Recommended Reading

Jocelyn Thomas Features

HNP Today occasionally suggests publications that are relevant to friars and their partners-in-ministry. These two books explore the impact of Catholics on New York City and the challenges of theology in the modern world

New York Catholics: Faith, Attitude and the Works by Patrick McNamara (Orbis Books, 2014) provides stories about the lives and the impact of 71 people — including Dorothy Day, Jimmy Fallon and Thomas Merton — who practiced their Catholic faith while contributing their talents to the city. The book, published Oct. 1, includes information about Mychal Judge, OFM, New York City Fire Department chaplain, who died on Sept. 11. Authored by a professor of history and Church history, the book is an “an outstanding piece of scholarship that offers insight into the story of the Church in New York City,” according to a review in The Tablet, the newspaper of the Brooklyn diocese.

Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God by Sr. Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2007) is recommended by the Provincial Council, which discussed the book at its October meeting. Councilor Joseph Nangle, OFM, said he found the book to be a rich source of spiritual reading. He said: “As one of today’s preeminent American theologians, Sr. Johnson offers in this volume insights into the all-important question of how to approach and proclaim the Living God in ways that are coherent with our changing times. Each of us found this book most helpful, first, as we shared our personal quest, understanding and appropriation of the Holy Mystery we call God; and secondly, how we endeavor to portray this mystery in our lives and ministries. We dealt principally with Karl Rahner’s lifetime preoccupation, presented eloquently here by Sr. Johnson, regarding the task of modern Christians: to approach the true (living) being we call God and to speak about him in this ‘wintry season’ of an increasingly secular global culture. While we could hardly do more than scratch the surface of this book in our limited time, we did note that the author goes on to treat significant attempts in modern theological and pastoral areas to engage several current realities in the light of our Christian-Catholic understanding of the Transcendent One. For example, the book has chapters on the holocaust, globalized poverty, women’s experience, worldwide racism, popular religiosity, religious pluralism and the new cosmology.”

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 related to the Province’s committees and directorates: vocations, justice and peace, wellness, African-American and Hispanic ministries, and young adults.

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas