Recommended Reading

Maria Hayes Around the Province

HNP Today occasionally provides suggestions of publications that may be of interest to readers of this newsletter and their friends and colleagues.

Below are brief descriptions of three books, provided by varied sources.

  Ear of the Heart: An Actress’ Journey From Hollywood to Holy Vows by Mother Dolores Hart and Richard DeNeut (Ignatius Press, 2013) recounts Mother Dolores’s journey. A successful actress, she stunned Hollywood when she chose to enter a contemplative monastery in 1963, according to the book’s description. Now, 50 years later, Mother Dolores recounts the charmed yet challenging road in her journey toward God, serenity and love. While contracted for another film and engaged to be married, she gave up everything to become a bride of Christ, entering the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Conn., at the peak of her career to answer a mysterious summons she heard with the “ear of the heart.”

  Francis of Assisi in His Own Words: The Essential Writings by Jon Sweeney (Paraclete Press, 2013) is recommended by Jocelyn Thomas, HNP director of communications. The book is a compilation of all of the texts that scholars are most certain come from Francis himself, including his first Rule of life, the Rule he wrote for the Third Order, letters to friends and people in power, messages to all Franciscans, songs, praises, canticles and his final spiritual testament. An introduction and explanatory notes throughout the book help to put the writings into historical and theological context for the reader.

  The Dovekeepers: A Novel by Alice Hoffman (Scribner, 2012) is recommended by the book club of St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish, Hartford, Conn., which discussed the book at its July meeting. The book takes place nearly 2,000 years ago when 900 Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. The story centers around four complex and fiercely independent women whose lives intersect in the desperate days of the siege, according to the book’s description.

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 Maria Hayes