Posts Tagged ‘Book’

New Book Explores Celibacy

Jesuit Father Gerdenio Sonny ManuelFather Gerdenio Sonny Manuel, a Jesuit for four decades and a practicing clinical psychologist and professor, didn’t set out to become a celibacy expert, but the title suits him. Despite the large number of books available on sexual health and wellness, Fr. Manuel recognized that a Catholic priest’s celibacy was a topic that had not been adequately explored, especially in recent years. In the wake of the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis, his new book, “Living Celibacy: Healthy Pathways for Priests,” hopes to demystify a vow that is both misunderstood and denigrated.

Targeted at priests and men considering a vocation to the priesthood, the book is also geared for the families of those men and for anyone seeking a richer understanding of celibacy and its potential to help experience God in “vital, dynamic ways,” according to Fr. Manuel, currently a professor of psychology at the University of San Francisco.

“I wrote the book because the life of a priest and our celibacy is not widely understood by the public, and what is understood, unfortunately, is the mistaken assumption that emerged after the clergy crisis, that priests are either dysfunctional and that if they aren’t, the life would make them so,” says Fr. Manuel. “People haven’t been talking about this aspect of our life and they haven’t talked about it in a way that is accessible and understandable. If we keep being told that our way of life is odd, we will begin internalizing that.”

Living Celibacy coverIn writing the book, Fr. Manuel says he relied very much on his own experiences and on firsthand accounts of priests he encountered through his work as a spiritual director. He says that “celibacy is a gift, but it’s also a choice that God graces. It’s a reciprocal relationship, just like in a marriage. It grows out of all of your own personal history and depth into a new possibility and future; that’s the same dynamic in celibacy, where you are introduced to the whole horizon of God. We have to choose our life – whether you are in a marriage or living celibate.”

Trained at Harvard Medical School and Duke University with a specialty in mental illness and community psychology, Fr. Manuel offers five pathways that promote healthy celibacy. The pathways describe how celibacy is experienced and enacted, some of the opportunities and struggles and how the experience of celibacy can enrich priestly life and ministry.

“I titled the book ‘Living Celibacy’ because it’s a way of life, and rather than seeing celibacy as a void, it’s an opportunity to open oneself up to new relationships,” says Fr. Manuel. “In a marriage you have a child and grow a family, you are cooperating in a new creation. By being celibate, you are invited into people’s lives and you get to witness how the sacred emerges in ordinary human experiences. And you basically name the holy for them – that’s the sacramental moment.”

Fr. Manuel says he hopes people read and react to the book and that it “helps them understand what this life is about and how it is a viable life that can help people find God, find their deepest desires and live in community.”

“Living Celibacy: Healthy Pathways for Priests” is available from Paulist Press and amazon.com.

Jesuit Father Bruce Morrill Discusses New Book on Liturgical Theology

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Jesuit Father Bruce Morrill’s, Associate Professor in the Department of Theology at Boston College, recent book Divine Worship and Human Healing turns to the rites serving the sick, dying, deceased and grieving to show why sacramental liturgy is so fundamental to the life of faith. Readers will appreciate both his compelling narratives from actual pastoral experience and his engagement with biblical, theological, historical and social-scientific resources. Fr. Morrill invites readers to discover how the liturgical ministry of healing discloses God’s merciful love amid communities of faith.

Go to Boston College’s website to read sample pages from Morrill’s book or to watch a long video with the author. The book is available via Amazon.com.

Below is a short interview with Morill on his new book:

Jesuit Father Bruce Morrill Discusses New Book on Liturgical Theology

Divine_Worship

Share

Jesuit Father Bruce Morrill’s, Associate Professor in the Department of Theology at Boston College, recent book Divine Worship and Human Healing turns to the rites serving the sick, dying, deceased and grieving to show why sacramental liturgy is so fundamental to the life of faith. Readers will appreciate both his compelling narratives from actual pastoral experience and his engagement with biblical, theological, historical and social-scientific resources. Fr. Morrill invites readers to discover how the liturgical ministry of healing discloses God’s merciful love amid communities of faith.

Go to Boston College’s website to read sample pages from Morrill’s book or to watch a long video with the author. The book is available via Amazon.com.

Below is a short interview with Morill on his new book:

Jesuit Father John Dear Talks Peace With Catholic San Francisco

njn_book_persistentpeaceJesuit Father John Dear, ordained in 1993, has been a peace activist for more than two decades, having been arrested more than 75 times protesting for peace and having spent more than a cumulative year behind bars.

“Life to me is the journey toward peace,” said the Jesuit. “After all these years of working, the journey to peace is still the most important thing, greater than any one event or success.”

Though he remains committed to peace, Dear said he tries to avoid the word “pacifism.”

“Pacifism connotes passivity,” Father Dear said. “Non-violence involves active derring-do, confronting the opponent non-violently. Peace is not just a tactic or a strategy. It’s a whole new way of life. Jesus didn’t say, ‘Blessed are those who like peace.’ He said, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers.’”

To read more about Father John Dear’s mission of peace, go here.

Oprah Picks Jesuit Father Uwen Akpan’s Say You’re One of Them for Her Next Book Club Selection

Jesuit Father Uwen Akpan, SJ’s short story collection, “Say You’re One of Them” is the next pick for Oprah’s book club. It will be announced today on her show.
His five short stories are each set in a different African country. Children play major roles in the stories, which tackle the toughest of topics –  child slavery, rioting and genocide. When the book was published last year it was widely praised by book reviewers but the book’s success up until now is nothing compared with what is likely to be unleashed later this afternoon. Yesterday the book was #165,769 on Amazon.com’s sales rankings, by 10 p.m. last night it had risen to #2,151 and #18 by this afternoon.
Related Links of Interest:
The New Yorker Q and A:
http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/06/13/050613on_onlineonly01
Thinking Faith book review:
http://www.thinkingfaith.org/articles/BOOK_20080930_1.htm
New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/books/03akpan.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=akpan&st=nyt
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/books/27book.html?ref=books
Visit to fairfieldU:
http://www.fairfield.edu/currents/stories/08_12/cc_students_dec08.html
NPR radio:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91398323

njn_book_Uwen_AkpanJesuit Father Uwen Akpan, SJ’s short story collection, “Say You’re One of Them” is the next pick for Oprah’s book club. It will be announced today on her show.

His five short stories are each set in a different African country. Children play major roles in the stories, which tackle the toughest of topics –  child slavery, rioting and genocide. When the book was published last year it was widely praised by book reviewers but the book’s success up until now is nothing compared with what is likely to be unleashed later this afternoon. Yesterday the book was #165,769 on Amazon.com’s sales rankings, by 10 p.m. last night it had risen to #2,151 and #18 by this afternoon.

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