Recommended Reading

Jocelyn Thomas Around the Province

Two books, one offering Lenten meditations and one a historical analysis, were suggested recently on the Facebook page of the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province and may be of interest to newsletter readers. HNP Today occasionally provides recommendations of publications that are relevant to friars, as well as their partners-in-ministry.

Below are brief descriptions of the two books:

Renewed for Life: Daily Lenten Reflections, edited by Mark Nielsen (Creative Communications, 2010), a series of meditations drawn from the writings of Henri J.M. Nouwen, is recommended by Elaine Herzog Campbell, a 27-year parishioner of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, based in Brant Beach, N.J. Campbell, who now lives in Arizona, keeps in touch with HNP through Facebook, and recently posted her reading suggestion. According, the book is designed to help the reader “receive more fully the blessings of prayer, silence, solitude and the presence of God in the world…not only during Lent but throughout the year. Through the discipline of daily prayer with Scripture, you will foster your commitment to spiritual growth during Lent. Each reading is accompanied by Scripture.”

The Historical Jesus: Five Views, by James Beilby (Intervarsity Press, 2009), is recommended by Frank Zollo, an alumnus of Siena College. He wrote: “I will be always grateful to David Bossman, OFM, who first exposed me to critical Biblical studies in courses on the gospels and St. Paul at Siena College in 1975.” According, the book “provides a venue for readers to sit in on a virtual seminar on the historical Jesus. Beginning with a scene-setting historical introduction by the editors, prominent figures in the Jesus quest set forth their views and respond to their fellow scholars. On the one end, Robert M. Price, a contributor, lucidly maintains that the probability of Jesus’ existence has reached the vanishing point, and on the other, Darrell Bock (contributor) ably argues that while critical method yields only a gist of Jesus, it takes us in the direction of the Gospel portraits. In between, there are numerous avenues to explore, questions to be asked, and assured results to be weighed. And contributors John Dominic Crossan, Luke Timothy Johnson and James D. G. Dunn probe these issues with formidable knowledge and honed insight, filling out a further range of options.”

The HNP Communications Office welcomes emails from readers who would like to suggest a book or periodical, and asks that a short description be provided. The themes of these recommendations are, in addition to spirituality and news of the Catholic Church, topics affiliated with Holy Name Province committees and directorates: evangelization, justice and peace, African-American and Hispanic ministries, communications, wellness, and fraternal life.

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas