Roman Catholic Church
On Thomas Merton
On Thomas Merton
Hardcover      ISBN: 1611803373
From the best-selling novelist and memoirist: a deeply personal view of her discovery of the celebrated modern monk and thinker through his writings.

"If Thomas Merton had been a writer and not a monk, we would never have heard of him. If Thomas Merton had been a monk and not a writer, we would never have heard of him."

So begins acclaimed author Mary Gordon in this probing, candid exploration of the man who became the face and voice of mid-twentieth-century American Catholicism. Approaching Merton "writer to writer," Gordon illuminates his life and work through his letters, journals, autobiography, and fiction. Pope Francis has celebrated Merton as "a man of dialogue," and here Gordon shows that the dialogue was as much internal as external--an unending conversation, and at times a heated conflict, between Merton the monk and Merton the writer.

Rich with excerpts from Merton's own writing, On Thomas Merton produces an intimate portrait of a man who "lived life in all its imperfectability, reaching toward it in exaltation, pulling back in anguish, but insisting on the primacy of his praise as a man of God."
John Ireland and the American Catholic Church
John Ireland and the American Catholic Church
Paperback      ISBN: 1681341085

"O'Connell presents an excellent biography of the first archbishop of St. Paul, Minnesota, who rose from poverty to become an internationally known clerical figure and friend of presidents. . . . Well written and well researched, this biography brings to life an important figure in American religious history. Recommended."--Library Journal

Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the Lgbt Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity
Building a Bridge
How the Catholic Church and the Lgbt Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity
Hardcover      ISBN: 0062694316

The New York Times bestselling author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything and Jesus: A Pilgrimage turns his attention to the relationship between LGBT Catholics and the Church in this loving, inclusive, and revolutionary book.

On the day after the Orlando nightclub shooting, James Martin S.J. posted a video on Facebook in which he called for solidarity with our LGBT brothers and sisters. "The largest mass shooting in US history took place at a gay club and the LGBT community has been profoundly affected," he began. He then implored his fellow Catholics--and people everywhere--to "stand not only with the people of Orlando but also with their LGBT brothers and sisters." A powerful call for tolerance, acceptance, and support--and a reminder of Jesus' message for us to love one another--Father Martin's post went viral and was viewed more than 1.6 million times.

Now, Martin expands on his reflections in this moving and inspiring book, offering a powerful, loving, and much-needed voice in a time marked by anger, prejudice, and divisiveness. Adapted from an address he gave to New Ways Ministry, a group that ministers to and advocates for LGBT Catholics, Building a Bridge provides a roadmap for repairing and strengthening the bonds that unite all of us as God's children. Martin uses the image of a two-way bridge to enable LGBT Catholics and the Church to come together in a call to end the "us" versus "them" mentality. Turning to the Catechism, he draws on the three criteria at the heart of the Christian ministry--"respect, compassion, and sensitivity"--as a model for how the Catholic Church should relate to the LGBT community.

The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe
The Pope and Mussolini
The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe
Paperback      ISBN: 081298367x
PULITZER PRIZE WINNER - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

From National Book Award finalist David I. Kertzer comes the gripping story of Pope Pius XI's secret relations with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. This groundbreaking work, based on seven years of research in the Vatican and Fascist archives, including reports from Mussolini's spies inside the highest levels of the Church, will forever change our understanding of the Vatican's role in the rise of Fascism in Europe.


The Pope and Mussolini tells the story of two men who came to power in 1922, and together changed the course of twentieth-century history. In most respects, they could not have been more different. One was scholarly and devout, the other thuggish and profane. Yet Pius XI and "Il Duce" had many things in common. They shared a distrust of democracy and a visceral hatred of Communism. Both were prone to sudden fits of temper and were fiercely protective of the prerogatives of their office. ("We have many interests to protect," the Pope declared, soon after Mussolini seized control of the government in 1922.) Each relied on the other to consolidate his power and achieve his political goals.

In a challenge to the conventional history of this period, in which a heroic Church does battle with the Fascist regime, Kertzer shows how Pius XI played a crucial role in making Mussolini's dictatorship possible and keeping him in power. In exchange for Vatican support, Mussolini restored many of the privileges the Church had lost and gave in to the pope's demands that the police enforce Catholic morality. Yet in the last years of his life--as the Italian dictator grew ever closer to Hitler--the pontiff's faith in this treacherous bargain started to waver. With his health failing, he began to lash out at the Duce and threatened to denounce Mussolini's anti-Semitic racial laws before it was too late. Horrified by the threat to the Church-Fascist alliance, the Vatican's inner circle, including the future Pope Pius XII, struggled to restrain the headstrong pope from destroying a partnership that had served both the Church and the dictator for many years.

The Pope and Mussolini brims with memorable portraits of the men who helped enable the reign of Fascism in Italy: Father Pietro Tacchi Venturi, Pius's personal emissary to the dictator, a wily anti-Semite known as Mussolini's Rasputin; Victor Emmanuel III, the king of Italy, an object of widespread derision who lacked the stature--literally and figuratively--to stand up to the domineering Duce; and Cardinal Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli, whose political skills and ambition made him Mussolini's most powerful ally inside the Vatican, and positioned him to succeed the pontiff as the controversial Pius XII, whose actions during World War II would be subject for debate for decades to come.

With the recent opening of the Vatican archives covering Pius XI's papacy, the full story of the Pope's complex relationship with his Fascist partner can finally be told. Vivid, dramatic, with surprises at every turn, The Pope and Mussolini is history writ large and with the lightning hand of truth.
Practicing Catholic
Practicing Catholic
Paperback      ISBN: 0547336268

A clear-eyed and personal examination of the Catholic faith, its leaders, and its complicated history by National Book Award-winner James Carroll

James Carroll turns to the notion of practice--both as a way to learn and a means of improvement--as a lens for this thoughtful and frank look at what it means to be Catholic. He acknowledges the slow and steady transformation of the Church from its darker, medieval roots to a more pluralist and inclusive institution, charting along the way stories of powerful Catholic leaders (Pope John XXIII, Thomas Merton, John F. Kennedy) and historical milestones like Vatican II. These individuals and events represent progress for Carroll, a former priest, and as he considers the new meaning of belief in a world that is increasingly as secular as it is fundamentalist, he shows why the world needs a Church that is committed to faith and renewal.

Jesuit on the Roof of the World: Ippolito Desideri's Mission to Eighteenth-Century Tibet
Jesuit on the Roof of the World
Ippolito Desideri's Mission to Eighteenth-Century Tibet
Hardcover      ISBN: 0195377869
Jesuit on the Roof of the World is the first full-length study in any language of Ippolito Desideri (1684-1733), a Jesuit explorer and missionary who traveled in Tibet from 1715 to 1721.

Based on close readings of a wide range of primary sources in Tibetan, Italian, and Latin, Jesuit on the Roof of the World follows Desideri's journey across the great Western deserts of Tibet, his entry into the court of the Mongol chieftain Lhazang Khan, and his flight across Eastern Tibet during the wars that shook Tibet during the early-eighteenth century. While telling of these harrowing events, Desideri relates the dramatic encounter between his Jesuit philosophy and the scholasticism of the Geluk monks; the personal conflict between his own Roman Catholic beliefs and his appreciation of Tibet religion and culture; and the travails of a variety of colorful characters whose political intrigues led to the invasion of Z�nghar Mongols of 1717 and the establishment of the Chinese protectorate in 1720.

As the Tibetans fought among themselves, the missionary waged his own war against demons, sorcerers, and rival scholastic philosophers. Towering over all in the mind of the missionary was the "fabulous idol" Avalokitesvara and its embodiment in the Sixth Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyatso. In describing his spiritual warfare against the Tibetan "pope," the missionary offers a unique glimpse into theological problem of the salvation of non-Christians in early modern theology; the curious-and highly controversial-appeal of Hermetic philosophy in the Asian missions; the political underbelly of the Chinese Rites Controversy; and the persistent European fascination with the land of snows.
Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church
Inside the Vatican
The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church
Paperback      ISBN: 0674932617

There are one billion Catholics in the world today, spread over every continent, speaking almost every conceivable language, and all answering to a single authority. The Vatican is a unique international organization, both in terms of its extraordinary power and influence, and in terms of its endurance. Popes come and go, but the elaborate and complex bureaucracy called the Vatican lives on. For centuries, it has served and sometimes undermined popes; it has been praised and blamed for the actions of the pope and for the state of the church. Yet an objective examination of the workings of the Vatican has been unavailable until now.

Drawing on more than a hundred interviews with Vatican officials, this book affords a firsthand look at the people, the politics, and the organization behind the institution. Reese brings remarkable clarity to the almost Byzantine bureaucracy of congregations, agencies, secretariats, tribunals, nunciature, and offices, showing how they serve the pope and, through him, the universal church. He gives a lively account of how popes are elected and bishops appointed, how dissident theologians are disciplined and civil authorities dealt with. Throughout, revealing and colorful anecdotes from church history and the present day bring the unique culture of the Vatican to life.

The Vatican is a fascinating institution, a model of continuity and adaptation, which remains constant while functioning powerfully in a changing world. As never before, this book provides a clear, objective perspective on how the enormously complex institution surrounding the papacy operates on a day-to-day level, how it has adapted and endured for close to two thousand years, and how it is likely to face the challenges of the next millennium.

Pilgrimage: My Search for the Real Pope Francis
Pilgrimage
My Search for the Real Pope Francis
Hardcover      ISBN: 0812998022
A down-to-earth and deeply intimate portrait of Pope Francis and his faith, based on interviews with the men and women who knew him simply as Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Early on the evening of March 13, 2013, the newly elected Pope Francis stepped out onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica and did something remarkable: Before he imparted his blessing to the crowd, he asked the crowd to bless him, then bowed low to receive this grace. In the days that followed, Mark K. Shriver--along with the rest of the world--was astonished to see a pope who paid his own hotel bill, eschewed limousines, and made his home in a suite of austere rooms in a Vatican guesthouse rather than the grand papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace. By setting an example of humility and accessibility, Francis breathed new life into the Catholic Church, attracting the admiration of Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

In Pilgrimage, Shriver retraces Francis's personal journey, revealing the origins of his open, unpretentious style and explaining how it revitalized Shriver's own faith and renewed his commitment to the Church. To help us understand how Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis, Shriver travels to Bergoglio's native Argentina to meet with the people who knew him as a child, as a young Jesuit priest, and as a reformist bishop. Shriver visits the confessional where Bergoglio first felt called to a faith-based life and takes us to the humble parish where the future pontiff's pastoral career began: in a church created from a converted vegetable shed in an area just outside the city of Buenos Aires. In these impoverished surroundings, Bergoglio answered Christ's call to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and shelter the homeless, following the example set by his papal namesake, St. Francis of Assisi.

In this deeply reported yet highly personal book, Mark K. Shriver explores how Francis's commitment has struck a chord in the hearts of millions who long to make faith, love, humility, and mercy part of their lives as they go out into the world to serve and learn from the most marginalized.

Praise for Pilgrimage

"Well-researched . . . Pilgrimage shines a light on Pope Francis's] unexplored aspects. . . . A very timely and important addition to the literature on the life and person and thinking of Pope Francis. Everybody interested in Pope Francis will enjoy reading this biography."--The Washington BookReview

"Apt to stir the soul of readers . . . While this is a rich telling of Bergoglio's life and ascension to the papacy, it is more movingly a spiritual memoir that draws us deep into a knowing of this at once humble and soul-stirring rekindler of faith."--Chicago Tribune

"A fascinating portrait of a man and a nourishing account of spiritual yearning."--Booklist

"This fast-paced and fascinating tale takes us on Jorge Mario Bergoglio's pilgrimage from his grandmother's knee in the Italian-Argentine community, through years of success and sorrow in the tumultuous country that he loved, to his surprise election as Pope Francis."--Cokie Roberts, New York Times bestselling author of Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868

"All people of good faith, including those whose lives are not guided by religious beliefs, will be inspired and enlightened by the compelling manner in which Pilgrimage brings us closer to the heart and mind of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis. I highly recommend this book; it will make a difference in your life."--Cardinal Se n O'Malley, OFM Cap.
The Rule of Saint Benedict
The Rule of Saint Benedict
Paperback      ISBN: 037570017x

Composed nearly fifteen hundred years ago by the father of Western monasticism, The Rule of St. Benedict has for centuries been the guide of religious communities. St. Benedict's rules of obedience, humility, and contemplation are not only prerequisites for formal religious societies, they also provide an invaluable model for anyone desiring to live more simply. While they presuppose a certain detachment from the world, they provide guidance and inspiration for anyone seeking peace and fulfillment in their home and work communities. As prepared by the Benedictine monk and priest Timothy Fry, this translation of The Rule of St. Benedict can be a life-transforming book. With a new Preface by Thomas Moore, author of The Care of the Soul.

"God is our home but many of us have strayed from our native land. The venerable authors of these Spiritual Classics are expert guides--may we follow their directions home."
--Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The Name of God Is Mercy
The Name of God Is Mercy
Hardcover      ISBN: 0399588639
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - In his first book published as Pope, and in conjunction with the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis here invites all humanity to an intimate and personal dialogue on the subject closest to his heart--mercy--which has long been the cornerstone of his faith and is now the central teaching of his papacy.

In this conversation with Vatican reporter Andrea Tornielli, Francis explains--through memories from his youth and moving anecdotes from his experiences as a pastor--why "mercy is the first attribute of God." God "does not want anyone to be lost. His mercy is infinitely greater than our sins," he writes. As well, the Church cannot close the door on anyone, Francis asserts--on the contrary, its duty is to go out into the world to find its way into the consciousness of people so that they can assume responsibility for, and move away from, the bad things they have done.

The first Jesuit and the first South American to be elected Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis has traveled around the world spreading God's message of mercy to the largest crowds in papal history. Clear and profound, The Name of God Is Mercy resonates with this desire to reach all those who are looking for meaning in life, a road to peace and reconciliation, and the healing of physical and spiritual wounds. It is being published in more than eighty countries around the world.

"The name of God is mercy. There are no situations we cannot get out of, we are not condemned to sink into quicksand."--Pope Francis

Praise for The Name of God Is Mercy

"Francis speaks succinctly--and with refreshing forthrightness. . . . He emphasizes moral sincerity over dogma, an understanding of the complexities of the world and individual experience over rigid doctrine. . . . The pope has an easy conversational style that moves effortlessly between folksy sayings and erudite allusions, between common-sense logic and impassioned philosophical insights."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"What makes his book most moving is the way in which this man, without disrespecting his own privacy or offering false bromides of modesty, opens the sacred space of his conscience to explain how he came to center his ministry, and now his papacy, around mercy."--James Carroll, The New Yorker

"As he has done throughout his papacy, Pope Francis shows in this book a compelling way to present God's love anew to a skeptical world without denying the ancient teachings of faith. But now he is challenging the entire Church to trek a new way forward."--Time

"Francis enjoys sharing personal stories of God's grace and mercy in the lives of parishioners from his native Argentina, people he has known and who have recognized themselves as sinners."--The Washington Post

"Powerful . . . Francis's book signals a plea for a change of attitude on the part of the faithful and their pastors. . . . Bishops and priests will talk and quarrel over the text for months, even years to come. And that, perhaps, is what Francis intends."--Financial Times

"Deepens his calls for a more merciful Catholic Church . . . The question-and-answer book is told in simple, breezy language, with the pope referring to experiences and people in his own life."--Newsday

"Francis has offered his most detailed outline yet for the role of the Catholic church in the modern era."--National Catholic Reporter

Translated by Oonagh Stransky