Press Room

INTERVIEW: Cardinal Donald Wuerl on new book THE FEASTS

Q. How did you come up with the idea for a book about feasts?

 The feasts have an outsized importance in Christianity. They teach doctrine. They form culture. They deliver the truths and mysteries of the life of Jesus Christ in a way that’s delightful and memorable. Think of Christmas and Easter. Every ethnic group marks those days with special customs, special foods, special songs. It’s a powerful experience for the senses; and it makes a deep impression on the mind. If you drive home from church and you’re still humming the hymns, then you’re probably also rehearsing the doctrine in your mind — without realizing it.

This book marks the third book in a series Mike and I have written for Image Books. The three books consider three Christian institutions that are supremely important for forming Christian community and individual Christians — the Mass, the parish church, and the feasts.

 

Q. Who should read this book? Did you have a specific audience in mind when you were writing it?

 We wrote it for everyone, really. I think Catholic families will get more out of celebrating feast days after they’ve gained a deeper understanding of each day’s biblical roots, historical development, and particular symbols and customs. Clergy will find the book a treasury of good material for homilies. Non-Catholics will, I hope, find it an easy way to get to know the celebrations of their Catholic friends, neighbors, and family members.

 

Q. In The Feasts, you refer to the calendar as a catechism and teacher. In what ways can we learn from the feasts?

The feasts are a great delivery system for doctrine. Every Sunday, Catholics recite the Creed, confirming that they accept certain basic propositions about Jesus: that he is true God, and that he is true man, that he took flesh to be the Savior of the world. It’s good that we recite the Creed; and it’s good that we commit the propositions to memory. But I think they become more truly part of us when we sing them in Christmas carols and when we kneel before the manger. In a similar way, our Lenten exercises, like the Stations of the Cross and meatless Fridays, work on us — mind, body, and soul — in a way that abstract lessons on the atonement never could. If we have been tending to these things faithfully since childhood, that’s all the better.

There’s more than one way to teach doctrine and more than one way to learn. Through much of history, many Christians could not read. They didn’t own catechisms or subscribe to religious magazines. Yet they too kept the faith and passed it on to their children. They learned it, to a great degree, as they celebrated the cycle of feasts in the common life of the Church.

 

Q. In the introduction, you write: “Catholics love to celebrate the feasts, but often passively. The time rolls around each year, and we show up because we have an obligation to do so. And participating brings us joy. But our joy could be far greater if we celebrated with understanding.” What can Catholics do to better understand the feasts of the Church and celebrate them with greater intention (other than read your book, of course!)?

The feasts are part of a greater enterprise called the calendar. The Church keeps time to its own ancient rhythm — or, more accurately, eternal rhythm. If you live the life all year round, you’ll have a better appreciation of the special times. If you’ve lived a good Lent and Easter, you’ll be better prepared for Christmas, next time it rolls around. There are many good guides that help Catholics “stay tuned” in between the major holidays. The magazines Magnificat and Word Among Us come to mind. They give ordinary Catholics a way to walk prayerfully at life’s pace, from feast to feast and season to season.

 

Q: You write, “The feasts are to time what churches are to space.” How did you come up with such an interesting analogy?

Prayer is important to the life of both authors. Mike and I have also done a lot of spiritual reading down the years. So, if you like an analogy, there’s a good chance we learned it from some long-ago — and unfortunately long-forgotten— master.

As for that particular analogy: it seemed self-evident to Mike and me. A Church is a holy place. A feast is a holy day, a holiday.

 

Q. What is your favorite Catholic feast day?

My favorite liturgical celebration is the Easter Vigil, with Easter Sunday and Christmas as very close seconds. It’s my privilege to celebrate all of them in Washington’s beautiful Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle.

Of the feasts, I particularly love the Annunciation on March 25 and the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul on June 29. The Immaculate Conception has a very special place in my heart for two reasons. It is the patronal feast of the United States — and I get to celebrate that Mass in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception here in D.C. And it is also the anniversary date of my Baptism (December 8, 1940).

A newcomer among the feasts, but very dear to my heart, is the Feast of Saint John Paul II, October 22. It was my privilege to know the saint, and so the prayers of the day affect me in a powerful and personal way. That Mass I can celebrate in the National Shrine of Saint John Paul II, also here in Washington, D.C.

My co-author, Mike Aquilina, shares my love for the Easter Vigil and for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. He has a particular devotion to all the saints of the early Church, and he keeps their feasts in a special way, as he also keeps the Memorial of the Guardian Angels. The beauty of the calendar is that we hold it in common, and yet it becomes something different and beautiful in every Christian life, assuming the contours of each personality and each person’s particular vocation and graces from God.

 

To request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Cardinal Donald Wuerl, please contact Katie Moore, publicist, kamoore@penguinrandomhouse.com, 719-268-1936.


PRESS RELEASE: Catholics Come Home Premiers Weekly TV Series on EWTN

CATHOLICS COME HOME PREMIERS WEEKLY TV SERIES
To air in prime-time, worldwide on EWTN



August 21, 2014– Atlanta (Roswell), GA — Catholics Come Home® will premier its high production quality, moving TV series filmed in over a dozen scenic locations in the US and Canada, called “Catholics Come Home” on EWTN Thursday night, Sep. 4 at 10 p.m. EST.

The series will consist of thirteen 30-minute episodes, each featuring an interview with someone who recently returned to Jesus and the Catholic Church as a result of Catholics Come Home and responding to the call of the Holy Spirit. Guests include former atheists, agnostics, Protestant Christians, and fallen-away Catholics who came home. The series will also air engaging segments on the New Evangelization in each of the half-hour episodes.

Episodes will air every Thursday night at 10pm EST, with additional airings at 6 p.m. EST Sundays. The series can also be viewed streaming live online at EWTN.com.  After the series debuts in the U.S. and Canada this September, EWTN will begin airing the series internationally, starting in December. Over a dozen archdioceses and diocese are represented, since feature episodes are filmed on location in numerous North American cities, including: Vancouver, B.C.; Allen, TX; Providence, RI; New Westminster, Canada; Denver, CO; Tulsa, OK; Atlantic Highlands, NJ; Denton, TX; Farmington, MO; Austin, TX; St. Louis (Bonne Terre) MO; Philadelphia, PA; and Sturgeon Bay, WI.

The premier episode features Dr. Gloria Sampson, a former atheist and linguistic professor who taught in Communist China during the 1960s and 1970s. She discusses her recent return to the Church after 52 years away from God, thanks to seeing a Catholics Come Home commercial on TV in Vancouver, Canada.  This former atheist is now an active Catholic, who says: “all I want to do now, is evangelize!” Catholics Come Home® has released an exclusive 60-second series promo in anticipation of the premier episode.

In response to Pope Saint John Paul II’s proclamation, “Darkness can only be scattered by light; hatred can only be conquered by love,” Catholics Come Home® is sharing stories of Christ’s healing love and light, by means of this new, engaging TV series—just another one of the apostolate’s unique media efforts for the New Evangelization that has already helped over 500,000 souls home to Jesus and His Catholic Church.

 

###

To schedule an interview with Tom Peterson, President and Founder of Catholics Come Home®, please send email request to spokesperson@catholicscomehome.org.   

For interviews in Spanish, contact Veronica Schnarre at 678-585-7886 x104, or by e-mail at veronica@catholicscomehome.org.

Links to:

 

CatholicsComeHome.org is a 501(c)(3) non-profit media apostolate, dedicated to producing and airing Catholic evangelism television ads on local, national and international television networks.  Catholics Come Home® is guided by a 30 person Advisory Board, including Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Bishop James Conley, Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Bishop Michael Sheridan, Bishop Jaime Soto, and other highly respected theologians and Catholic business executives.

Evangomercial™ is a trademark of Catholics Come Home, Inc. Catholics Come Home® is a Federally Registered Trademark of Catholics Come Home, Inc.

 

The Image/Random House book entitled, “Catholics Come Home…God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life” authored by Tom Peterson, with Foreward by Dr. Scott Hahn, is now available.

 

 

This Press Release is provided by CatholicsComeHome.org
Copyright ©2012 Catholics Come Home, Inc. All rights reserved.

 


PRESS RELEASE: Joy to the World

What could be more familiar than the Christmas story…
…and yet what could be more extraordinary?

Christmas is strange.  The cast of characters is odd and exotic: shepherds and magicians, an emperor and a despot, angels, and a baby who is Almighty God.

In Joy to the World (Image, Oct. 28, 2014), Dr. Scott Hahn sets out to explain this strangeness by examining the characters and the story in light of biblical and historical context.

“We’ll consider the deepest meaning of the small details of the narrative: the angels and the manger, the swaddling bands and the Magi, the star and the shepherds. The details sometimes seem strange and impenetrable until we consider them in relation to a home, a mother, a father, a bond, a household, a lineage, a heritage,” writes Dr. Hahn.

In doing so, he sheds light on the most important element of the Christmas story—the Holy Family.

“The Christmas story has an unconventional hero – not a warrior, not a worldly conqueror, not an individual at all, but rather a family,” Dr. Hahn writes.

The importance of the Holy Family is a theme throughout the book.

“The family is the key to Christmas. The family is the key to Christianity,” writes Dr. Hahn. “Pope Saint John Paul II noted that everything good—history, humanity, salvation—‘passes by way of the family.’ When God came to save us, he made salvation inseparable from family life, manifest in family life.”

About the Author

DR. SCOTT W. HAHN holds the Fr. Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he has taught since 1990, and is the Founder and President of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. In 2005, he was appointed as the Pope Benedict XVI Chair of Biblical Theology and Liturgical Proclamation at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Dr. Hahn is also the bestselling author of numerous books including The Lamb’s Supper and Reasons to Believe and Signs of Life. He lives in Steubenville, Ohio.

 

For more information, visit ImageCatholicBooks.com

To request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Scott Hahn, please contact Katie Moore, publicist, kamoore@penguinrandomhouse.com, 719-268-1936.


PRESS RELEASE: Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?

“Imagine if a Martian showed up, all big ears and big nose like a child’s drawing, and he asked to be baptized. How would you react?”  – Pope Francis, May, 2014

Pope Francis posed that question to provoke deeper reflection about inclusiveness and diversity in the Church. But it’s not the first time that question has been asked.

Brother Guy Consolmagno and Father Paul Mueller hear questions like that all the time. They’re scientists at the Vatican Observatory, the official astronomical research institute of the Catholic Church.

In Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? (Image, Oct. 7, 2014) they explore a variety of questions at the crossroads of faith and reason, and show how science and religion can have different but complementary ways of looking at the same issue.

“This book is about what it’s like when science encounters faith on friendly, mutually respectful terms,” writes Mueller.

Although the authors are serious scientists, the book is written for an audience of educated laypeople who are interested in both science and religion, and how each operates in our society.

“We simply want to share with you the joy and hope— and fun— that we find in doing science and living faith,” writes Mueller referring to his goal for the book. “We hope that our hope and joy will be contagious!”

Written in the form of a dialogue, the book takes place over the course of six conversations between the two authors. The six conversations are meant to recreate the sorts of conversations the authors have had with each other, with other Jesuits, and with people they’ve met through their work.

In answering those questions, the authors dispel the assumption that science and faith must be at odds with one another.

“Science and religion have common historical roots—the war between them (if there is one) has not been eternal,” notes Consolmagno. “And many people who do science are also religious. At least for them—as for the two of us—religion and science are not at war at all.”

“Paul and I are very fortunate,” Consolmagno writes. “We get to live and work with a group of Jesuit scientists who take both science and faith very seriously. We all work together in the lab, but we also pray together in the chapel. In our daily lives, we don’t feel any particular conflict or tension between science and faith.”

6 questions that are addressed in the book:

  • How do you reconcile The Big Bang with Genesis?
  • What happened recently when astronomers debated the status of Pluto as a planet?
  • Was the Star of Bethlehem just a pious religious story or an actual description of astronomical events?
  • What really went down between Galileo and the Catholic Church – and why do the effects of that confrontation still reverberate to this day?
  • Will the Universe come to an end?
  • And… could you really baptize an extraterrestrial?

About the Authors

BROTHER GUY CONSOLMAGNO, SJ was born in Detroit, Michigan, earned undergraduate and masters’ degrees in Earth and Planetary Sciences from MIT (in 1974 and 1975), and a Ph. D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona in 1978. He worked as a post-doctoral fellow and lecturer at Harvard University’s Department of Astronomy, and MIT’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences; served in the US Peace Corps, teaching physics at the University of Nairobi; and was a physics professor at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, before entering the Jesuits as a brother in 1989. At the Vatican Observatory since 1993, his research explores connections between meteorites, asteroids, and the evolution of small solar system bodies. In July of 2014, he was awarded the Carl Sagan Medal for outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public from the American Astronomical Society.

FATHER PAUL R. MUELLER, SJ is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended a Jesuit high school and earned a degree in physics at Boston University before entering the Society of Jesus in 1982. As part of his Jesuit training, he earned masters’ degrees in divinity, philosophy, and theology, along the way developing an interest in religion-science issues. After being ordained a priest in 1993, he attended the University of Chicago, where he completed a fourth master’s degree (in physics) and a doctorate in the history and philosophy of science through the interdisciplinary program in Conceptual Historical Studies of Science. He served as professor of philosophy at Loyola University Chicago from 2004 until 2009.

For more information, visit ImageCatholicBooks.com

To request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Brother Guy Consolmagno or Father Paul Mueller, please contact Katie Moore, publicist, kamoore@penguinrandomhouse.com, 719-268-1936.


PRESS RELEASE: The American Catholic Almanac

Discover the Rich History of the Catholic Church in America

What do Buffalo Bill, John F. Kennedy, Vince Lombardi, Fulton Sheen, and Andy Warhol have in common? They’re all Catholics who have shaped America.

In The American Catholic Almanac (Image, Sept. 30, 2014) Brian Burch and Emily Stimpson have put together a page-a-day history of 365 inspiring stories celebrating the historic contributions of American men and women who have been shaped by their Catholic faith.

From Revolutionary War to Notre Dame Football, the Catholic Church has played a unique and often transformative role in American public life over the last 300 years. The American Catholic Almanac tells the fascinating, funny, uplifting and unlikely tales of the famous figures and lesser-known saints and sinners who have influenced history, culture, and politics.

At a time when all eyes are focused on Pope Francis and the Church in Rome, Burch and Stimpson have provided American Catholics with a masterful resource for learning about the rich history of the church right here in our own backyards.

“Many American Catholics have studied the history of the Faith in Europe and know about the lives of the saints who built the Church there,” write the authors, “But for all that American Catholics know about Church history elsewhere, much of our own history remains a mystery.”

“When we first set out to write The American Catholic Almanac we wanted to accomplish two things,” write Burch and Stimpson. “First, we wanted to tell the stories of the men and women who built the Catholic Church in America. Second, we wanted to demonstrate just how much America has benefited from what those men and women did.”

The American Catholic Almanac brings to light the contributions of priests, religious and lay Catholics whose unyielding faith and humble acts of service changed minds, transformed hearts and gave rise to greater Catholic devotion in America.

“In the end, the best gift we received from writing this book was getting to know the men and women in these pages,” write Burch and Stimpson. “They charmed us, amused us, inspired us, and encouraged us. They brought us to a deeper faith in Christ and a deeper love for the Church.”

 

Did you know…

  • The first immigrant to arrive in America via Ellis Island was a 15-year-old Irish-Catholic girl?
  • Al Capone’s tombstone reads, “My Jesus Mercy”?
  • Andrew Jackson credited America’s victory in the Battle of New Orleans to the prayers of the Virgin Mary and the Ursuline Sisters?
  • Five Franciscans died defending the Church’s teachings on marriage in sixteenth-century Georgia?
  • Jack Kerouac died wanting to be known as a Catholic and not as a beat poet?
  • Catholic missionaries lived in Virginia 36 years before the English settled Jamestown?

About the Authors

BRIAN BURCH is the president of CatholicVote.org, a non-profit political advocacy group based in Chicago, Illinois.

EMILY STIMPSON is a Catholic writer based in Steubenville, Ohio, and the author of The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years and These Beautiful Bones: An Everyday Theology of the Body.

For more information, visit ImageCatholicBooks.com

To request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Brian Burch or Emily Stimpson, please contact Katie Moore, publicist, kamoore@penguinrandomhouse.com, 719-268-1936.



Privacy Policy | Terms of Use
Top