Reviews of books written on subjects/themes of interest to ICN readers - reviewed from a Catholic/Christian perspective.

South Sudan and the betrayal of Christian campaigners

Christian activists around the world played a vital role in the creation of the world's newest nation, South Sudan, in 2011. A new book, The Dissent Channel by Elizabeth Shackleford, explains how the hopes of global peace campaigners and the optimism of diplomats has come to naught. Shackleford, a former foreign service officer at the US embassy in the capital, Juba, witnessed the dest...

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Book review: The world will be saved by beauty

Dorothy Day. An intimate portrait of my grandmother by Kate Hennessy - Published 2017 by Simon and Schuster

I must start with a confession. For over 50 years I have been greatly influenced by this great American Catholic. The spell began when her friend and mine, Bea Brickey introduced me to Dorothy's writings. The link was cemented when in 1969. I had the privilege of ...

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Pope introduces book on hope in Covid-19 pandemic

Pope's 27th March prayers in St Peter's Square

Pope Francis has written the preface to a new book, released today, entitled 'Communion and Hope'. In his introduction, he reflects on the lessons Christians have learned from the Covid-19 pandemic and encourages everyone to rediscover solidarity.

'Communion and Hope' was prepared by Cardinal Walter Kasper and Father George Augustin, and contains theological reflections from various autho...

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Mary, Queen of Scots prayerbook

Mary Queen of Scot's prayerbook at Stonyhurst

Christie's are about to auction a rare Book of Hours which reputedly once belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots.

Dr Jan Graffius, Curator of Historic Libraries and Collections at Stonyhurst College, looks at the story behind another of Mary's Books of Hours, the famous British Jesuit Province prayer book which Mary took to her death and which now sits in the Stonyhurst Collection.

The Pr...

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Vatican publishes book of Pope Francis's 'lockdown' homilies

The Vatican Publishing House issued a downloadable publication containing Pope Francis's daily homilies from Casa Santa Marta and prayers suggested for the Coronavirus pandemic. (Editors note - this online publication is no longer available. See the link below to buy the print version.)

As a sign of his closeness to those who were ill, under quarantine, or for whatever reason, w...

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Teen computer geek on the way to sainthood

Carlo Acutis

A computer geek who dedicated his life to Jesus, Carlo Acutis died in 2006 at the age of 15, but is already on his way to sainthood! Learn how his life inspires us to embrace the digital age for evangelisation and catechesis in a new book from CTS - Online With Saints which is due to be published later this year.

Carlo was born in London and grew up in Milan. His great passion wa...

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'Thank God for Mass!' - new interactive book for 5-10 year olds

Just as lockdown begins to ease and Churches gradually open for prayer and Mass, Sue Ellis, York-based children's author and Liturgical and Eucharistic Minister, has produced a book that will help every family, school and church inspire children to enjoy the many aspects of this key event in the life of every Roman Catholic.

Sue has written an interactive book designed to help children u...

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Book review: Illness, Disability and Caring

Bernadette Meaden's book, Illness, Disability and Caring is the third in a study series How the Bible Can Help Us Understand, published by Darton Longman and Todd and inspired by the Revised New Jerusalem Bible which was published in July 2019.

The book is short, but the chapter headings indicate its remarkable spiritual and moral range: Radically inclusive love; Made in the image of God;...

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Book: Climate Crisis: the Challenge to the Church

First of all a confession: I'm a huge fan of David Rhodes' books. A former journalist who seeks the truth by not being afraid to question what he sees, David has a rare gift for taking a well-known story and turning it on its head.

Like all David's books, Climate Crisis: the Challenge to the Church is an easy read. However don't be fooled into thinking the content is lightweight. Whilst t...

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Wounded Shepherd

Wounded Shepherd by Austen Ivereigh. Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, New York.

Following his authoritative, critically acclaimed The Great Reformer, Austen Ivereigh's new clear-eyed portrait explores Pope Francis' impact on the Catholic Church. Fr John Buckley writes:

In the early Seventies I returned from a missionary tour in West Africa and met up with a fellow missio...

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Book: Black Wave

Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran and the forty-year rivalry that unraveled culture, religion. And collective memory in the Middle East - by Kim Ghattas, Henry Holt, New York.

"What happened to us?" is the question posed by Lebanese author Kim Ghattas as she surveys the wreckage of Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon and Pakistan. The answer is "1979." Ghattas reveals the region's d...

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Book: The Turbulent World of the Divine Painter

Hailed by his contemporaries as 'the divine painter,' Raphael Sanzio of Urbino ( 1483-15200 was one of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance. A contemporary of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael was sought out by popes, kings and aristocrats to decorate their residences, a superstar even in his own lifetime, who even today remains a byword for classic perfection.


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Struggling for ideas for children under lockdown?

Youngster from Togo with his copy of the ACN Child's Bible (© Aid to the Church in Need

Help is at hand for UK families with young children stuck at home during the COVID-19 lockdown thanks to a new initiative involving a familiar friend - the Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Child's Bible.

Devised by the schools' team of the charity for persecuted and other suffering Christians, the ACN UK Child's Bible project is based on 'God speaks to his Children', the little red book of...

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Pope's homilies and prayers available to download

The Dicastery for Communication of the Holy See is making available a free downloadable book entitled 'Strong in the Face of Tribulation' containing a collection of Pope Francis's prayers, intercessions and homilies as "a sure support in time of trial".

Andrea Tornielli, editorial director of the Vatican's Dicastery for Communication said the book is "A little help offered to all, so as ...

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