Recommended Reading

Jocelyn Thomas Features

Suggestions of publications of interest to friars and their partners-in-ministry are provided by HNP Today as an occasional series. Descriptions are of books related to the holiday season.

 Advent with St. Francis: Daily Reflections (Franciscan Media, 2013) by Diane Houdek is a pocket-sized book that looms large on the nightstand. It was picked up by Wendy Healy, HNP Today freelance writer, at a church bookstore as an Advent devotional. Houdek, digital media editor for Franciscan Media and author of several books, gives scripture readings and prayers in the spirit of St. Francis for each day of Advent through Epiphany. Houdek writes in the introduction: “ ‘Let us begin again, for until now we have done nothing.’ Francis said this as he was nearing his death, knowing that conversion is never a single moment but a life journey. We constantly need to renew our commitment to Christ …”

 A Franciscan Christmas (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2010) by Kathleen Carroll is a timely book recommended by St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City. Carroll, former managing editor of the Press, says that the true meaning of Christmas is not found in the gifts and the glitter, but in the manger. St. Francis had a special identification with Christmas and brought together a live manager with animals and people. The book centers on Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the magi, the villagers and the animals. The book is being sold by the parish on its book and gift table in the lobby because, according to Andrew Reitz, OFM, pastor, “it makes interesting and inspirational reading.”

 No Turning Back: One Man’s Inspiring True Story of Courage, Determination and Hope (Penguin Group, 2011) by Bryan Anderson and David Mack, was featured in the Nov. 1 issue of the Catholic Star Herald, newspaper of the Camden, N.J., Diocese, where St. Anthony of Padua Parish is located. Anderson, a former U.S. Army sergeant and triple amputee, spoke recently at a school in the Camden area. The Chicago native writes about his love of life and how he was determined not to let his disabilities keep him from his journey. The story is available on The Herald’s website.

The HNP Communications Office welcomes emails from readers who would like to suggest a book or periodical. Themes that are relevant to friars and partners-in-ministry — in addition to spirituality and news of the Catholic Church — include topics affiliated with Holy Name Province committees and directorates: evangelization, vocations, justice and peace, wellness, African-American and Hispanic ministries, and young adults.

—  Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas