ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A new collection of homilies that connects scripture and service was published last month. “Integrity: Living God’s Word” (WestBow Press) is a book dedicated to four Franciscans and is geared toward a group that author Kevin Mackin, OFM, describes as “Sunday Catholics.”
The 55 sermons, with citations representing salvation history in a year’s cycle, weave together contemporary humor, human experiences and challenges, and communion with all God’s creation. The book – which is accessible for Lenten Bible study – focuses on lectionary cycle C and is part of a three-volume series. “A Spirituality for Sunday People” (Cycle B) was published last year, and Kevin is working on “Enjoying God’s Gifts” (Cycle A).
“Integrity: Living God’s Word” is aimed toward “ordinary Catholics,” Kevin said, adding that the new book invites the reader to encounter the living Christ, who communicates his life to us.
“This bread we eat and this cup we drink should not only form us into a community of deeper faith but also empower us to reach out compassionately to the people around us,” he notes. “Yes, the Eucharist is a ‘going forth.’ We must go from the church to ‘wash the feet’ of our brothers and sisters in daily life. In giving ourselves to others, we will live God’s word and act with integrity wherever we are, and whatever our profession and relationships.”
In “Integrity: Living God’s Word,” Kevin, who lives at St. Anthony Friary, writes about historical figures ranging from Mother Teresa of Calcutta to renowned Protestant theologian, Bach scholar and medical doctor Albert Schweitzer, as well as historic examples from the Old and New Testaments.
He dedicated the book to Anthony Carozzo, OFM, and Vincent Cushing, OFM, and the late Damian Blaher, OFM, and Finian Kerwin, OFM. “These friars made a difference in my life and also in the life of the Province,” he said.
Kevin was inspired to write the series thanks to his involvement at St. Raphael Parish on Snell Island Boulevard in St. Petersburg. “I thoroughly enjoy parish work,” he said, adding that roughly 1500 families belong to St. Raphael. He plans to give a presentation about the book there in the future.
In addition to his parish work, Kevin serves as chaplain for the St. Petersburg Police Department. He is also a member of the special works board for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and is active with Catholic Charities of South Pinellas County.
“Integrity: Living God’s Word” can be obtained from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Westbow Press Bookstore in hardcover, paperback and as an e-book.
Kevin – who said he “has a couple of other books lined up” – operates a blog and Facebook page called “A Franciscan Journey” that contain reflections as well biographical information and videos.
Kevin, who is marking 60 years as a friar this year, has held teaching and academic leadership roles throughout his religious life. He has taught classes on topics including Christian theological tradition, Catholic tradition, an introduction to biblical studies, a modern search for Jesus, contemporary Catholic thought, contemporary Protestant thought, and the Gospels. He has also published numerous articles.
The Brooklyn, N.Y., native who has served as president of two colleges – Siena College, outside Albany, N.Y., from 1996 to 2007 and Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y., from 2008 to 2014 – also served at Siena College in the 1970s as an assistant and associate professor and chair of religious studies. In 1982, he was appointed president-rector of Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, N.Y., and from 1988 until 1996 he was director of St. Anthony’s Guild.
While president of Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y., from 2008 to 2014, he also served as professor of religious studies.
Other books by Kevin Mackin include “In Search of the Authentic Christian Tradition”, published in 1977 by University Press of America, which he says he plans to update.
Books written by other OFM friars around the United States can be found on USFranciscans.org.
— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.
- “The Ground Zero Cross: Symbol of Faith Featured in New Book” – Sept. 12, 2017, HNP Today
- “Mount Saint Mary College Celebrates Kevin Mackin” – April 30, 2014, HNP Today
- Video of Fr. Kevin Mackin’s Speech During the 2010 Commencement at Mount Saint Mary College