept secret,” and 130 years after Pope Leo XIII published the church’s first social encyclical dealing with the rights of workers, Father Charles E. Curran argues that the U.S. Catholic Church has still not put the church’s social teachings and mission front and center, where they belong.


Neon Blue Bird

By Danny Duncan Collum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews
Ollabelle (Thirty Tigers, 2011)

On the first track of the new Ollabelle album, a clavinet, sounding like an electrified mouth harp, hacks out a riff that echoes “Rag Mama Rag” by The Band. It’s a promising reference point until you realize that’s Amy Helm singing the lead, and her father, Levon, was the main voice of The Band.


USC Book Club: The Monastery of the Heart

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September 2011:

The Monastery of the Heart: An Invitation to a Meaningful Life

By Joan Chittister

Review: In her new book, The Monastery of the Heart, Erie Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister not only adapts the almost 1,500-year-old Rule of St. Benedict and the lessons she herself has learned in her own monastery to life in the 21st century, along with her community she is attempting to launch a whole new monastically inspired movement for today’s seekers.


The King of In Between

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Article Reviews
Garland Jeffreys (Luna Park Records, 2011)

OK, so the guy’s 68 years old, and it’s been about 15 years since his last record. And his sound is still anchored to a guitar-centered rock/reggae/soul amalgam he forged 37 years ago. “So?” as they would have said in Garland Jeffreys’ old Brooklyn neighborhood, “You wanna make something of it?”


Buck

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Directed by Cindy Meehl (Sundance Selects, 2011)

In Genesis 2 God responds to Adam’s isolation by creating animals to provide the lonely human with companions. Ever since, friendships formed with other creatures have nurtured our souls and reminded us how to befriend our human neighbors. Unfortunately, when we have forgotten how to be friends to animals, it often means we have lost that gift with people as well.


Will There Be Faith?

By A. Regina Schulte| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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By Thomas H. Groome (HarperOne, 2011)

Toward the end of his public ministry, Jesus asked, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8). Religious educator Thomas H. Groome hopes to ensure that Christian faith will endure for future generations.


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