Br. Benet S. Exton

Br. Benet S. Exton

Br. Benet Exton, O.S.B., St. Gregory's University, Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Articles by Br. Benet S. Exton

Travelers along the way: The men and women who shaped my life

Dec 10, 2010 / 00:00 am

Book written by: Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel

Through the Year with Mary: 365 Reflections

Oct 29, 2010 / 00:00 am

Edmisten, Karen. Cincinnati, Ohio : Servant Books, 2010.  133 pages.  Paperback.  ISBN 978-0-86716-937-9. $12.99.There have been several books offering one minute meditations published over the years, but this one is one of  the best.In her introduction she writes why she wrote this book: to help Catholics and non-Catholics to get to know Mary better.  Mary will lead a person to her Son, Jesus."Through the Year with Mary: 365 Reflections" is devoted to Mary, the Mother of God, and Edmisten has done a great job of collecting reflections from various authors from many different times and places. These authors include such holy people as Bl. John Henry Newman, Venerable John Paul II, Bl. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Teresa, St. Bonaventure and many more! She has also gathered sayings from other notable persons like G.K. Chesterton, Mark Shea, Paul Elie, Thomas Merton, and many others both living and deceased and compiled a one sentence quote or short prayer from the with a brief reflection written by Karen Edmisten for each day of the year.The author provides endnotes whereby the reader can look up more material to read and ponder on if they are interested.The only thing that could make this book better is if Edmisten had provided one more reflection for February 29 since it shows up every four years. I wouldn't mind the extra reflection from this author!These reflections are worth reading, and you may want to check out her other work too. She is the author of "The Rosary: Keeping Company with Jesus and Mary," and she has written for various Catholic magazines and writes for her own blog. You can find her online at  This book is highly recommended to those looking for a quick daily Marian reflection for each day of the year. 

Splendors of Faith: New Orleans Catholic Churches, 1727-1930

Oct 15, 2010 / 00:00 am

Book written by: Nolan, Charles E.Photographs by: Frank J. Methe

Roots of the Faith: From the Church Fathers to you

Sep 17, 2010 / 00:00 am

Book written by:   Mike Aquilina

Lourdes: Font of Faith, Hope, and Charity

Aug 13, 2010 / 00:00 am

Ficocelli, Elizabeth. New York: Paulist Press, 2007. 181 pages. ISBN 978-0-8091-4486-0.

Who Killed Kelsey?

Jul 16, 2010 / 00:00 am

Follett, Britten and Cherokee Ballard. Charleston, S.C.:  BookSurge Publishing, April 2010. ISBN 9781439266601. $19.99.

Bleeding Hands, Weeping Stone: true stories of divine wonders, miracles, and messages

Jul 2, 2010 / 00:00 am

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

39 New Saints You Should Know

Jun 25, 2010 / 00:00 am

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

Heart of the Christian Life: thoughts on Holy Mass

Jun 18, 2010 / 00:00 am

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

The Next Pope: after Pope Benedict XVI

Jun 4, 2010 / 00:00 am

Guruge, Anura. Alton, N.H.: Wowhn LLC, February 2010. 301 pages. ISBN 978-0-615-35372-2This 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 possible candidates for the papacy. Of course, this top ten list is prone to change over time. However, the author has also set up a website to help keep the book up to date.Among the data and statistics presented in the book, Guruge provides a history of who has elected the previous popes. He also examines Pope John Paul II’s rules on how to elect a pope as well as other sets of rules that preceded the current one.Another section explores the backgrounds of previous popes. It describes which popes were members of religious orders, which ones were Italian, who were of the nobility, and other topics of note.Guruge has included several black and white illustrations throughout the book as well.This book will be of interest to scholar and general reader and it is a must for those interested in anything about the Papacy.

The Four Teresas: Therese of Lisieux, Teresa of Avila, Teresa Benedicta, Mother Teresa

May 28, 2010 / 00:00 am

 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 order: the Missionaries of Charity.  In essence, all four are women who gave their lives to God and did so out of love. Loehr, who has a master’s degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville, presents these holy women as the human beings they were. She also shows how they eventually became saints.  One of the most encouraging aspects of the book is that the author shows that we can follow their example and become saints too.  The book offers first-hand quotes from the writings of these 4 womenLoehr provides endnotes and a bibliography. Her book can be used for group or private study and questions for reflection are provided at the end of each chapter.  This book is highly recommended to those interested in these four Teresas.

House of Treason: the rise and fall of a Tudor Dynasty

May 21, 2010 / 00:00 am

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 were a high ranking family with royal blood. Their royal bloodlines became a source of trouble in some cases. For example, a few of the early dukes became too proud of their blood line. They were then seen as competitors for the throne. Of course, whoever was King or Queen at the time was protective of their own personal interests. The conflict between the two houses was aggravated by the fact that the Howards might have had a better claim to the throne than did the Tudors due to their Plantagenet connections. In this manner, some of the Dukes of Norfolk ran afoul of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I and were executed for treason. Hutchinson describes all of the intrigues and excitement that are a part of this family’s history. One of the most notable of their escapades included Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel. Phillip was arrested after converting to Catholicism. He was imprisoned and died in the Tower of London. He was canonized a saint in 1970 by Pope Paul VI. His experience did not deter the Howard family from their Catholic which signified nothing if not the continuation of their problems. The book ends with the advent of the reign of the Stuarts and the survival of the Howard family after the fall of the Tudors. The book is recommended to those who are interesting in the Catholic history of England, in Tudor England, or in the history of Great Britain.

American Cicero: the life of Charles Carroll

May 7, 2010 / 00:00 am

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

Unlikely Spiritual Heroes

Apr 23, 2010 / 00:00 am

Hill,Brennan R.Cincinnati, Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press, December 2009. 143 pages. ISBN 978-0-86716-924-9  $14.95.

A Priest Forever: nine signs of renewal and hope

Mar 26, 2010 / 00:00 am

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

Gray Ghost: the Life of Col. John Singleton Mosby

Mar 19, 2010 / 00:00 am

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

Saint of the Day: Lives, Lessons, and Feasts: 6th revised edition

Mar 12, 2010 / 00:00 am

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. 

Gone to Hell: true crimes of America’s clergy

Feb 26, 2010 / 00:00 am

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

Elizabeth’s Spymaster: Francis Walsingham and the secret war that saved England

Feb 19, 2010 / 00:00 am

Robert Hutchinson. New York:  Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, August 2007. 399 pages ISBN 978-0-312-36822-7  $27.95Robert 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 to be hung, drawn and quartered. Tudor England was a nasty place for those who opposed the Tudors.This particular book by Robert Hutchinson is about Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster or rather, one of her secretaries of state, who was responsible for foreign affairs and safeguarding the state and the queen from being overthrown by outside forces or inside “traitors.”  This spymaster was Sir Francis Walsingham and his job was a thankless one. Often, the queen would rage and threaten him instead of praising him or giving him an award. Walsingham was a staunch Protestant of the Puritan variety. Despite the difficulty of his position he wanted to protect his queen as well as Protestant England from the Catholics.Walsingham helped to many Catholics along the road to an early death. As is the case with the martyrs, his actions often lead to the beatification and canonization of his enemies. Walsingham was also in charge of capturing and convicting priests, both English and foreign, who ministered to the Catholics in England and to converted Protestants. These priests and their many helpers had to do this as secretly as possible. Their jobs were complicated and compromised by an abundance of spies and traitors. Hutchinson gives some rather gruesome details about the fates of those priests and their assistants.One of Walsingham’s major targets was Mary, Queen of Scots. She was the heir apparent and would assume the English throne should Elizabeth die. She was also a Roman Catholic. Walsingham worked long hours to catch Mary and prove that she was planning to assassinate or overthrow Elizabeth in order to become queen and return Catholicism to England.Walsingham finally was able to solidify the case by intercepting some of Queen Mary’s letters. He also forged a few others. Despite his work in creating a case against Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth did not want to execute her cousin. However, Elizabeth eventually gave in ordered Mary’s execution. She later regretted having done so and blamed Walsingham for tricking her into having Mary executed.One of the major foreign attempts to remove Elizabeth and return Catholicism to England was the Spanish Armada. Hutchinson writes about how Walsingham used his network of international spies and informants to find out where the Armada was and when it was going to sail. He was able to delay the Armada’s attack by working with the English Navy to raid the Spanish fleet. In the end, though the Armada did set sail, it was defeated by a combination of English forces and those of nature.Francis Walsingham was not a healthy man. He suffered from many illnesses while he served Queen Elizabeth. His long days and nights were spent pouring over numerous documents and reports. Many times, he paid for information out of his own pocket due to Elizabeth’s frugality and lack of funds. He died in debt in 1590. He was buried quietly in old St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.This book is a wonderful read. It truly makes history exciting!  Hutchinson provides several color portraits and illustrations in the centerfold, which add to the reader’s understanding of the era. He also quotes many primary sources and has many endnotes as well as a bibliography and an index. One thing that is very useful is the provided section on the main characters in Walsingham’s spy ring accompanied by with short bios.“Elizabeth’s Spymaster” is highly recommended to those interested in Tudor English history, Catholic Church history in England, or in spies.Robert Hutchinson is the author of “The Last Days of Henry VIII” (2005), “Thomas Cromwell” (2009), and “The House of Treason” (2009).

Annulment: 100 Questions and Answers for Catholics

Feb 12, 2010 / 00:00 am

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