Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Wisdom from the Western Isles – Book Review

Wisdom from the Western IslesIf you want to grow in spirituality, and learn the mystic way, then you will want to get a copy of David Torkington’s Wisdom from the Western Isles.

In this thought provoking book, we meet the main character, Peter Calvay, a mystic in his own right. He acts as a spiritual guide for a young man named James. Torkington does a masterful job at interweaving the stories of the two men’s lives, who are completely different. James is Protestant, searching for meaning in his life. Peter is a middle-aged Catholic, who experienced much spiritual growth and is considered a mystic.

Through Peter’s kindness and willingness to share his experiences and knowledge with James, we all get the benefit of Continue reading

Charlotte’s Honor – Book Review

Charlotte's HonorCharlotte’s Honor, by Ellen Gable, a sequel to Julia’s Gifts, is set in wartime Europe during the summer of 1918. Here, we find Charlotte Zielinski, working as a nurse at a field hospital in France. In Julia’s Gifts, Charlotte was a supporting character. Here in Charlotte’s Honor, we see Charlotte, with her hopes and dreams, take center stage along with the reality of war. The days are long, and the work is hard, but Charlotte finds solace tending to the dying, as each takes their last breaths. Someone needs to be by their sides, as no one should die alone.

As Charlotte tends to the dying, she meets young Dr. Paul Kilgallen. She’s smitten with him, Continue reading

Bead by Bead: The Scriptural Rosary – Book Review

Bead by BeadWith the upcoming Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, on Oct 7th, I thought it might be appropriate to share with you a wonderful book, written by Meggie K. Daly. In Bead by Bead: The Scriptural Rosary, Daly treats us to an insightful way to pray the Scriptural Rosary. You need not be an aficionado on the Rosary to appreciate this book. Perhaps you never said the Rosary but might be interested in learning how to do it. No sweat – Daly covers the basics to get you started.

Bead by Bead, We Walk with Mary to Jesus

Daly provides a history of how the Rosary evolved over the centuries. We learn that the Rosary Continue reading

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 Continue reading

Playing by Heart, by Carmela Martino – Book Review

Playing by HeartIn Playing by Heart, by Carmela Martino, we meet two gifted sisters. The story,  set in 1730’s, Milan, Italy, introduces us to Maria, a gifted linguist, mathematician and speaker. Her sister, Emilia, excels at playing and composing music, as well as singing. Where Maria shines in knowledge of the sciences, Emilia glistens in the arts. In 1730’s Italy, it was rare to come across educated females.

We find that the girls father’s long held desire to gain a noble title, drives the entire story; propelling the girls into situations that a young lady of the 21st century would never need to confront. In the 1730’s, for example, parents arranged the marriages of their children. Young ladies had Continue reading

Mommy, Mommy, When You Pray – Book Review

Mommy, Mommy, When You PrayMommy, Mommy, When You Pray, is a delightful children’s book for ages 3-5, written and illustrated by Kimberly Cook. In this little gem of a book, children learn about the virtue of gratitude. Mommy is thankful to God for all He blesses her with, and she shares those thoughts with her children. The illustrations are colorful and engaging; surely to capture your child’s attention and interest.

This little story will open up dialogue between you and your child; for the two of you share what you are thankful for, and why. Kimberly Cook has a knack for capturing the everyday occurrences of life and highlighting them as special – worthy of thanks! Cook has a lot of love packed Continue reading

A Soldier Surrenders – Book Review

Soldier SurrendersSusan Peek has a knack for bringing the lives of obscure saints to the forefront. For example, in Saint Magnus, the Last Viking, she took us on a swashbuckling adventure. Today, Peek enthralls us with A Soldier Surrenders, the Conversion of St. Camillus de Lellis. In this action-packed adventure, we follow the life of Camillus de Lellis, mercenary for the Turks, and a baptized Catholic! We see contradiction from the start. How can a Catholic fight Catholics on behalf of the Moslems? You can, if you are hungry and have no other means to support yourself.

Camillus de Lellis is a strong-willed, and stubborn young man, who thinks that all he can do is fight, gamble and drink Continue reading

Calvary Road – Journey from Judaism to Calvary – Book Review

Calvary RoadCalvary Road, by Marty Barrack, is an interesting memoir/conversion story of Barrack’s conversion from Judaism to Catholicism. Roughly, the first 60% of the book is a memoir of Barrack’s life. We read about Barrack growing up in New York City and meeting the love of his life, Irene.  We learn about Barrack’s profession as a Customs officer. Very little touches on Barrack’s faith. I must admit, as I was reading the book, I kept questioning, “When do we get to the conversion part?”  With the title, Calvary Road, I expected more conversion and less memoir.

However, when I reached page 220, the conversion part kicked into high gear! From that point on, it was a page-turner. Continue reading