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Showing posts with label HelenaScott. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HelenaScott. Show all posts

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Guadalupe The Freedom of Loving - Cristina Abad Cadenas and Helena Scott

Guadalupe: The Freedom of Loving
Cristina Abad Cadenas
Helena Scott (Translator)
Scepter Publishers
ISBN 9781594173578
eISBN 9781594173585
ASIN B07QJZXTKH

 


On May 18th 2019 Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri will be the first woman of Opus Dei to be beatified. This volume is a look at her life and legacy, written by an investigative journalist. The book is an easily accessible read. But the life of Guadalupe will be one that inspire, motivated and challenges readers. It will inspire by her love and life of service, and challenge us to life more fully a life of obedience, a life of service and a life of love. The subtitle of this book on the cover is: “To See God’s Hand In Everything”, and through the book and Guadalupe’s life we see that. And hopefully we will see it more in our own lives after reading this volume. The description of this book is:

“It often happens that a call to holiness and devotion to Christ touches the heart amidst immense suffering. A young girl named Guadalupe experienced such a call while living through the trials of her family and country as a result of the Spanish Civil War.

Guadalupe Ortiz, the first woman of Opus Dei to be beatified, had a style of sanctity that attracted others. She was known as determined, joyful, and a source of peaceful strength. As one of the earliest woman members of Opus Dei, she took seriously her calling to bring the love of Christ to her work and her daily life.

Her relatability is what makes her remarkable. As an individual often faced with challenges, a dedicated scientist and teacher, and a devoted friend and daughter, we can all identify with the stories and themes that make up her beautiful life.”


And the chapters are:
Prologue
 Introduction
1 Everyone a Saint
2 The Chemist
3 In Search of the Truth
4 Commitment
5 Freedom and Responsibility
6 A Dedicated Woman: From Madrid to Mexico
7 Bearing Fruit: Rome
8 A Big Heart
9 The Last Battle
 Epilogue
 Timeline
 Bibliography

They say our life is measured by the dash the dash between our birth and our death. For Guadalupe that dash is from September 20th 1908 – July 16th 1975. She only outlived Saint Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, by a few weeks. A man she saw as a father and father to the whole work. Guadalupe was an accomplished woman, academically, professionally and within the work of Opus Dei. She was a pivotal figure in the works spread to Mexico. And yet she continued her studies and teaching.

Christina in the introduction states:

“When I started reading the primary sources available in the archives, the first thing that attracted me was how normal and ordinary she was. Other people who get to know her more deeply may single out her humility, her strength of character, or her joy. But what I found really striking was her ordinariness—giving the lie to the journalists’ truism that “dog bites man—no news; man bites dog—news.”

I had expected her letters and diaries to feature elaborately polite expressions, and elegant but dated turns of phrase. What I found was natural, straightforward communication. I felt that she could have been writing today, using email or WhatsApp. Her letters were clear and direct, with plenty of questions and affectionate little family details, as well as a good sense of humor; they were bursting with life.”


And the two phrases from these paragraphs that permeate the book are ‘how normal and ordinary she was’ … and ‘striking was her ordinariness’. Christina furthermore states:

“At the heart of her character there shone out two elements that seem irreconcilable to our current-day mindset: a sense of duty, commitment, what in conscience has to be done for God and other people; and the freedom to live life to the full, passionately, in a pioneering spirit. I set out to analyze the compound as formulated by Guadalupe.”

And that is what comes through from reading this book. We see a woman of letters of lived an ordinary life. She was a normal woman, living a normal life. But she lived that life with a sense of duty, and commitment to excellence in all she did. She did all as if she was doing it directly for God. And that is the call of the gospel to all of us. She lived to love, and that loved has left a lasting impact.

As stated earlier this book can serve as a challenge. For all of us who read it. But especially for women, to see a saintly life lived in ordinary work and play. I look forward to my own daughters being a little older and rereading this volume with them. This is an excellent read and I highly recommend it!
 




Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Other Books by or about Guadaupe Ortiz:

LETTERS TO A SAINT Letters from Guadalupe Ortiz to St Josemaria Escriva - Maria Del Rincón and  Maria Teresa Escobar 
...

Books by Cristina Abad Cadenas:
Guadalupe: The Freedom of Loving

...

In Spanish:
La libertad de amar (dBolsillo nº 890)

...

Books by Fr Jacques Philippe translated by Helena Scott:
Time For God
Interior Freedom
In the School of the Holy Spirit
The Way of Trust and Love: A Retreat Guided by St. Therese of Lisieux
Thirsting for Prayer


Other books and booklets translated by Helena Scott:
The Way of Humility: Corruption and Sin; On Self-Accusation - Jorge Bergoglio
It Is Worth While - Jose Maria Casciaro
The Prodigal Son - Georges Chevrot
In the Footprints of our Faith: A Journey Through the Holy Land - Jesus Gil and Eduardo Gil 
When the Moon Comes Out Africa Dances - Jose Luis Olaizola
Light in Architecture: The Intangible Material - Elisa Valer
The Man of Villa Tevere - Pilar Urbano
Guadalupe: The Freedom of Loving - Cristina Abad Cadenas
...

Author profile and interview with Helena Scott.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Third Quarter 2018

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Third Quarter 2018

My total books this quarter is down a bit from last quarter, but my page count is actually up. Just variations in the length of material read. The Quarter by the numbers:

91 books read
59 received 5/5 stars
8 of those had been read before
48 were non-Fiction
11 were fiction

The Fiction was pretty easy to narrow down to a simple top ten list. The non-fiction on the other hand was a very, very, very difficult. But this is what I managed to come up with. 

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books:

1. The booklets by Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky:
2. Encounter the Saints Series
3. How to Think Like Aquinas: The Sure Way to Perfect Your Mental Powers - Kevin Vost
4. Last of the Romantics: St. Josemaria in the Twenty-First Century
5. The Eight Doors of the Kingdom: Meditations on the Beatitudes - Jacques Philippe
6. Saxum: The Life of Alvaro del Portillo - John F. Coverdale
7. Catholic Truth Society booklets:
8. Footprints of the Northern Saints - Basil Cardinal Hume
9. A Soldier Surrenders: The Conversion of St. Camillus de Lellis - Susan Peek - God's Forgotten Friends Lives of Little-known Saints Book 2
10. The Cries of Jesus from the Cross: An Anthology - by Reverend Fulton J Sheen 

Bonus:
11. Foundations of the Faith: God, Christ, and the Church - Jeff Vehige - Find the Faith Book 1
12. Love's True Meaning: The message of Humanae Vitae 50 Years On - Fr. Anthony Doe
13. The Way of the Christian Samurai: Reflections for Servant-Warriors of Christ - Paul E. Nowak

Top Ten Fiction Books:

1. Roland West Outcast - Theresa Linden - A West Brothers Book
2. Down Time - Barry Lyga - An I Hunt Killers Prequel
3. We Are All Jacob's Children: A Tale of Hope, Wisdom, and Faith - Noah benShea
4. Dragon Assassin - Arthur Slade
5. The Story of Job - Regina Doman and Ben Hatke 
6. Where You Lead - Leslea Wahl 
7. Birthday Secrets - Corinna Turner - I Am Margaret Short Story
8. The Mystery at Midnight - Lisa M. Hendey and Jenn Bower - Chime Travelers Book 4
9. The Whisper in the Ruins - Lisa M. Hendey and Jenn Bower - Chime Travelers Book 3
10. In Front Of My House - Marianne Dubuc and Yvette Ghione

If you give some of these a try I am sure they will be with the read! But unfortunately, two of the fiction books have yet to be published. Number s 1 and 4 will be published later in the fall. I also had a conundrum about number 9 non-fiction and number 5 fiction. These could have been either fiction or non depending on your interpretation. But this is where the chips fell.

Note: I did not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they were in the bonus section. As stated it was no easy task making this quarter. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list. This post is going up early because of the end of the quarter falling during holy week.


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2018 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

284 - January to September 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Author and Translator Profile and Interview with Helena Scott

Helena Scott Author and Translator Profile and Interview 


Helena Scott is an author, and a translator. He has co-written 8 booklets for the Catholic Truth Society with Ethel Tolansky. She has translated dozens of books for CTS and for Scepter. She would balk at the title author, but her and Tolansky's writing is so well done I tracked down all 8 of their booklets even though most are out of print, once I discovered them I wanted to read them all. She is a researcher, a teacher, and a translator. She took some time from the many hats she wears to answer 20 Questions for the readers here at Book Reviews and more. So now in her own words, at time loquacious and at times brief, here is Helena Scott.

1. If you had not become a writer what do you think you would be doing for a living?

As a matter of fact I'm not a professional writer, I'm a translator.

2. Who were some of your biggest supporters and contributors to your early success?

N/A - I just wish I had some "early success" to talk about!

3. What advice do you wish a writer had passed on to you early in your career, which you only learned through experience?

Start at the end, or rather, in Stephen Covey's words, "Begin with the end in mind". I tended to plunge into writing and see where it led me, and only learnt from experience to make a road-map and perhaps even write the ending first. Having said that, it does sometimes happen that I start writing and find things taking shape as I go along, much better than I could have consciously intended.

4. What authors influenced your writing style and format?

I think what influenced my writing style and format as much as anything was studying Latin and classical Greek at university, then training to teach English to foreign students and actually teaching it for a longish period. All of that gave me a thorough grasp of the structure of language, and a habit of looking critically at a piece of writing to see if it conveys what the writer intended to say effectively. I would like to think that everything I've ever read has influenced me too!

5. What does your writing process look like? Takes us through the steps from idea to publishing?

N/A - but see question 13 below.

6. Do you use a playlist when writing? Are certain books written while predominantly listing to the same music?

I find if I listen to music, I don't want to do something else at the same time. Music would be a huge distraction from writing.

7.  From my research you have co-written 8 biographies, and translated 5 books by Father Jacques Philippe. Have you ever tried your hand at fiction?

I've translated several other books that have been published, and also written one or two poems but never tried publishing them. I haven't written any fiction.

8. Your biography of Alvaro Del Portillo is available in both English and Spanish. Are there plans to release it in other languages? Or for translations of any other of your works?

Alvaro del Portillo: the Power of Humility has also been translated into Croatian and Chinese, and Josemaria Escriva has been translated into Spanish, Lithuanian and Chinese. Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan has been translated into Vietnamese. That's as far as I know, but there may have been other translations that I haven't heard about.

9. It has been a few years since you have published a new book. Are there any current projects that you are working on or that are in the back burner in some stage of development?

No - I'm working virtually full time on translation and editing work.

10. The biographies that you have written span a wide range of subjects. How did you determine which biographies to write?

Ethel Tolansky and I decided to write the first one, Johann Gruber and Jacques Bunel: Victims of the Nazis, because we liked the CTS "Martyrs of the 20th Century" series and we knew about Dr Gruber and Fr Bunel through teaching and researching French literature. There was very little available about either of them in English, and we thought English-speaking Catholics could be inspired by knowing about their lives too. 

As we're both in Opus Dei, we then offered to write a biography of the founder of Opus Dei, St Josemaria, for the CTS Biographies series, and the CTS were delighted; they brought out another booklet about Opus Dei as such at the same time, and held a book-launch, or rather a booklet-launch, for the two booklets together, which was great fun. Then in the lead-up to Blessed Alvaro del Portillo's beatification we realized that a booklet-sized biography of him would help make him known in the English-speaking sphere. Both of us had met Blessed Alvaro, and so writing about him was a wonderful way of passing on what he meant to us. 

I gave a seminar at the University of Westminster on Pope Pius XII as part of a series on war and culture in the 20th century, and afterwards we worked the seminar presentation up into a booklet, because we and the CTS felt that it was vital for people to hear the truth about this much-attacked and widely misrepresented Pope. 

The other booklets we wrote were actually at the suggestion of the CTS and it was a real joy to do them, because it involved researching and learning more about some really holy people who have given so much to the Church; and about Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans, who, although they were not Catholics, were deeply committed Christians who owed a lot to Blessed John Henry Newman.

11. Were there any biographies you really wanted to write that just never came to fruition? 

Yes - of my parents! I still have that in mind as obviously I think they were wonderful, and very special people. I doubt if there'd be any realistic chance of finding a publisher, so if I do write it I would probably have to self-publish it.

Ethel has done a lot of research on Jane Austen, and on Hugh Dormer, who was killed in World War II, and I very much hope that one or both of these projects may lead to a publication.

12. Which of your booklets was the hardest to write and why?

The hardest one was Pius XII, because of the mass of material available that had to be checked and re-checked and reduced to seminar-size and then booklet-size, and also because we had to make sure we gave a truthful, balanced and convincing picture of him that people could refer to when his memory was attacked, as it regularly is. 

I think the second hardest was Benedict XVI, because the CTS contacted us about it as soon as he was elected and obviously it had to be brought out at top speed, at a time when there wasn't a huge amount about him that was readily available.

13. All your published booklets were co-written with Ethel Tolansky. What was it like collaborating on so many booklets together? 

Funnily enough, the process for each of our booklets was different. Having said that, we started out each time by deciding together on what specific aspects we thought we most needed to focus on, because in a booklet you can't hope to give a complete picture of every aspect of a person's whole life. For some of them, we then had regular collaborative meetings hammering out what to say and how to say it. For others, we each wrote separate sections and then spliced them together, so to speak. I was the main author of Pius XII, since, as I said, it arose from a seminar I gave, and Ethel was the main author of Sophie Scholl, as she already knew a considerable amount about the White Rose group.

14. Have you written any books or booklets on your own, that have yet to be published?

No. 

15. While researching your booklets and trying to track down all the ones you wrote or translated, I was surprised that you have almost no online footprint. A few blog articles for CTS, a minimal Facebook profile and I believe LinkedIn. Is that intentional?

Yes. As I'm not a professional writer I'm not in the business of marketing myself as an author, and as well as that, I don't have the time to work up an online presence.

16. What were some of your favorite authors in your teen years who helped shape you?

Too many to list! C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, Frank Sheed, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Dorothy L. Sayers … all the classics, I suppose.

17. What are some of your favorite contemporary religious authors to read?

Peter Kreeft, for his clarity and faithfulness to the Church. Josemaria Escriva, whom I'd recommend for everyone who wants to develop their relationship with Christ in their daily lives. John Paul II, because he shows how powerful philosophy is in leading to a knowledge of God's love. Benedict XVI/Joseph Ratzinger, who is a born teacher. Jacques Philippe, always inspiring. Romano Guardini, who has such tremendous insights and makes you feel insightful yourself! Those are just some of them.

18. What are some of your favorite books and authors now?

I love reading, and whatever book I'm reading right now is often my favourite. But if I had to make a list, it would include - as well as all the above - The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker; The Unintended Reformation by Brad Gregory; A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson - books that aim to give a big picture. A Good Man in Evil Times by José-Alain Fralon, about Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese consul in Bordeaux in 1940 who disobeyed his government in order to save the lives of literally thousands of Jews by giving them visas, and whose own life was ruined as a result. The Price to Pay by Joseph Fadelle, about an Iraqi Muslim who was converted to Catholicism and what happened next… Being Mortal by Atul Gawande: it's about the human aspects of dying and end-of-life care, from the point of view of the medical profession. The Stripping of the Altars by Eamon Duffy gives a much-needed and very complete picture of Catholicism in England on the eve of the Reformation. On my shelf right now are The True History of the Elephant Man by Michael Howell and Peter Ford; Communism and Man by Frank Sheed; Fools, Frauds and Firebrands by Roger Scruton; and Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel.

I was part of a book club for several years, and we posted a good many of our reads on a blog, at: http://bookclubatwoodlands.blogspot.com/.

19. If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have 10 books to read again and again, what books would you want with you?

Like all good castaways, I would put Shakespeare and the Bible at the top of my list; my edition of the Bible would have a sound, thorough commentary. The Lord of the Rings. T. H. White's The Once and Future King as long as it included The Sword in the Stone. The complete Harry Potter, if conveniently available in one volume. Milton's Paradise Lost. Dante's Divine Comedy. The poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins. The Oxford Book of Comic Verse. The Oxford Book of Mediaeval Latin Poetry. The Metaphysical Poets - that's number 11, in case the one-volume Harry Potter isn't available… 

20. What advice would you give to young aspiring authors and artists particularly those looking to have their art reflect their faith?

Go back in time and get to know about iconography especially, and meet the artists and religious writers of the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries! Your spiritual life will be hugely enriched by educating yourself in that direction, and you'll find inspiration for your own work in all sorts of places, on seeing how they expressed their faith in their writing and art. Don't limit yourself to Western Europe but broaden out to other artistic and literary traditions.

Thank you, Helena, for taking the time to answer a few questions. I love reading the booklets you wrote and have read about half of the books you translated. Thank you for sharing about your faith, your work, and your life. It was wonderful getting to know a bit more about you.


Books by Scott and Tolansky:
Pius XII
Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan
Benedict XVI

Josemaria Escriva
Alvaro Del Portillo

A Pope of Surprises: The First Five Years of Pope Benedict XVI's Papacy
Sophie Scholl and The White Rose: Resistance to the Nazis
Johann Gruber and Jacques Bunel: Victims of the Nazis
...

In Spanish:
Álvaro del Portillo: el Poder de la Humildad
Josemaría Escrivá

In Croatian:
Alvaro del Portillo: Snaga Poniznosti

In Chinese:
Josemaria Escriva
Alvaro del Portillo: The Power of Humility

In Vietnamese:
Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan

Books by Fr Jacques Philippe translated by Helena Scott:
Time For God
Interior Freedom
In the School of the Holy Spirit
The Way of Trust and Love: A Retreat Guided by St. Therese of Lisieux
Thirsting for Prayer


Other books and booklets translated by Helena Scott:
The Way of Humility: Corruption and Sin; On Self-Accusation - Jorge Bergoglio
It Is Worth While - Jose Maria Casciaro
The Prodigal Son - Georges Chevrot
In the Footprints of our Faith: A Journey Through the Holy Land - Jesus Gil and Eduardo Gil 
When the Moon Comes Out Africa Dances - Jose Luis Olaizola
Light in Architecture: The Intangible Material - Elisa Valer
The Man of Villa Tevere - Pilar Urbano

Author profile and interview with Helena Scott.










Thursday, 20 September 2018

Johann Gruber & Jacques Bunel Victims of the Nazis - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky - CTS Twentieth Century Martyrs

Johann Gruber & Jacques Bunel Victims of the Nazis
CTS Twentieth Century Martyrs
Helena Scott
Ethel Tolansky
Catholic Truth Society

ISBN 9781860820687
CTS Booklet B655


That is the eighth and final book co-written by Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky, That I have tracked down and read. These eight books are wonderful reads, I have already each of them twice and will likely read them again, either with my children or on my own. This book and Sophie Scholl and The White Rose: Resistance to the Nazis, are the only two of the 8 that are part of the CTS Twentieth Century Martyrs series. And this is the only biography they wrote that covers two people. It is the story of both Johann Gruber and Jacques Bunel two men who were Catholic priests, both were imprisoned at Gusen 1, a sub camp of Mauthausen concentration camp. And both lived to serve others, often at great personal sacrifice and risk.

The back of the book states:

"Heroic sanctity and goodness could be thought of as things of the past, of other ages, for the saints of old. The 20th century has witnessed some of mankind's most demonic actions, from the Nazi concentration camps, the Soviet Siberian camps, to the killing fields of Cambodia. Some say this proves God is dead. But, like so many others of our times, Johann Gruber and Jacques Bunel, two priests interned at the infamous Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp during the Second World War, bore witness in their flesh that God is far from dead, but alive. Their faith, courage and love unto death saved countless fellow prisoners."

The chapters in this book are:

Introduction
The Mauthausen Concentration Camps
Conditions at Mauthausen
Father Johann Gruber
Austria and the Nazis
Mauthausen Gusen Concentration Camp
A Different Kind of Patriotism
Tending to Physical Needs First
The 'Gruber Organization'
Extra Food for the Prisoners
Arrest and Death
Father Jacques Bunel
The Bunel Family
Lucien's Illness
Childhood - and Vocation
Contemplative Vocation
St. Joseph's School, Le Havre
The Little School at Avon
The Fight Against anti-Semitism
A Place of Shelter
Taking Jewish Students
Under Arrest
The Transit Camp of Compiegne
Neue Breme Camp, near Sarrebruck
Exercising His Priestly Ministry
Celebrating Mass in the Concentration Camp
The End of the Battle

The introduction of this book begins with these words:

"There is a clear link between the two priests who are the subjects of this booklet. Father Johann Gruber, an Austrian priest, and Father Jacques Bunel, a French Carmelite priest, were both imprisoned by the Nazis in Gusen I, a satellite camp of Mauthausen concentration camp, and were both instrumental in saving the lives of many of their fellow prisoners. "

We know that Father Jacques arrived at Mauthausen on April 23rd 1944, only 16 days after Father Gruber has been executed. And that he was at Gusen I by May 18th. They both showed their faith in how they lived. In their charity, their service and their devotion to other people. People who were sent to Mauthausen had a short life expectancy; they were worked hard, and worked to death. Mauthausen and its satellite camps were among the most brutal, cruellest of the concentration camps. And it is here that these two priests found their selves, and where they lived their calling as priests and followers of Christ. The poet Jean Cayrol stated:

"Father Gruber was amazing. On the day he met me I had about fourty-eight hours to live: I was starving and desperately cold, had almost no clothes, and was at the very end of my strength. I was working in the quarry. Somebody said to him, "Something's got to be done quickly. Cayrol is one of the ones in most urgent need of help." He came to find me, and brought me five litres of potatoes mashed up in water. I called a friend, and between the two of us we ate it all in five minutes. Father Gruber has tears in his eyes as he watched.
  He was a little round man. We used to call him Papa Gruber because we truly owed him our lives. He was an absolutely unbelievable person. He risked his life to find us food.""

This booklet is full of stories about both priests. We will never know the number of people they saved. There is no list. But there are many, many testimonies. I never particularly enjoy reading books about World War II, especially about the concentration camps. But I know that they are important books to read. We need to remember our history so that we do no repeat the mistakes. This book shows us what truly living the gospel mean, especially living it in some of the worse conditions humans have known. It shows the valiant faith of Johann Gruber and Jacques Bunel. They lived the gospel, and their lives are an example to us.

This book is at times a hard read. And from the beginning we know the ending will not be pleasant. But Scott and Tolansky do an amazing job of telling the story of these two priest. It is a book that will challenge the reader, and inspire them. It is another faith filled book from the Catholic Truth Society! 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.
 
 
Books by Scott and Tolansky:
Pius XII
Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan
Benedict XVI

Josemaria Escriva
Alvaro Del Portillo

A Pope of Surprises: The First Five Years of Pope Benedict XVI's Papacy
Sophie Scholl and The White Rose: Resistance to the Nazis
Johann Gruber and Jacques Bunel: Victims of the Nazis
...

Author profile and interview with Helena Scott.

Books in the 20th Century Martyrs Series:
Sophie Scholl and the White Rose: Resistance to the Nazis - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky
Johann Gruber & Jacques Bunel Victims of the Nazis - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky
Maximilian Kolbe, F. Jagerstatter, K. Leisner, R. Mayer: Victims of the Nazis - Franz Jagerstatter
Edith Stein, Marcel Callo, Titus Brandsma: Victims of the Nazis – Matthew Monk
Saint Maria Goretti: Teenage Martyr for Chastity - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
The Atlas Martyrs – Jean Olwen Maynard

Jerzy Popieluszko Victim of Communism - Grazyna Sikorski
Isidore Bankanja - Jean Maynard

...









Monday, 10 September 2018

A Pope of Surprises The First Five Years of Pope Benedict XVI's Papacy - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky

A Pope of Surprises 
The First Five Years of Pope Benedict XVI's Papacy
Helena Scott
Ethel Tolansky
Catholic Truth Society

ISBN 9781860826719
CTS Booklet B731


I have been able to confirm that Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky co-wrote 8 different books for the Catholic Truth Society. This was the seventh of the eight that I have been able to track down and read. They are all excellent read. In many ways this book continues from the CTY Biographies book, Benedict XVI, that the two wrote. The revised edition of that biography has a new final chapter with a brief paragraph summarizing each of the first five years of Pope Benedict XVI's papacy. This book takes those paragraphs and expands them each into a chapter. The sections in this volume are:

Chapter 1 A Pope of Surprises
     Dialogue and Love
     Theology and Liturgy
Chapter 2 A Call To Love and Dialogue First Year: 2005
     Catholic and Jews - A Future of Hope
     Dear Young People - WYD Cologne
     Example of the Saints
     Judaism and Christianity - The Path of Dialogue
     Muslims and Christians
     Deus Caritas Est - God is Love: First Encyclical
     The True Meaning of Love
     The True Nature of Charity     
Chapter 3 Opening New Frontiers Second Year: 2006
     Visiting Poland The Land if John Paul II
     The Shoah Learning From the Past
     Centrality of Families World Meeting, Valencia
     Faith, Reason and Islam, Regensburg
     Peace Through Dialogue Visit to Turkey
     His Love of Scripture and the Apostles
Chapter 4 A Call To See The True Face Of Jesus Third Year: 2007
     Sacramentum Caritatis Eucharist as the Sacrament of Love
     Church Is Always Missionary, Brazil
     Love for the Poor and Disadvantaged
     Summorum Pontificum Extraordinary for of the Mass
     Pilgrimage to Austria
     Spe Salvi Saved in Hope: Second Encyclical
     Responding to a Crisis of Faith
     A Firm Hope in God
     Jesus of Nazareth A Personal Search
     The Early Christians and the Fathers of the Church
Chapter 5 A Voice for the Ethical Reasoning of Humanity Fourth Year: 2008
     The Pope and the University, La Sapienza, Rome
     Voice of Ethical Reasoning
     The Church in America
     Science and Ethics Must Work Together, UN
     Year of St. Paul
     Be Ambassadors of Hope WYD, Sydney
     Don't Be Afraid to Stand Up For Christ
     Lourdes and the Sick
     The Benedict XVI Foundation
     Blessed John Duns Scotus
Chapter 6 Foundation for the Future Fifth Year: 2009
     The "Society of St Pius X" Offering Reconciliation
     Cameroon and Angola The Church and Aids
     Hope to the sick and War Weary
     Jordan and Israel Pilgrimage to Holy Land
     Dialogue Always Built on Mutual Trust
     Year for Priests
     Caritas in Veritate Charity in Truth: Third Encyclical
     Love Essential to Heal Modern Ills
     Rediscovery of Fundamental Virtue
     Cardinal John Henry Newman
     Czech Republic And the Heart of Europe
     Personal Ordinariates for Convert Anglicans
     Pope Pius XII and Pope John Paul II
     Great Saints and Theologians
Chapter 7 Most Intellectual of Popes Sixth Year: 2010
     Visiting the Rome Synagogue
     Meeting the Bishops of England and Wales
     Lay Apostolate
     The Church in Ireland
     The First Australian Saint
     Footsteps of St Paul Visiting Malta
     Entrusting All To The Lord

As can be seen this book breaks down each year and highlights travel, publications, and key focus. There is much to appreciate about and learn from through reading about these early years of Pope Benedict XVI's pontificate. The section called 'The Church in America' begins with these words:

"In April 2008 Pope Benedict travelled to the United States. On the flight there, a journalist raised the question of the sex abuse of children by Catholic priests and the suffering this was causing the Church in America. The Holy Father spoke with great pain about how hard it was "to understand how it was possible for priests to fail in this way in the mission to give healing, to give God's love to these children. I am ashamed and we will do everything possible to ensure that this does not happen in the future." He outlined the specific directions these efforts would take."

Reading this passage in 2018 I too feel the sadness of Benedict. Not only that it happened in the past, but continued under his watch. The description on the back of the book is:

"The first five years of his papacy!

Pope Benedict arrives in Britain in September 2010. Despite gloomy predictions on this new papacy, in the first five years since his election Benedict has surprised everyone, accomplishing far more than was expected. One of the most intellectual Popes in history, Benedict understands that Christianity is a matter of the heart. As he said from the onset: "In all humility we will do what we can. It is God who governs the world, not we. We offer Him Our service only to the extent that we can, and for as long as he grants us the strength.""

Reading this book I was surprised. I was encouraged, and I was personally challenged. This book is a wonderful read, especially if you have read the earlier biography of Benedict XVI. The writing of Scott and Tolansky have such an engaging writing style. The book is easy to read. I raced through it and then reread it at a slower pace. Because of the booklet format it can easily be read in a sitting or two, but I encourage you to take your time. 

Another incredible read by Scott and Tolansky and from the Catholic Truth Society!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.
 
 

Books by Scott and Tolansky:
Pius XII
Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan
Benedict XVI

Josemaria Escriva
Alvaro Del Portillo

A Pope of Surprises: The First Five Years of Pope Benedict XVI's Papacy
Sophie Scholl and The White Rose: Resistance to the Nazis
Johann Gruber and Jacques Bunel: Victims of the Nazis
...

Books by Benedict XVI:


Books About Pope Benedict:
Habemus Papam! Pope Benedict XVI - Regina Doman and Sean Lam
Benedict XVI - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky
A Pope of Surprises: The First Five Years of Pope Benedict XVI's Papacy - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky

Be Saints! An Invitation from Pope Benedict XVI - Amy Welborn and Ann Kissane Engelhart
Friendship with Jesus: Pope Benedict XVI talks to Children on Their First Holy Communion – Amy Welborn and Ann Engelhart
Take Five: Meditations Pope Benedict XVI - Mike Aquilina and Fr. Kris Stubna


Related Articles:
Daily Study Prayer of Pope Benedict XVI
Which popes do you have a devotion to and why?
...


Author profile and interview with Helena Scott.