Cafe choice books


Author: Carol Schaal '91M.A.

The Road of the Heart’s Desire: An Essay on the Cycles of Story and Song, John S. Dunne, CSC, (University of Notre Dame Press).
Father Dunne, whom a reviewer called “one of our finest writers of spiritual literature,” uses story and song to bring theology alive. Whether quoting J.R.R. Tolkien or composing his own song cycles, Dunne traces the human journey from the unity of all things, to the emergence and separation of the individual, to a final reunion with all of humanity and God. He calls the voyage one of “wandering joy, the joy of being on a journey with God in time.”

In Search of an American Catholicism: A History of Religion and Culture in Tension, Jay P. Dolan (Oxford University Press).
Being a Catholic and an American can be rife with tension. Dolan, professor emeritus of history at Notre Dame, here offers an accessible and engaging view on how American culture has shaped and been shaped by Catholics over the past 200 years. Vatican II, the influx of different ethnic groups, including Catholic Hispanics, and the recent priest scandal all figure into the author’s fine study of an Old World faith meeting a New World society. Dolan, the founder of the University’s Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, also is the author of the acclaimed standard history of American Catholicism, The American Catholic Experience: A History from Colonial Times to the Present.

Shake Down the Thunder: The Creation of Notre Dame Football, Murray Sperber (Indiana University Press).
First published in 1993, the book is back in print with a new introduction by the author. Considered by critics to be one of the finest books of football history, Shake Down the Thunder explores the reality of such heroic icons as Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy and Grantland Rice. “The truth only makes the characters and their times more fascinating,” wrote USA Today. This cultural history of the University and its big-time football program is at turns painful, moving and exciting. Just like Notre Dame football games.

Making Your Way After Your Parents’ Divorce: A Supportive Guide for Personal Growth, Lynn Cassella ’85 (Liguori Publications).
Herself a child of divorce, Cassella says she wrote this book “to give these young people the permission and opportunity to honor their own journeys and, hopefully, deepen their faith in the process.” The practical guide offers a step-by-step process to help young men and women work through the denial, shame, guilt, grief and anger they may feel after their parents divorce. Each chapter ends with discussion questions, which can be used in support groups, at retreats or for individual reflections. ND President Emeritus Father Hesburgh, CSC, wrote the foreword.

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