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Book Reviews
April 09, 2010
Effective Faith: Faith That Makes a Difference
By Katherine Haas

Tobin, Thomas J. Seraphina Press, Minneapolis, 2009. $13.95 ISBN 978-0979824692

Taking the pastoral and pedagogical role of being a bishop to a new level, Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island has published the pick of his weekly columns in an accessible book. Well-known for his recent media appearance as he caught flack for warning Rep. Patrick Kennedy of the dichotomy between being a pro-abortion Catholic in the public sphere, Bishop Tobin has also been quietly publishing a...

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March 26, 2010
A Priest Forever: nine signs of renewal and hope
By Br. Benet S. Exton

Alfred McBride, O.Praem. Cincinnati, Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2010.  ISBN 978-0-86716-954-6 $12.95

This book by Norbertine Fr. Alfred McBride is an encouraging book for today’s priests, many of whom are overworked, getting older, and fewer in numbers. “A Priest Forever” is a source and encouragement for priestly renewal. The book focuses on the role and person of the priest and addresses a variety of corollary topics.

Throughout the book, Fr. McBride encourages priests to...

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March 19, 2010
Gray Ghost: the Life of Col. John Singleton Mosby
By Br. Benet S. Exton

Ramage, James A. "Gray Ghost: The Life of Col. John Singleton Mosby." Lexington, Kentucky : The University Press of Kentucky, February 2010. 432 pages. Paperback. ISBN 978-0-8131-9253-6  $24.95

In this book, James A. Ramage provides a wonderful biography of John S. Mosby’s life. Originally published in 1999, the book focuses predominantly on Mosby’s Civil War days. However, Ramage provides a lot of material about his life both before and after the war as well.

John S. Mosby was a...

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Edited by Fr. Leonard Foley, O.F.M. Revised by Fr. Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.  Cincinnati, Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press, September 2009. 408 pages. ISBN 978-0-86716-887-7.  $19.95. 

The first edition of this book came out in 1975 and was edited by the late Fr. Leonard Foley, O.F.M. It has now been revised and updated for the sixth time by Fr. Patrick McCloskey, O.F.M.

This book is well organized. The saints are presented according to the revised calendar approved by Pope John Paul II....

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March 05, 2010
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
By Katherine Haas

Rick Riordan. Miramax/Hyperion Books for Children, New York. 2005. ISBN 0-7868-5629-7 $7.99

For readers looking for a nice imaginative escape, for an easy to read but well thought-out adventure, the first book of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series is a tasty morsel. Though the books are obviously written for children - not even teens but really for children - something in them speaks to the mature or intellectual reader in barely perceptible ways.

But first, a...

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February 26, 2010
Gone to Hell: true crimes of America’s clergy
By Br. Benet S. Exton

Randall Radic. Toronto, Canada: ECW Press, 2009.  261 pages.  Paperback.  ISBN 978-1-55022897-7. $17.95.

In an interesting take on stories about real-life crime, Randall Radic’s book presents the stories of six Roman Catholic priests who have been convicted of crimes.

Radic, a former Old Catholic (not Roman Catholic) priest is an ex-felon himself. He based the stories in this book on public records, news accounts, and other sources in the public domain. 

The stories themselves address...

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Robert Hutchinson. New York:  Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, August 2007. 399 pages ISBN 978-0-312-36822-7  $27.95

Robert Hutchinson has a wonderful way of recounting the history of Tudor England. His histories flow very well and they keep the reader enthralled with the events of this tumultuous time in English history. The era was tumultuous in the sense that no one knew exactly what the Tudor monarchs were going to do, whose head was going to be cut off or worse, who was going...

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February 12, 2010
Annulment: 100 Questions and Answers for Catholics
By Br. Benet S. Exton

Peter Vere and Jacqui Rapp. Cincinnati, Ohio: Servant Books. December 2009. 117 pages.  Paperback.  ISBN 978-0-86716-873-0  $11.99

Many people consider an annulment to be the Catholic version of divorce. However, this is not the case. An annulment declares that a marriage never existed in the first place.  The authors of this book, Peter Vere and Jacqui Rapp, are canon lawyers who are able to offer detailed insight into how an annulment is processed and obtained. They are able to explain...

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“Wisdom and the Well-Rounded Life: What is a University?” Milward, Peter. Golden, Colo; Fulcrum Publishing, 2006. ISBN: 978-1-555-91-651-0. $14.95 

Ask anyone who has been a teacher for more than 25 years if pedagogic strategies change frequently, and they will undoubtedly answer in the affirmative. The theory of what education is supposed to be and do seems to change with every new generation of students. But for those of us who believe in absolute truth, the idea that education is...

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“Father Damien… ‘A Bit of Taro, a Piece of Fish, and a Glass of Water.’” Law, Anwei Skinsnes. Seneca, NY: IDEA Center for the Voices of Humanity, 2009.  ISBN 978-0-9802123-0-3. $25.

The quote on the back of the book reads, “He was my spiritual father and my friend.” The book itself is a rich journey into the island of Molokai during the time when Hawaiian law forcefully separated people suspected to have leprosy from their families. “Father Damien… ‘A Bit of Taro, a...

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