Monday, November 05, 2007

Review: Called to Be Holy

Called to Be Holy by Archbishop Timothy Dolan
Our Sunday Visitor, March 2005, 224pp

Called to Be Holy is a collection of talks Archbishop Timothy Dolan gave to seminarians when he was rector of the North American Seminary in Rome. An introduction presents the book to the layperson, calling to mind the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception's mural entitled The Universal Call to Holiness, also on the cover of the book. (The mural is beautiful and it's worth following my link and visiting it in more detail). As far as I understand, this is an edition of his book entitled Priests for the Third Millennium edited for laypeople.

From the publisher's website:
What Milwaukee's Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan recommends, urges, reminds, and teaches is radical in the truest sense of that word: It is basic. It is at the roots. It is fundamental. (...)

Here is a detailed examination and encouraging explanation of faith, hope, humility, love and chastity, human formation, patience, penance, joy, and obedience.

Although he directs himself to seminarians and their vocation, the text can certainly be applied, most of time, to the layperson. The archbishop's tone is simple and personal, his anecdotes are taken from ordinary life and he quotes on any page the saints, Woody Allen, Martin Luther or the great Catholic writers of the 20th century.

The book is divided into eleven chapters that can be read independently if you are more interested in one or the other theme. Chapter One is entitled Being Good Stewards with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the subsequent chapters revolve around the virtues of Faith, Hope, Humility, Love and Chastity, Patience, Joy, Obedience and Penance. The last chapter explores Devotion to Our Lady, and there is a delightful brief Afterword, where he tells of his response to a reporter who asked about his ambition to be a Cardinal: "...actually, my goal is to be a saint, and to help you be one, too!"

This can be a valuable personal resource for a homeschool parent or for an older high schooler: it is accessible, brief, and never scholarly. The good Archbishop does impart the message that sainthood is possible to be attained by anyone!

Reviewed by Ana Braga-Henebry, M.A.

Available from your favorite bookseller.

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