Church in the World and Missionary Journeys

IP#164 Fr. Robert Spitzer – Cosmic Origins on Inside the Pages


It is always a delight to talk with Fr. Robert Spitzer!  His sure brilliance, combined with his infectious joy and good humor, is so engaging that any topic he leads us on becomes an adventure.  With “Cosmic Origins”, a soon to be released DVD, Fr. Spitzer and a group of physicists and academic heavyweights exploring modern scientific theories about how the universe came to exist.   I would call this a “mathematical apologetic”, which is so beautifully points to the greater “purpose” of our creator, that I couldn’t help but smile through the entire presentation.  Stunning, wonderful…and so much fun!

 

To learn more about this film and how you can arrange screenings for your parish or group go here
Cosmic Origins explains what we know about the beginning and nature of the universe, as well as its transcendent implications in clear, easy-to-understand terms. The 49-minute film weaves together a compelling narrative from academics and credentialed scientists pointing toward a very Catholic understanding of how the universe came to exist.

Cosmic Origins is distributed by Ignatius Press.

IP#239 John Allen – The Global War on Christians on Inside the Pages

John-AllenChilling and very sobering is the story communicated in “The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution” written by veteran Vatican reporter John L. Allen, Jr.   It is a wake up call for Christians in the West,  who for the most part enjoy a relatively safe existence compared to our brothers and sisters in the faith who live in an incredibly dangerous world.  John Allen chronicles with exhaustive statistics, from numerous countries, the scope of “martyrdom” and persecution that exists for the 21st century Christian. Imprisoned, harassed, attacked, and killed because of their faithful expression of Christianity, Christians  around the world are targets.  He exposes many  of the myths surrounding the issue such as  “It’s all about Islam”, “No one saw it coming”, “It’s only persecution if the motives are religious” and more.  Why are we not hearing about this in the secular media, but more importantly, why are we not hearing about this in our own churches?  The end to the deafening silence must come now.  An important work not to be missed.

Global-War-on-ChristiansYou can find the book here

From the book description:

From Iraq and Egypt to Sudan and Nigeria, from Indonesia to the Indian subcontinent, Christians in the early 21st century are the world’s most persecuted religious group. According to the secular International Society for Human Rights, 80 percent of violations of religious freedom in the world today are directed against Christians. In effect, our era is witnessing the rise of a new generation of martyrs. Underlying the global war on Christians is the demographic reality that more than two-thirds of the world’s 2.3 billion Christians now live outside the West, often as a beleaguered minority up against a hostile majority– whether it’s Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia, Hindu radicalism in India, or state-imposed atheism in China and North Korea. In Europe and North America, Christians face political and legal challenges to religious freedom. Allen exposes the deadly threats and offers investigative insight into what is and can be done to stop these atrocities.

IP#215 Joseph Pearce – Candles in the Dark on Inside the Pages

Joseph Pearce is one of my all time favorite writers!!!  What a joy to speak to him about “Candles in the Dark:  The Authorized Biography of Fr. Richard Ho Lung and the Joseph-Pearce-1Missionaries of the Poor”.    Fr. Ho Lung is a fascinating figure:  poet, teacher, mystic, and musician (reggae, no less).   The child of Chinese Buddhist immigrants, this Jamaican priest is the founder of one of the fastest-growing religious orders in the world, whose mission is to serve the poorest of the poor.  With all those elements found in his story, Joseph Pearce, once again, paints an incredibly compelling portrait.  As demonstrated in his numerous other biographies, which include the lives of Oscar Wilde, J.R.R Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton and others (my favorite is “Old Thunder” on the life of Hilaire Belloc), Joseph captures the passion found in the heart of his subject.  This work is highly recommended!

Candles-in-the-Dark

 

You can find the book here

From the book description:

Pearce takes us from his childhood in Jamaica, the son of impoverished Chinese immigrants, to his education and ordination as a Jesuit priest. He shows us the glamour of Fr. Ho Lung’s life as a celebrity musician, and the deadly danger of missionary work in Kingston s grittiest ghettos. He tells the story of one who has ascended the heights of worldly success, descended into the depths of suffering and discovered a joy there that none can take away.

In the tradition of Malcolm Muggeridge s classic documentary of Mother Teresa,Something Beautiful for God,Candles in the Dark takes us to a place of unimaginable poverty…and shows us the joy that comes from sacrifice, the irresistible attractiveness of holiness, and the power of God still at work in the world today.

IP#172 Nigel Cliff – The Last Crusade on Inside the Pages

What a great read and so very timely! Author Nigel Cliff’s fantastic “The Last Crusade: The Epic Voyages of Vasco da Gama” is now available in QP.  Nigel chronicles the clash of the Islamic East and the Christian West in a way I that I had not experienced before. Tracing the roots of the Islamic experience and it’s occupation of the Iberian Peninsula helps with the needed background for this story.  Then he takes us on the thrilling adventures of the 28 year Portuguese explorer who set out for the elusive sea-based trade route to the east which would not only allow Christendom to penetrate into the heart of India, but would allow a Crusade to halt the economic grip of the East from crushing the West in Europe.  A contemporary of Christopher Columbus, it seems as though the tale and accomplishments of Vasco da Gama are mostly overshadowed today…but no longer thanks to the work of Nigel Cliff.  A terrific non-fiction historical read that illuminates the events of today.

You can find the book here

 

“A useful addition to a continuing lively discussion of Christianity and Islam, situated both in respect of religions and culture, as well as empires and trade.” (Kirkus )

IP#162 Ruben Quezada – For Greater Glory on Inside the Pages

“For Greater Glory: The True Story of  Cristiada The Cristero War and Mexico’s Struggle for Religious Freedom” is meant as a companion book to the film of the same name, but it truly be considered a stand alone in its own right.  Ruben Quezada does a fine job of outlining a horrific persecution which occurred just south of our border a little over 80 years ago, yet many of us know little or nothing about.  The Mexican government brutally killed men, women and children in an attempt to snuff out the life of the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico in the 1920’s.  Bishops and priests were martyred, Churches descrated, along many other atrocities. “Vivo Christo Rey” became the prayer triumphantly proclaimed by the Church Militant…this the story of their fight for religious freedom

You can find the book here

For Greater Glory is a top-flight production whose message of the importance of religious freedom has particular resonance for us today.”
 Most Reverend José Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles

For Greater Glory is ‘must-see’ viewing for all those who care about faith and liberty today.”
 Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight, Knights of Columbus

As you read you’ll discover:

• Who were the Cristeros?
• What drove the Mexican government to ruthlessly persecute Catholics?
• Can a priest “wage war”
• What role did groups like the Knights of Columbus play in this armed resistance?
• Why did thousands of Catholics – priests, religious, lay people – willingly give their lives in the Cristiada?
• What role did the U.S. play in ending this bitter conflict?
• What did the Pope do to support the Church in Mexico?
• Which characters in the movie went on to become Catholic saints and blesseds in real life?
• Why is this dramatic episode of history so little known today?
• What is the lesson of the Cristiada for those struggling for religious freedom today?

IP#129 Mary Ann Glendon – The Forum and The Tower on Inside the Pages

It was with great joy to be able to speak with Mary Ann Glendon about  “The Forum and the Tower: How Scholars and Politicians Have Imagined the World, from Plato to Eleanor Roosevelt”.  A fascinating book that chronicles not only the thoughts, but also the lives of  12 notable philosophers and/or statesmen throughout history.  The “and/or” is important, because not all can can successfully combine both.  In fact, only  two in this particular work, are found to be that complete “Philosopher Statesman”.   Why is that so?  Why is difficult for one who develops a theory to put it into practice?  And on personal level on my part, that this is one of the most enjoyable and engaging converstations I’ve been blessed to have in this particular “forum”.  We also discuss Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI and their influence in today’s world.

Mary Ann Glendon is Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and is a former United States Ambassador to the Vatican. She holds A.B., J.D., and M.C.L. degrees from the University of Chicago. In 2004, Pope John Paul II named her as the first woman to serve as President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

You can find the book here
About the Book:

As Aristotle noted long ago, two very different and sometimes incompatible ways of life—the political and the philosophical—exert a powerful pull on the ambitious and talented members of any society. Mary Ann Glendon, who teaches at Harvard Law School, says that she sees this double attraction in her students. Some go into politics, but many turn away, fearful of the compromises and corruptions of power. Such students may go on to become teachers and scholars, but they never quite give up on the idea of “making a difference” in the wider, public world, even if they aren’t quite sure how to do it. Ms. Glendon’s The Forum and the Tower profiles 12 figures in Western history who struggled—not always successfully—with the conflict between an active life and a contemplative one, between ‘life in the public forum and life in the ivory tower.’… The Forum and the Tower is a wise exploration of the eternal tension between action and thought.
— Brian C. Anderson, The Wall Street Journal

IP#126 Katie Davis – Kisses from Katie on Inside the Pages

Katie Davis is “just a normal girl who is trying to do what God has asked her to do”.  “Kisses from Katie: A story of relentless love and redemption” is written by 22 year old Katie, who went to mission for a “short” time in Uganda and found God had another plan.  Now she is the adopted mother of 13 girls and founder of  Amazima Ministries, which encourages orphaned and vulnerable children and the poor in the country of Uganda. In the Lugandan language, Amazima (uh-mahz-i-muh) means “truth.” Amazima desires to reveal the truth of God’s unconditional love through Jesus Christ to the Ugandan people.  Katie is remarkable and inspiring and a joy to read and talk with.  Please, say a prayer for her and her “kids” today.

You can find the book here

 

Katie’s blog is here

IP#119 Dr. Brennan Pursell – History in His Hands on Inside the Pages

“History in His Hands -A Christian Narrative” …What a phenomonal book! Not since “The Fulfillment of All Desires” have I been this excited about a work.  Brennan Pursell has brought the head to the heart and he’s done it with human history…outstanding!  More than even a history of mankind,  it is a history of  LOVE;  God is LOVE and our response to Him throughout time is what shapes our past, our present, and provides us a tentative direction for our future…where will our choices lead us? Dr. Brennan Pursell is one of my new heroes.  Do not let this one pass you by!


  “A refreshing tour through familiar territory from an unfamiliar perspective. Dr. Pursell allows a convert’s vibrancy of faith to inform his historical analysis without oversimplifying it.”  —Fr. John Bartunek, author, The Better Part

Check out the book here

IP#69 Conor Grennan – Little Princes on Inside the Pages

“Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal is  ultimately about an ordinary man who’s heart was opened with extraordinary love. Conor Grennan is an author, and now, humanitarian who chronicles the harrowing, touching, and compelling story of the children of Nepal. ”  A true story of  corruption, child trafficking and civil war in a far away land-and one man’s extraordinary quest to reunite lost children with their parents.  It was a joy to have the opportunity to talk with Conor and to get the word out about Next Generation Nepal the organization established to help the people of Nepal.

For more information on the book and “Next Generation Nepal”, visit www.NextGenerationNepal.org

A portion of the proceeds from “Little Princes” is given tothe work of saving and aiding the children of Nepal.

Leave a Comment