cover image The Best of Being Catholic

The Best of Being Catholic

Kathy Coffey. Orbis, $17 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-57075-978-9

Many Catholics feel frustrated or even angry at their church. For those in the pews who are thinking about walking away, popular Catholic author Coffey makes a compelling argument to reconsider their urge to flee. While acknowledging the many grave problems within the church, and those caused by it, the author lovingly presents brief vignettes about the people, places, and ideas that have made Catholicism such a rich and dignified religion. These treasures include the Catholic sacramental imagination, the multitude of religious orders that have built up the people of God for almost two millennia, vibrant parish life, and even real life heroes such as Dorothy Stang, a nun who was martyred for her work with the poor in Brazil. Catholics can and should be proud that their church has also been a great source of truth and beauty to a world in deep need of both. Those wounded by it, however, will likely not be persuaded by the author's pleas. Still, the lack of polemics and focus on the ties that bind Catholics together is a much needed perspective in these contentious times. (Sept.)