Sunday, August 24, 2003

Book Review-Recommendation!

Michael Rose, the author of Goodbye, Good Men, has a new book out by Sophia Press. This book could easily have been entitled Hello, Good Men, it details the virtues and charisms of ten Catholic priests, nine of whom are alive and functioning in the church today. I was critical of Goodbye and will admit that in reading this latest work by Rose that colored my preconceptions about the book. But in reality there was very little to not like about this book. The priests presented in the book are alike only in that they are all ordained priests but their lives and ministries are as varied as the office of priesthood is.

The publisher advertises the book as a rememedy to all the bad news about priests. I think it succeeds on that level. Again, I don't think i picked the book up with a lot of objectivity but I found the accounts to be honest and to reflect a wide scope that I would presume gives evidence that in this case Rose is at his best. The priests are all orthodox but their interests make them hardly carbon copies of one another.

Most of the priests presented see their calling under the image of "battle." They are at war with the culture and sometimes the very church. In many cases they seem alone with God and the faithful few who support them.

The priests represented are diocesan and religious, ministering in places like Russia and Washington, D.C., in seminary work and parishes. A good cross section of the church in all her glory.

As I said at the begining, this book could easily have been called Hello, Good Men. It paints a positive picture of hope and fidelity that is out there. Hopefully this book will do even better than Goodbye and restore hope and some trust in the office of the priesthood.