Book Reviews

July 09, 2010
Paul: Tarsus to Redemption
By Catherine Morkert

Salisbury, Matthew and Sean Lam. San Rafael, California: ATITUQ. 2010. ISBN 978-0-9826538-0-7.

When I first saw "Paul: Tarsus to Redemption," written by Matthew Salisbury and drawn by Sean Lam, I had my misgivings. I have read many different manga (graphic novels from Japan) in my life, but I’ve never read an American drawn comic book that claims to be a manga. This alone discouraged me, since I’m a bit prejudiced against Americans trying to “rip-off” the style of Japanese manga-ka...

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Ficocelli, Elizabeth.  Charlotte, N.C.: St. Benedict Press, April 2010. ISBN 978-1935302-31-5.  $12.95.

This book is very inspiring and a worthy teaching tool about the Catholic faith. In it, Elizabeth Ficocelli presents some of those old-time miracles and fascinating wonders which in fact are timeless. She covers miracles from all over the world and from various time periods of the Church’s history. 

Ficocelli divides her book into different miracle types:  Eucharistic miracles, the...

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June 25, 2010
39 New Saints You Should Know
By Br. Benet S. Exton

O’Neel, Brian. Cincinnati, Ohio: Servant Books, May 2010. 156 pages. ISBN 978-0-86716-928-7. 

This new book details the lives of 30 new saints and blesseds –also known as beati. Most of the people in this book were canonized by Pope John Paul II or, more recently, by Pope Benedict.

Some of the saints that O’Neel mentions are relatively well known. Most people are familiar with the stories of Mother Teresa, Padre Pio, St. Charbel Makhlouf, and the parents of St. Terese the Little...

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June 18, 2010
Heart of the Christian Life: thoughts on Holy Mass
By Br. Benet S. Exton

Pope Benedict XVI. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, March 2010. 117 pages. ISBN 978-1-58617-432-3.

This book is a compilation from various speeches, homilies, and official documents that Pope Benedict has delivered since his election in 2005 as Pope. Its primary purpose is to serve as a reflection or meditation on the Eucharist or the Mass.

Each short chapter contains a different reflection or meditation which is three to six pages long.

In each section, The Holy Father reflects on...

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Smith, T.J. Tate Publishing; Mustang, Oklahoma: 2010. ISBN 978-1-61663-101-7.

The third book in the Dan Clay series, “The Sinister Realm” follows Smith’s first two ventures into Catholic Fiction/Fantasy, “A World Away” and “The Harrowing Escape.” However, this third book uses a familiar concept, that which begins the adventures of the previous two books, and moves in a completely new direction. The book makes up for its slow, dry diction by demonstrating comprehension of the...

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June 04, 2010
The Next Pope: after Pope Benedict XVI
By Br. Benet S. Exton

Guruge, Anura. Alton, N.H.: Wowhn LLC, February 2010. 301 pages. ISBN 978-0-615-35372-2

This latest book by Anura Guruge demonstrates the author’s growing fascination with all things related to the papacy. This particular work, his second book related to the papacy, speculates about the next papal election, an event which may happen tomorrow or five years from now. It also gives information on how a papal election is conducted.

In the book, Guruge presents the men he views as the top ten...

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 Loehr, Gina.  Servant Books: Cincinnati, Ohio. April 2010. ISBN 978-0-86716-944-7. 

Gina Loehr’s latest book is not a piece of pious fluff. Instead, she was written a book that will inspire the reader with the lives of four holy women who shared the name Teresa.  Three of these women are Carmelites: St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese, and St. Teresa Benedicta. The fourth, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, started out as a sister of the order of Our Lady of Loreto. She eventually founded her own...

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May 21, 2010
House of Treason: the rise and fall of a Tudor Dynasty
By Br. Benet S. Exton

Robert Hutchinson. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2009. 340 pages. ISBN 978-0-297-84564-5.

Robert Hutchinson has written another wonderful book. This one is about the noble Howard family. The Howards were living in England during the reign of the Tudors. Some of them were both involved in the government and converts to Catholicism. Needless to say, this caused them a few problems, and a cost at least one of them his life.

The Howards were involved in the government of England because they...

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May 07, 2010
American Cicero: the life of Charles Carroll
By Br. Benet S. Exton

Birzer, Bradley J. Wilmington, Delaware: ISI Books, February 2010. ISBN 978-1-933859-89-X $25.00

Charles Carroll of Carrollton made history partly because he was the only Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence. Born the bastard son of Charles Carroll of Annapolis, Maryland, Charles’ father only later recognized him as his son after marrying his mother. The Carrolls were one of the wealthiest families in the American colonies, but because they were Catholics, they were limited by...

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April 30, 2010
Magisterium: Teacher and Guardian of the Faith
By Valerie Haas

 Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ. Naples: Sapientia Press, 2007 $ 21.95. ISBN 978-1932589382.

Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ’s book focuses on the Magisterium, or the teaching body of the Church, which is exercised by the Pope and bishops. He said that one of his goals in writing was to produce a “clear concise, up-to-date manual” on the subject of revelation and transmission in the Church. And he has succeeded.

Dulles noticed that very few people know much about “the types and degrees of...

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