IP#238 George Weigel – Roman Pilgrimage on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

weigel“Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches” is a stunning work.  A must have for those who love beauty, the heritage of the Catholic faith, and the celebration and depth of the Church’s liturgy.  The lives of the saints and martyrs come alive in this work which features the spiritual reflections of theologian George Weigel, the exquisite  artistic insights of art historian Elizabeth Lev, and the beautiful photography of Stephen Weigel.  George opens with the history of the practice of visiting the tombs of Christian martyrs  which began in the 4th century.   No one tells a story quite like he does. The pilgrimage would eventually evolve into a journey to churches, basilicas, and cathedrals throughout the city of the Saints.  Through this work, in a very real way,  the gift of Rome comes to meet in your home.  The spiritual contemplations are not only ideal for Lenten devotion, but are excellent for any time of the year.  A gift to give to yourself and to anyone you may care about who is traveling the pilgrimage of faith.

Roman-PilgrimageYou can find the book here

Fr. Robert Barron, Rector-President, Mundelein Seminary
“An astonishingly good book. George Weigel’s meditations on the liturgical texts of Lent and Easter are intellectually rich, spiritually alert, and rendered in beautifully crafted prose; Elizabeth Lev’s examinations of the station churches themselves are always informative, insightful, and witty. Equally impressive are Stephen Weigel’s artfully composed photographs. Roman Pilgrimage will delight your eye and feed your soul.”

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York
“On cold, damp, late-winter early mornings, hundreds of priests, seminarians, sisters, and devoted lay people walk the Roman cobblestones to one of the Eternal City’s forty most venerable sites, the station church of that Lenten day. It’s a microcosm of the pilgrim Church and of life’s journey, and Easter is never brighter than after faithfully completing this sixteen-century-old pilgrimage tradition.”

IP#234 Mike Aquilina – Good Pope, Bad Pope on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

“Good Pope, Bad Pope: Their Lives, Our Lesson” is another terrific book by the prolific Mike Aquilina.  This is a much needed mikeaquilinaresource for all Catholics.  Those of us who love and appreciate the gift of the Papacy in the life of the Church, if we are honest with ourselves, cringe a bit inside when the facts of history uncover those Popes who were…well…bad.  Leave it to Mike Aquilina to guide us through those notorious lives and times, while helping  us to see the lesson we can learn from those particular experiences.  Mike also lifts up those outstanding men who were more than just “good” Popes (which the overwhelming majority were), but reminds of  popes like Bl. John Paul II,  who could be called “great”.  Be not afraid of history, especially when its in the hands of Mike Aquilina.

Good-Pope-Bad-PopeYou can find the book here


From the description:

Every pope is by definition a remarkable man. But the popes whose stories you’ll read here were chosen because they reveal how the papacy developed. They show us how Christ kept his promise to his bride, the Church, not only in her health but also in her sickness. The great popes advanced our understanding of Christian doctrine. But even more remarkable, the worst popes could do nothing to damage the teaching of the Church.

That’s why, even in its darkest moments, the story of the papacy is a story of triumph. And that’s why it’s worth knowing these twelve popes.

Pope Paul VI – Christian Values and Virtues….In Conversation with Karl Schultz

Bruce and I had a conversation with Karl Schultz, editor of  “Christian Values and Virtues”  comprised of   Pope Paul VI’s Karl-Schultzteachings on peace, hope, humility, faith, suffering, love, and joy as comprised through his public audiences and his writings. Karl also shares little known things about Pope Paul VI. This book is a must read for those interested in understanding the impact of Pope Paul VI’s papacy on the modern Catholic Church.



You can find the book here


Ora pro nobis, Paulus Sextus. + August 6, 1978



IP#216 Russell Shaw – American Church on Inside the Pages

“Americanization ” is a very important concept to comprehend when trying to understand the state of the Roman Catholic Church in America. In “American Russell-ShawChurch: The Remarkable Rise, Meteoric Fall, and Uncertain Future of Catholicism in America”  offers that many of the benefits of cultural assimilation exprienced by Catholic immigrants to the U.S.,  around the turn of the last century, were good.  However, the secular culture has threatened the “Catholic identity” of millions of faithful and of their institutions, such as schools, universities, and hospitals.

Rich in in history, which points potentially to the future, Russell Shaw helps us to see the disturbing aspects of the Church in America today, while offering hopeful outcomes for the future.  A very important book, indeed!

American-ChurchYou can find the book here

“Russell Shaw is one of the best informed and most articulate observers of the American Catholic experience; a writer of elegant clarity, fairness and impeccable research. If you want to understand the Church in the United States and the challenges she now faces, American Church should be on the short list of books you need to read.”
+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia

“The new bull-in-the-china-shop of U.S. Catholic history, Russell Shaw upends pedestals, reimagines story-lines, and invites all of us to think again about the roots of the severe challenges — and great opportunities — facing the Church in the United States in the first decades of the third millennium.” —-George Weigel, author of Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church


IP#194 George Weigel – Evangelical Catholicism on Inside the Pages

george-weigelAt stunning moment in the recent history of the Catholic Church, the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI as Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church effective February 28, we had the opportunity to George Weigel before his departure for Rome to be, once again, a witness to history.  In “Evangelical Catholicism:  Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church” he writes of this particular moment in the life of the Catholic Church.  Our conversation centers on the Papacy and its future.  I cannot encourage listeners more highly to pick up a copy of this book; it is extraordinarily compelling and filled with hopeful certainty concerning the future course of this great “barque of Peter”.  Don’t miss!!!

You can find the book hereEvangelical-Catholicism

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York
“This sparkling read puts all the old Church-labels—liberal vs. conservative, progressive vs. traditionalist, pre- vs. post-Vatican II—in the shredder. Now there is only one valid adjective for all of us: evangelical! Simply put, this means we take our baptismal promises with the utmost seriousness. Like the Samaritan woman, we’ve met a man—Jesus—who has changed our lives.”

Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia
“George Weigel has been the leading diarist of authentic Catholic renewal—its progress, detours, personalities, and hopes—for 30 years. In Evangelical Catholicism he turns his extraordinary skills to the needs of the Church in the coming decades, calling us back to the missionary vocation we received at baptism and offering us a road map to faithful, vigorous Church reform. Rich in its vision, engaging in style, on target in its counsel and invaluable for anyone trying to understand the Church and her challenges in the 21st Century, this book should not be missed.”

Mary Ann Glendon, author of The Forum and the Tower: How Scholars and Politicians have Imagined the World, from Plato to Eleanor Roosevelt
“This remarkable book offers nothing less than a map and compass for men and women determined to take up the challenge of living the Catholic faith in its fullness under 21st-century conditions. With its bold call for ‘deep reform’ in every single corner of the Church, Evangelical Catholicism is sure to provoke lively discussion. The book’s proposals for true renewal are presented with the clarity and verve that have made George Weigel a peerless advocate of the courage to be Catholic.”

IP#187 Dr. James Hitchcock – The History of the Catholic Church on Inside the Pages

I could have listened to Dr. James Hitchcock all day, he is absolutely fascinating.  But the next best thing is to read his tremendous work, “The History of the Catholic Church:  From the Apostolic Age to the Third Millennium”.  The content is the best, the layout makes it so very accessible, and the storytelling is engaging…a must have and a perfect gift for family and friends!  In our discussion, we discuss the influence of the papacy, Constantine, the 13th and 15th century, St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, and so much more.  Not enough time, but so much fun.  Don’t miss!  One of my favorites of 2012!

You can find the book here

“For years, James Hitchcock has been our premier historian – a dissident from conventional wisdom, well-armed and solid. Here he pioneers a new method for presenting a long sweep of history: an orderly and altogether fascinating series of vignettes – of arguments, movements, distinctive persons, and concrete events. There is just enough narrative in these sequences to carry the reader along, but without involving her in excessive interpretation. This book provides both a great resource for easy reference, and a stimulating definition of a Christian humanism that holds in tension the transcendent and the down to earth, the holy and the sinful. This is a tension which Hitchcock maintains throughout.”
– Michael Novak

IP#182 Dr. Christopher Kaczor – The Seven Big Myths About the Catholic Church on Inside the Pages

“The Seven Big Myths About the Catholic Church: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction about Catholicism”  by Dr. Christopher Kaczor is a Dr. Christopher Kaczor Seven Big Myths About the Catholic Churchmust have resource for Catholics!

The misconceptions about our faith are so prevalent in today’s society that is almost guaranteed that you will encounter at least one of these myths in daily conversations with friends, co-workers, and sadly to say, family members.  To have the peace of mind, in order to answer the objection, is invaluable, especially when we are called to the New Evangelization.  But even more than that, Dr. Kaczor helps us to give a reason for our hope…the presence of Jesus Christ and His saving grace and mercy found in our Roman Catholic faith.

Dr. Christopher Kaczor The Seven Big Myths About the Catholic ChurchYou can find the book here

The Seven Myths:

The Church Opposes Science: The Myth of Catholic Irrationality
The Church Opposes Freedom and Happiness: The Myth of Catholic Indifference to Earthly Welfare
The Church Hates Women: The Myth of Catholic Misogyny
Indifferent to Love, the Church Banned Contraception: The Myth of Opposition between Love and Procreation
The Church Hates Gays: The Myth of Catholic “Homophobia”
The Church Opposes Same-Sex Marriage Because of Bigotry: The Myth That There Is No Rational Basis for Limiting Marriage to One Man and One Woman
Priestly Celibacy Caused the Crisis of Sexual Abuse of Minors: The Myth of Priestly Pedophilia

“All of this book is full of clarity and charity, but two chapters are masterpieces, each worth ten times the price of the whole book. The chapter on contraception is the most simple, commonsensical, winsome and persuasive I have ever seen. It could have been written only by a very good and wise husband and father. The chapter on same-sex marriage has the clearest and the completest logic I have ever read on the subject.” —Peter Kreeft, Boston College

IP#157 Mike Aquilina – Mothers of the Church on Inside the Pages

Leave it to the wonderfully thoughtful Mike Aquilina to bring us the lives of just some of those glorious maternal nurturers we call “the Mothers of the Church”.  From the well known Sts. Perpetua and Felicity and St. Monica to lesser known “mothers” like Proba the Poet and St. Olympias, Mike, along with his co-author Christopher Bailey, share their inspiring stories.  Mike Aquilina’s sincere love for these women and the witness they have provided us in our present age helps us to appreciate, once again, what God can do with ordinary people who are open to His extraordinary grace.

You can find Mike’s book here

The Mothers of the Church include:

Holy Women of the New Testament
–St. Blandina
–St. Perpetua and St. Felicity
–St. Helena
–St. Thecla
–St. Agnes of Rome
–St. Macrina
–Proba the Widow
–St. Marcella
–St. Paula
–St. Eustochium
–St. Monica
–Egeria the Tourist

IP#143 Stephanie Mann – Supremacy and Survival on Inside the Pages

The wonderfully intrepid Stephanie Mann joins us once again to discuss “Supremacy and Survival:  How Catholic Endured the English Reformation”.  The lessons of the past have much to teach us today, especially those experienced in England during the times of the Tudors and Stuarts.  Religious liberty was the issue then, and is the issue today in many places throughout the world…even in the U.S.  It’s not just about freedom of speech, it’s about the freedom of religion.  What will they be writing about 500 years from now about the Catholics in America?  Interesting…

You can find the book here

Click here to go to Stephanie’s fantastic blog “Supremacy and Survival

IP#124 Marcello Pera – Why We Should Call Ourselves Christian on Inside the Pages

It was an honor to have a conversation with Marcello Pera, who  served as president of the Italian Senate from 2001 to 2006 and who now teaches political philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.  We discussed his book “Why We Should Call Ourselves Christians: The Religious Roots of Free Societies.  He maintains “that the very ideas on which liberal societies are based and by which they can be justified—the dignity of the human person, the moral priority of the individual, the view that man is a “crooked timber” inclined to prevarication, the limited confidence in the power of the state to render him virtuous—are distinctively Christian or, more precisely, Judeo-Christian ideas. Take them away and the open society will collapse.”  A  fascinating insight from a European viewpoint why America has succeeded in the past and the danger it faces in the future.

 “The challenges of our particular historical moment”, as Pope Benedict XVI calls them in the Preface to the book, can be faced only if we stress the historical and conceptual link between Christianity and free society.