Creative Works

Author: Carol Schaal '91M.A.

Praying the Angelus: Find Joy, Peace, and Purpose in Everyday Life, Jared Dees ’06M.E., ’12M.A. (Ave Maria Press). This centuries-old Marian prayer originally was designed to focus laypeople’s minds on the mystery of the Incarnation. The author shares his experience with the devotion, from discovering the power of repetition to finding joy in unlikely places. Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz, the archbishop of Louisville, says that “through guided meditations, [Dees] makes this ancient prayer of the Church come beautifully alive once again.”

The Vatican Cameos: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure, Richard T. Ryan ’75 (MX Publishing). The author of The Official Sherlock Holmes Trivia Book turns to fiction with a pastiche of the famed detective being called to Rome by Pope Leo XIII to investigate a burglary. The novel moves between that case in 1901 to the time four centuries earlier when Michelangelo was commissioned to create cameos for Pope Alexander VI. Lee Child called the book, “an extravagantly imagined and beautifully written Holmes story.”

Act Justly, Love Mercifully, and Walk Humbly with Your God, Rev. Don McNeill, CSC, ’58 and Margaret Pfeil ’87, ’97M.A., ’00Ph.D. (Andrews McMeel Publishing). The 11 essays here are by alumni who have been shaped through the programs of Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns and postgraduate lay ministry with the Congregation of Holy Cross. Founded in 1983 by Father McNeill, the Center for Social Concerns focuses on community-based learning and local, national and global research programs.

Set Yourself Free: Daydream it . . . Believe it . . . Achieve it!, Michael J. Lyons ’73 (Outskirts Press). In this call to action, the author, who is an actor, public speaker and business executive, walks readers through the obstacles they often face in pursuing their daydreams, from fear and procrastination to excuses. Along with inspirational stories, he presents some tough-love talk on the need to make better choices and delineates the steps required to achieve a genuine, purposeful life.

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The More You Stir It, John Pesta ’65 (CreateSpace). A high school student discovers a 76-year-old picture of Klansmen, their names written on the back of the photo, posing by a man who has been hanged, and vows to bring to justice any of the lynchers who might still be alive. The student and local newspaper editor Phil Larrison begin an investigation that plunges them into an incongruous world. Larrison previously was featured in Safely Buried, which won a Best Fiction award in the 2012 Best Books of Indiana contest.

The Outsider, Anthony Franze ’95J.D. (Minotaur Books). In his newest legal thriller, the author of The Last Justice and The Advocate’s Daughter again uses the Supreme Court as a backdrop. When Grayson Hernandez comes to the aid of the chief justice who is being mugged, he is awarded with an appointment as a law clerk to the court. That position soon turns tricky when an FBI agent asks Hernandez for help in solving a series of murders that seem to be tied to various landmark court cases and he instead finds himself a suspect.

Vesper Time: The Spiritual Practice of Growing Older, Frank J. Cunningham (Orbis Books). “Vesper time is about continuing the quest,” the 75-year-old says about that “inward journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth.” He shares the enriching experiences that have led him to feel a deeper connection with God and offers guidance to those seeking light at the time of evening prayer. The author has been a contributor to this magazine and was publisher of Ave Maria Press, a ministry of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

Realizing the Distinctive University: Vision and Values, Strategy and Culture, Mark William Roche (University of Notre Dame Press). The former dean of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters and current professor has a lot to say about moving from an institutional vision to implementing the desired concepts. He discusses best practices and strategies, from motivating faculty members to facilitating a sense of community. “Vision should drive business plans and business strategies, not vice versa,” Roche notes.

What Slaveholders Think: How Contemporary Perpetrators Rationalize What They Do, Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick ’09M.A., ’13Ph.D. (Columbia University Press). Despite efforts to wipe out the practice of slavery, it still persists. Based on his 15 years of work in the antislavery effort and talks with slaveholders in rural India, the author offers insights into the thought processes of the oppressors — information that may help craft effective antislavery policies. Royalties from the book are being donated to Free the Slaves and Anti-Slavery International.

The Creative Spark: How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional, Agustín Fuentes (Dutton). The Notre Dame professor of anthropology shows how our use of imagination is the driving force that shapes human societies, values, desires, passions and everyday lives. He explores how our imagination has influenced such things as modern warfare, the relationship between humans and dogs, sexual attitudes and behaviors, and child-reading. The book ends with suggestions on how we can best use our creative power.

5 Minutes with the Psalms and the Wisdom Books: Spiritual Nourishment for Busy Teachers, edited by Lou DelFra, CSC, ’92, ’03M.Div. and Ann Primus Berends (Ave Maria Press). The third book in the series written by members of Notre Dame’s Alliance of Catholic Education program presents reflections designed to inspire those on the front lines of Catholic education. More than 70 meditations on a piece of scripture are written by teachers for teachers and administrators who seek to motivate others and reflect on their own role in education.

Nothing Good Happens at . . . The Baby Hospital: The Strange, Silly World of Pediatric Brain Surgery, Daniel Fulkerson, M.D., ’94 (ArchwayPublishing). From his time in medical school to service on a small military base to his practice as a pediatric neurosurgeon, the doctor traces a journey filled with joy, sadness, courage and, yes, humor. His stories give readers a glimpse of the emotions experienced by both doctors and their patients, as he shares times of triumph and heartbreak, frustration and success.

Untimely Democracy: The Politics of Progress after Slavery, Gregory Laski ’05 (Oxford University Press). The author explores the post-Civil War writings of Pauline E. Hopkins, Frederick Douglass, Stephen Crane, W.E.B. Du Bois, Sutton E. Griggs, Charles W. Chesnutt,
Callie House and others activists as they consider the steps needed to secure liberty and equality for all citizens. “The book recovers one of the bleakest periods in the nation’s racial history as a vibrant site for expanding our sense of what democracy can make possible,” Laski comments.

Early Men of Holy Cross: “To Sustain Each Other until Death”, George Klawitter ’63 (iUniverse Press). The stories of 11 courageous brothers who worked in educational institutions on three continents are reconstructed here from the letters they sent to Father Basil Moreau. In France in 1837, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross merged the Brothers of St. Joseph to a small band of priests and sent the brothers to teach in rural parishes. The apostolic work of some of that hardy band of pioneers receives its overdue recognition here.

Burning with Love for God: A Guide to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, Paul C. DeCelles and M.F. Sparrow ’82, ’89Ph.D. (Greenlawn Press). For four centuries, the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius have helped those who want to “live and move and have their being as God’s friend,” says the authors. The guide covers such topics as discernment of spirits, decision-making, personal prayer and making meditations on the life of Christ. The guide is specifically designed for those who direct others in the exercises.

Revelations, J. F. Tucker ’98J.D. (Dorrance Publishing Co.). In this debut young adult novel, the devil plots the downfall of 16-year-old Alexis Neil, who has begun to doubt both her self-worth and Catholic faith after she loses her best friend in a car accident. When Alexis falls for Rafael, an exchange student from Spain who is part of a military religious order called The Brethren, she also falls prey to lies being fed to her by the dark forces seeking to take her soul. Can her new love help her overcome the devil’s web of deceit or will Alexis pay the ultimate price?

The Beasts, the Prophets and the Victory, Marie Ann Dean ’81M.A. (Hope and Life Press). A sequel to Dean’s first novel, The Jeweler’s Polish, this Catholic supernatural fantasy is based on the intersection of the Book of Revelation and our times. On the island of Malta, two priests and a third man must flee to other countries after they witness an explosion that kills the provincial general of the Society of Jesus and other priests. As chaos is erupting around the globe, has the time of the prophets arrived?

Compiled by Carol Schaal ’91M.A.; email