Confirmation Books 2011 - Book Reviews

Book Review by Ann Jonas, Tradebook Buyer - CSB/SJU Bookstores
this review was published in the St. Cloud Visitor.

The Jesus Creed for Students:  Loving God, Loving Others by Scot McKnight, with Chris Folmsbee and Syler Thomas, Paraclete Press, April 2011, 112 pp.
Scot McKnight, professor in religious studies at North Park University in Chicago has written several books, including The Jesus Creed, which was published in 2004.  Briefly, McKnight's "Jesus Creed" is simply to love God with everything you've got and to love others as yourself.  His new book The Jesus Creed for Students illustrates to high school and college students how to follow this double commandment to love.  McNight suggests that, for one month, the reader say the Jesus Creed in the morning, at bedtime, upon leaving the house, and upon returning, and any other time it comes to mind.  The results of this repetition, according to McNight: "You will see how loving God and loving others begins to seep into everything you say, you do, and you think."  The Jesus Creed for Students offers young adults some discerning questions to ponder and also some practical suggestions to follow the message of Jesus.

Win it All: The Way to Heaven for Catholic Teens by Justin Fatica, Ave Maria Press, October 2010, 147pp.
Catholic evangelist Justin Fatica co-founded Hard as Nails Ministries in 2002 to reach out to Catholic and Christian youth and spread the Gospel message.  His "in your face" style is intense and attention-grabbing; he has been a keynote speaker at diocesan youth conferences, parish missions, and many other events across the country.  Win it All, his recent book, gives young people eight steps to live a more God-centered life.  Fatica begins by explaining that what he means by "winning it all" is not gaining a victory in a game or accumulating more than the next person.  The goal of winning it all is "Heaven, plain and simple."  Each of his eight steps forms a chapter in the book; chapters include "Recognize Your Importance,"  "Discover God's Plan for Your Life," "Commit to Loving" and "Live Every Day as If It Were Your Last."  Every chapter ends with questions for the reader to reflect on and actions to take to begin each step. To illustrate his points, Fatica gives examples to which young adults can relate.  Fatica's passion for youth and for the Gospel of Jesus Christ is very evident in Win it All.

Meet the Saints by Saint Anthony Messenger Press, April 15, 2011, 128 pp.
Several noteworthy authors, including Robert Morneau, William H. Shannon, Joanne Turpin, and Mitch Finley contributed to this new book of saints, which has an introduction by Bishop Morneau. These thirty-seven saints' stories were originally published as a twelve-month newsletter series titled "Walking With the Saints."  Each of the twelve chapters in the book contain brief biographies of three to four saints, who are categorized in groups such as "Women Who Knew Jesus," "Male Founders," "Female Founders," and "Special Friends of the Poor."  At the end of each chapter "Stepping Out in Faith" offers some practical suggestions for following in the footsteps of the featured saints.  The text may be a challenge for some young adults, but the devotion and witness to faith of these holy men and women will be clear to all readers.

The Notre Dame Book of Prayer by the Notre Dame Office of Campus Ministry, edited by Heidi Schlumpf, Ave Maria Press, September 2010, 301 pp.
Heidi Schlumpf, a 1988 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, compiled this comprehensive prayer book. Contributors include the university's faculty, staff, students, alumni, and members of the Congregation of Holy Cross, the founders of the university. Many traditional prayers are also included. The book is arranged around photographs of twelve landmarks on the Notre Dame campus-which may or may not appeal to readers.  The twelve chapters of prayers are organized by themes such as praise and celebration, work and study, and times of struggle. Some of the blessings in the book (Prayer for Aging Parents, Prayer for a Difficult Work Environment) may not be applicable to young adults at this time, but as they go through life, the variety of prayers will be a valuable resource.  Other prayers (Prayer for Students, In Celebration of God's Goodness, Prayer for Confirmation, Prayer for the Homeless) will offer guidance and inspiration to young people. The Notre Dame Book of Prayer is an attractive treasury of prayers for both young adults and adults.