Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

A Storyteller’s Guide to Joyful Service – Book Review

Joyful ServiceWhat sheer joy it was to read A Storyteller’s Guide to Joyful Service, by best-selling author, Tony Agnesi. This sequel to A Storyteller’s Guide to A Graced Filled Life, moves us from the stories of Tony’s upbringing, to stories of how, and why, he entered ministry in service to others.  Agnesi is a storyteller, at heart. Give him a room full of people, and he will have them laughing, crying, and wanting more! Well, in this latest in his series, he did just that!

Joyful Service Made Me Laugh

He made me laugh when I read the story about the “80 MPH Rosary.” Bored, on a long drive home from an engagement, an elderly man passes Tony at about 80 MPH, with rosary beads in his hands as he holds on to the steering wheel. This gives Tony the idea to say a Rosary as well. But Tony feels the need to keep pace with this old gent, and they go neck and neck down the highway. Tony shows him his own Rosary beads.  As the man approached his exit, they smiled at each other and parted ways. The visual of these two men barreling down the highway at 80 mph had me roaring with laughter!

Joyful Service Made Me Cry

Agnesi made me cry when I read “Scars – We All Have Them,” as I have both visible and invisible scars. He helped me to see all scars have purpose. They are meant to “make us stronger, more courageous, and deepen our compassion for others” (p. 127).

Throughout A Storyteller’s Guide to Joyful Service, Agnesi shares his stories of how he turned misery into ministry. For example, He works with others to bring Christ to those in prison. There are several stories within A Storyteller’s Guide to Joyful Service related to working in prison ministryIn addition, Agnesi actively supports his local pregnancy center, encouraging young women to keep their babies, rather than aborting them.  You’ll find a few stories in this book about that work as well. Through all his ministry work, Tony Agnesi finds ways to turn misery into ministry for so many people around him.

Tony Agnesi Inspires Me

As the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) Coordinator for my parish, it is my responsibility to prepare those wishing to enter in to full communion with the Catholic Church. In my program, I had a gentleman who committed suicide. I went through all the emotions. I asked myself all the usual questions, wondering what I could have done differently. Then, I turned my misery into ministry by spearheading a new Mental Health Awareness ministry at my parish. Now we will offer Mental Health first aid classes, for interested parishioners, in conjunction with the Mental Health Association. We couldn’t save the life of my RCIA candidate, but perhaps, we will help save the lives of others.  That’s what Tony Agnesi’s book is all about – finding joyful service in the name of the Lord, to help make the lives of others more joyful!

Joyful Service Made Me Want More!

As with both of Tony’s books, he’s left me wanting more! I can’t wait until he publishes A Storyteller’s Guide to Servant Leadership, where he will share stories with us that will guide us in leading others in the service of the Lord. In the meantime, give his latest, best-selling book a read: A Storyteller’s Guide to Joyful Service. I highly recommend it, as it is filled with virtue! You can get your copy by clicking on this link.

Win a Copy of Joyful Service

If you live in the United States, and would like an opportunity to win an autographed copy of Tony Agnesi’s new book, then simply note a comment in the comments section of this post. I will draw a winner tomorrow morning, September 27, 2018 at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

This post was shared with My Scribbler’s Heart Blog and CatholicMom.com.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy of my book, Adventures of Faith, Hope and Charity: Finding Patience, then click here.

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