US Catholic Faith in Real Life

USC Book Club: Why Stay Catholic?

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October 2012:

Why Stay Catholic? Unexpexted Answers to a Life-Changing Question

By Michael Leach


Ask Catholics what frustrates them about their church and you’re likely to be in for an earful. But Michael Leach has plenty of reasons—50 of them, in fact—why being Catholic is worthwhile not only for our heavenly reward but here on earth, too.

From the church’s most profound teachings to the people and places that are sure to inspire, Leach takes readers on a highly engaging tour of the best that Catholicism has to offer. Flip open to any page and you’ll find a boost of encouragement for those days when you feel like throwing up your hands and walking away. When you reach the end you won’t be asking “Why stay Catholic?” but rather, “Why would you not?”

Scott Alessi, Assistant Editor,  U.S. CATHOLIC

Why Stay Catholic?Loyola Press says: In Why Stay Catholic? Mike Leach offers surprising, inspiring, and timely questions to this life-changing question, giving readers plenty of reasons to celebrate the Catholic faith here and now.

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General Book Club guidelines

Discussion questions from Loyola Press:

1. What is the "spiritual deposit of faith?" How is it different from what we refer to as "the deposit of faith?" What is the difference between "the truth" and "statements about the truth"? Do these understandings have practical implications for our lives?

2. The author speaks of "the chosen part of things?" What does that mean? Who does the choosing? What is the "chosen part" of your Catholic faith?

3. Is there a way of knowing that has nothing to do with the brain? What is direct knowing? Have you ever had the kind of mystical experience the author writes about in Chapter Six? What did it mean for your life?

4. In chapter 10 the author shares a personal story that leads him to a basic premise about what life is all about? What is your faith story? Do you have a basic premise that you know, not think, is true and that guides you through life?

5. Can the church change? Can you disagree with certain church teachings and still be a good Catholic? Why is disinterest a greater obstacle to faith than dissent?

6. What is the church's best kept secret? How does it relate to "the seamless garment of life?" Why don't Catholics know much about this? Does it mean anything to you?

7. The author quotes a psychiatrist who says that "we don't get joy out of our work, we bring joy to our work." Do the saints have any example that is helpful? What practical implication does this have?

8. In Part Two the author writes about role models, living and dead who manifest the 25 ideas in Part One of the book. Does any particular person he writes about resonate with you? Do you have a different one you'd like to talk about?

9. In Part Three he writes about ten organizations that manifest these great Catholic ideas. Which one do you have personal experience with? Does it bolster your faith?

10. Going back to a fundamental idea the author writes about in Chapter Four and continues throughout the book: can anything separate us from the love of God?