Recommended Reading

HNP Communications Features

HNP Today occasionally provides suggestions of publications. These three books, especially relevant to Holy Week, recommended by people associated with Holy Name Province.

A Cry for Mercy: Prayers from the Genesee (An Image Book, Doubleday, 2002), written by Henri Nouwen, is recommended by Andrew Reitz, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, New York City. Fr. Nouwen wrote the book during his visits to a Trappist monastery in the Genesee Valley of Upstate New York. In this re-issue of one of his most personal books, originally published under the title Genesee Diary, Fr. Nouwen confronts his own inner chaos as he tries to create a space in his heart where God can dwell. Powerful, searching, and painfully honest, Fr. Nouwen’s prayers, confessions, and petitions point to the final goal of all spiritual life — to live in the presence of God. “As you read his thoughts, pause and consider how this relates to you,” wrote Andrew in the April 6 bulletin.

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion (Free Press, Simon & Schuster, 2010) by Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J., is recommended by Jocelyn Thomas, HNP communications director, whose parish, St. Matthias Church in Somerset, N.J., discussed the book through an online blog as part of a spring spiritual reading program. The book is drawn from the experiences of the author who worked for 20 years with gang members on the streets of Los Angeles. The stories of the gang members’ struggles inspire compassion among readers, especially in recognizing that they are not so different from the struggles of other people.

 When God Winks at You: How God Speaks Directly to You Through the Power of Coincidence (Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2006) is written by Squire Rushnell and is recommended by the 20s/30s Young Adults Group of St. Anthony Shrine and Ministry Center in Boston. The term “God wink” describes a coincidence that can be interpreted as a sign from God. Rushnell makes the case that God winks reinforce the belief that God is present in people’s daily lives and directly communicates. The book is a collection of short personal accounts of God winks that helps readers think about random events and coincidences. Rushnell says: “When God winks, he is reaffirming that there is absolutely nothing about us that he does not know… our every hurt, our every desire. And that to me is very comforting.” Previously, the Shrine’s young adults group discussed The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work by Randy Hain.

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: evangelization, vocations, justice and peace, wellness, African-American and Hispanic ministries, and young adults.

—   Compiled by Wendy Healy