BOOKS: ‘Life Lessons from Life with My Brother, Timothy Cardinal Dolan’

He’s a rockstar, literally bigger than life. His red cassock glows with the love of the Church. He’s a small town boy made good, real good, and this year he sat down with one-hundred and fourteen other cardinals to elect a new pope after Benedict XVI abdicated due to poor health, AND, he was elected president of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops.

Top 10 parables of faith on screen

Since the advent of cinema in the late 1800s, faith has been treated on film in a wide variety of ways, from the respectful to the satiric. With the church's observance of the Year of Faith continuing, here in alphabetical order are capsule reviews of 10 films that engage with this often elusive topic in an accomplished and illuminating manner. Sometimes directly, in other cases only by subtle implication, these screen parables provide viewers with insights into the nature of faith — as well as its effects.

BOOKS: ‘Evangelical Catholicism’: Pathway back to vibrancy of early Church

I met George Weigel last year when he came to the Valley to speak about how the KGB tried to suborn John Paul II, if that were even possible. I told him that I read his book, “Against the Grain,” and it totally revolutionized my view of Just War Theory. He seemed surprised that someone had actually read, and, understood a book of his. I read another one that he released in 2013 (our review schedule is full, but I insisted anyway), “Evangelical Catholicism,” and decided that this one simply blew me away, as the old cliché goes.

BOOKS: ‘Dangers to the Faith’: Understanding threats to faith

Al Kresta's book, “Dangers to the Faith: Recognizing Catholicism’s 21st Century Opponents,” shines light into all the nooks and crannies where the dangerous things lurk and sets us thinking about our own ambivalence and lack of action toward them.

‘Life-changing’ Jerusalem trip was cornerstone for new ‘Jesus’ book

Jesuit Father James Martin today has a hard time believing that he initially turned down a suggestion to go to Jerusalem as source material for his newest book, "Jesus: A Pilgrimage."

Former white supremacist relates tale of how Catholicism changed him in ‘Race With the...

"I am not writing a biography but a conversion story," Joseph Pearce explains in his new book, "Race With the Devil." His was a Christian conversion in the strict sense that it represented a full turnaround of his life. A Catholic today, Pearce during his teens became a white supremacist in England, devoting his talents then and in his early 20s to promoting racism.

Books offer insight into church’s role in international development

Readers interested in the Catholic Church's role in international development will benefit from reading three books which explain that the church long has been a formal presence in international development and that individuals rooted in Catholic tradition, prayer and Catholic social teaching can change the world. But fair warning: Readers might feel inspired and uncomfortably challenged while reading them, for answering the call of Catholic social teaching, the books point out, is not an easy task.

BOOKS: ‘Forming Intentional Disciples’: Deep personal encounter with Christ essential to building up Church

If we’ve been paying attention as Catholics, we’ve heard or read the figures: Catholicism is bleeding like a ripe tomato in a meat grinder;...

Thought-provoking books on an everyday topic

These two slim paperbacks serve up substantial food for thought about the sacredness of the family dinner table: "Table of Plenty: Good Food for Body and Spirit" and "Epic Food Fight"

BOOKS: ‘Billowtail’ a delightful read for children and adults

When local author Sherry Boas decided to branch off into children’s books, she didn’t have to go too far for inspiration.