A FAITH FOR GROWN-UPS: A Midlife Conversation About What Really Matters

Robert P. Lockwood, Author . Loyola $17.95 (300p) ISBN 978-0-8294-1647-3

As someone who grew up in the glory days of the American Catholic Church and came of age as those days were coming apart, Lockwood is eminently qualified for the task of helping his baby boomer contemporaries reconcile their childhood faith with the real world. He does this superbly, using humor-laced stories from his own life to spark memories of a religion he likens to "red wine and cold beer: rich in culture, but as common as the front stoop on a city street." Lockwood begins each chapter with an excerpt or two from the Baltimore Catechism, winds a personal tale around it and then segues into an explanation of the faith as seen from an adult perspective, ending with a Bible text, poem, prayer or other relevant quotation. The format works well, and effectively leads readers who learned their faith in the Baltimore Catechism's question-and-answer style into a deeper understanding of Catholicism's essential beliefs. In recollecting his own Catholic past, Lockwood is honest, yet forgiving of the deficiencies of his education and formation in the faith. He doesn't linger in the darkness of bad memories, but having come into the light of adult faith himself, he offers gentle yet firm guidance for readers making a similar journey. Lockwood's relaxed style invites Catholics who have drifted from the faith to reconsider a church that, he says, despite its popular image as a "nay-sayer," believes humanity can be both "good and great." (May)

Reviewed on: 04/26/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
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