At that moment a shot rang out

Ashley Beck

The first full edition in English of all the homilies of Blessed Oscar Romero has been published. Ashley Beck is Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Ministry at St Mary's University, Twickenham and Assistant Priest of Beckenham in the Southwark archdiocese. He is author of Oscar Romero: Martyr for Faith (Catholic Truth Society 2015)

A Prophetic Bishop speaks to his People
The Complete Homilies of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, translated by Joseph Owens SJ, 6 vols.

Price (each volume): £35.99
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Publisher: Convivium Press

In May 2015 Archbishop Oscar Romero, one of the most significant figures in Latin American Catholicism, was beatified. It was made explicitly clear that he is to be seen as a martyr, killed by those who had an odium fidei. His bravery in the face of death threats and the manner of his martyrdom have inspired the Catholic Church and many other Christians.

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Reformation Divided. Catholics, Protestants and the Conversion of England

Author: Eamon Duffy
ISBN: 978 -1-4729-3436-9 (hardback); 978-1-4729-3437-6 (e-book)
Date: 2017
Price: £30.00 (hb), £26.99 (e-book)
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Publisher: Bloomsbury

This ought to be a much more diffuse collection than it is. It contains fourteen essays published over a period of forty years, the earliest in 1977 and 1978, the most recent in 2013 and 2016. It contains essays published in a variety of forms and with very different audiences - from the preface to a Folio Society edition of Erasmus's The Praise of Folly via essays in books aimed at undergraduate readership, to major public lectures and keynote addresses at academic conferences, to articles in recondite journals. This information is buried away in an acknowledgement section on pp.432-3 otherwise one would never guess it. Partly this is because Eamon Duffy has done such a remarkable job of recasting them. All historical writing is the product of a historical moment and also of an autobiographical moment and it is always dangerous to 'bring them up to date'. This book is the exception to that austere rule, Each and every one of these essays reads as though it was written yesterday. And each one now reads as though it was directed at the range of readers who subscribe to the Pastoral Review. As with all Duffy's writing, he enters peerlessly into the mental worlds of the past, both drawing on and deepening our awareness of the moral and spiritual worlds of men (and in this book it is essentially men) of a particular past. But he also manages to allude to the dilemmas of the past in ways which evoke the dilemmas of our present.

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O My Jesus. The Meaning of the Fatima Prayer

Authors: Stephen Bullivant and
Luke Arredondo
ISBN: 978-0809153343
Date: 2017
Price: £7.75
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Publisher: Paulist Press

To the average Brit, the mention of Portugal brings to mind holidays in the Algarve, attractive villas and sun-drenched golf courses. Yet it is the small village of Fatima, about one hundred kilometres north of Lisbon that has recently snatched the headlines. The centenary of the apparitions of Mary and the canonization of two of the children seers by Pope Francis has led many to reflect upon the unexplained phenomena and more significantly to revaluate the importance of such apparitions and the message they carry.

Fatima has sustained a great degree of controversy over the years. This was experienced by the young shepherds themselves, who met scepticism and insult whilst maintaining that a 'beautiful lady from Heaven' was communicating to them an important message of conversion, peace and hope. Over the years, all sorts of speculation have been raised about the 'secrets of Fatima': conspiracy theories and the end of the world, questions over the legitimacy of the papacy: one only needs to type 'the third secret of Fatima' on Google to find a variety of conjectures and opinions.

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