Joy of the Gospel and Christian Unity

The second encyclical of Pope Francis was the Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium). It is the blueprint of his papacy. This focus on the new evangelization began in the Second Vatican Council and was expanded by Paul VI in Evangelii Nuntiandi. Pope John Paul II also emphasized the need for evangelization (proclaiming the Gospel) […]


Enriching our Vision of Reality

Enriching Our Vision of Reality: Theology and the Natural Sciences in Dialogue.  By Alister McGrath.  London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2016, West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Press Edition, 2017.  Kindle. Alister McGrath holds Oxford doctorates in the natural sciences and in Christian theology. He has written what is considered the classic work on the relationship […]


An Essay on the Development of Doctrine

John Henry Newman. An Essay on the Development of Doctrine. Forward by Ian Ker.  Sixth ed.  Notre Dame IN: University of Notre Dame, 1989/2015.  Kindle ed. Introduction Ian Ker in the Forward to the book makes a wonderful presentation of the question whether the Catholic Church has changed its teaching over the centuries. The Protestant […]


Gaudete et Exsultate

Gaudete et Exsultate: On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World. Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Francis.  Rome: Libreria Vaticana, 2018/Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 2018. Pope Francis wrote the Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and be Glad) It is neither a systematic theology on the subject nor a dissertation on moral theology. It is […]


The Seven Storey Mountain

The Seven Storey Mountain. By Thomas Merton. Fiftieth Anniversary Edition. New York: Harcourt, 1948/1976. (Kindle).   Robert Giroux writes in the Introduction to this book that when he first met Thomas Merton at the office of the Columbia Review in New York, and Giroux had read an article Merton had written, he told himself: “This […]


Mere Christianity

Mere Christianity. By C.S. Lewis, a revised edition with a new introduction (by Kathleen Norris). New York: HarperCollins, 2001.Pp xx, 227.  Paperback C.S. Lewis was born on November 29, 1898 in Belfast, Ireland and died on November 22, 1963. In 2013 the 50th anniversary of his death, he was honored at Westminster Abbey as one […]


The Importance of Interfaith Relations

Introduction Nostra Aetate is a very short document of the Second Vatican Council which speaks about interfaith relations and their importance to the Catholic Church “In our time” which are the first words of the document and its title. In this age of ours, when men are drawing more closely together and the bonds of […]


To Light A Fire on the Earth

Robert Barron. To Light A Fire on the Earth: Proclaiming the Gospel in a Secular Age. With John L. Allen, Jr.  New York: Image Books, 2017.  260p.   In the introduction to this book, John Allen compares Bp. Robert Barron to Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Allen admits that they are two very different men. Fulton Sheen […]


Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

[Excerpted from the November December 2017 issue of Emmanuel. Barbara Shanahan is an alumna of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois. She has led the Buffalo, New York, Catholic Bible Studies Program since 1992.] The title “King” weaves throughout Matthew’s Gospel: “Where is the child who has been born King of the Jews? We have observed […]