Recommended Reading

HNP Communications Features

NEW YORK — Several books about a variety of topics — spiritual and historical — have been suggested as resources that may interest newsletter readers. HNP Today occasionally provides recommendations of publications that may be relevant to friars and their friends and colleagues.

The Communications Office welcomes e-mails from readers who would like to suggest a book or periodical and asks that a short description of the material be submitted. The themes of the recommendations are Franciscan theology and history as well as topics affiliated with Holy Name Province committees and directorates: evangelization, justice and peace, African-American and Hispanic ministries, communications, wellness, and fraternal life.

Below are brief descriptions of several books provided by various sources:

reading-b1Francis of Assisi: A Revolutionary Life by Adrian House (Mahwah, N.J.: Hidden Spring, an imprint of Paulist Press, 2003) is recommended byMathias Doyle, OFM, of Loudonville, N.Y. The book “covers a number of incidents in the life of Francis that are not gone into in detail in earlier lives,” he said. These incidents include Francis’ meeting with the Sultan and his struggles with the growth of the Order. It also covers St. Clare’s influence in detail throughout the life of the Order.

Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God by Sr. Elizabeth Johnson (New York: Continuum, 2007) is the first of two books recommended by Joseph Nangle, OFM. The author, a sister of St. Joseph, teaches theology at Fordham University. Joseph said Quest for the Living God is “a wonderful source of spiritual reading.”

JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters by James Douglass (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis, 2008) is also recommended by Joseph, of Washington, D.C. It was “urged on me by someone whom I respect highly and I found the scholarship of Douglass, whom I know, to be thorough and revealing.” He said of the book, “Recently opened archives have revealed private correspondence between President John F. Kennedy and Nikita Krushchev aimed at eliminating nuclear weapons. The book contends, backed by extensive research, that both the American State Department, Intelligence apparatus and Defense Department, as well as the Kremlin, greatly opposed any move in the direction of such disarmament. I’m not much into conspiracy theories, but this book is compelling.”

Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith by Henri Nouwen (New York: Harper Collins, 2006)is recommended by Tony LoGalbo, OFM, director of the Center for Franciscan Spirituality and Spiritual Direction at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York. It contains stories, readings and reflection questions by a world-renowned spiritual guide and counselor as well as suggestions for finding a spiritual director. The book is described in the Advent issue of the Vocation Office’s Insight & Wisdom newsletter as “a helpful resource for those seeking to reorient and spiritually transform their lives.”

Editor’s note: Recommendations of books and publications can be shared with 
HNP Today readers by e-mailing information to