Saint Augustine on the Resurrection of Christ. Teaching, Rhetoric and Reception

st augustineSaint Augustine on the Resurrection of Christ. Teaching, Rhetoric and Reception
Author: Gerald O'Collins SJ
ISBN: 978-0-19-879954-2
Price: £16.99
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Year: 2017
Publisher: Oxford University Press

On 3 July each year the Church celebrates the feast day of St Thomas the Apostle, 'doubting Thomas'. At Vespers in the Divine Office on that day these words appear for the antiphon for the gospel canticle Magnificat: Misi digitos meos in fixuras clavorum et manus meas in latus eius, et dixi: Dominus meus et Deus meus, alleluia.. This text, not in John's gospel, imagines Thomas recounting the act of touching Jesus' wounds and putting his hands in the Lord's side. While Jesus in the gospel invites Thomas to do this, we are not told that he did - he acclaims 'My Lord and my God' straightaway.

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Pope Francis, With the Smell of the Sheep. The Pope speaks to Priests, Bishops, and Other Shepherds.

pope francisPope Francis, With the Smell of the Sheep. The Pope speaks to Priests, Bishops, and Other Shepherds. Foreword by Bishop Robert Barron
Editors: Giuseppe Merola
ISBN: 978-1-62698-224-6
Price: £14.99
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Year: 2017
Publisher: Orbis Books

This book is a collection of all the talks of Pope Francis with seminarians, consecrated men and women, priests, and bishops on different occasions in many countries. It covers a variety of themes, touches on painful issues, and offers thought-provoking reflections. The Pope speaks about the ideal of a priest, about his spiritual formation, relationship with the lay and the bishops, and life in the Church.

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BBC1 series Broken, by Jimmy McGovern

brokenBBC1 series Broken, by Jimmy McGovern
Paul Rowan

A review of the recent drama by Jimmy McGovern, Broken, shown on BBC earlier this year. (Available on DVD, Amazon £19.50). Paul Rowan is Assistant Head (Director Catholic Life and Formation), Beaulieu Convent School, Jersey, and a priest of the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

Jimmy McGovern's dark, heartrending, inspiring, and compelling BBC1 series Broken is set in a forgotten, deprived and indeed broken urban community, somewhere in the north-west of England. For those with a sharp eye, Fr. Michael Kerrigan, grippingly played by Sean Bean, is the parish priest of Saint Vincent de Paul's parish in Liverpool 1, and much of the filming takes place in the Kirkdale area of the city. One assumes that McGovern's intention is to portray a fairly general 'northern' working class group of people/parishioners, rather than go for the oft-used but politically loaded theme of 'Scousers' (I say this as one who loves Scousers, Liverpool, the Archdiocese and their red football team).

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Black Sheep and Prodigals - An antidote to black and white religion

black sheepBlack Sheep and Prodigals - An antidote to black and white religion
Author: Dave Tomlinson
ISBN: 978-1-473-61102-3
Price: £14.99
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Year: 2017
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton.

This is a book for those who are tired of being told what to do and what to believe by institutions practising what they preach and what they preach is punishment for non-compliance. As the title suggests, this book speaks volumes in a mere 240 pages of very accessible, sardonic and sometimes risqué writing.

For those who think that theology only comes in weighty tomes by Anselm of Canterbury and Thomas Aquinas, Dave Tomlinson will be a breath of fresh air - perhaps some of the air which Pope St John XXIII hoped would enter the Catholic Church when he announced that he 'wanted to throw open the windows of the Church so that we can see out and the people can see in'.

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