Paperback Edition of bestselling October 31, 1517 goes to the printer on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation!

Paperback Edition of bestselling Book October 31, 1517 goes to the printer on October 31, 2017 — the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation!

ISBN 978-1-64060-037-9 $14.99

After selling over 10,000 copies in its original hardcover edition, this book goes to press today for a new paperback edition!
 
With a foreword by James Martin, SJ and endorsements by Mark Noll, Kathleen Norris
and others, this book, with the 95 Theses included will be a reference title on the Reformation for years
 to come!
 
 One of the world’s preeminent scholars of religion has crafted a meditation on Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, brilliantly summarizing its history, influence, and meaning for today.

“This pithy book offers valuable insight on how Luther … can help Christians today understand what it means to be a member of a truly ‘catholic’ church.” —KATHLEEN NORRIS, New York Times best-selling author of Dakota and Cloister Walk.

MARTIN E. MARTY is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, where he taught for 35 years. An ordained Lutheran and historian, he has written dozens of books on Christian history and Reformation era topics, including a biography of Martin Luther. He is a National Book Award winner and was honored with the National Medal of Humanities. His passion is to demonstrate how Christianity relates to public life as well as to the personal themes of faith, hope, and love. He has participated in Christian ecumenical programs and reported on the Second Vatican Council.

USA $14. 9 9 ISBN

Sr. Antonia Cleverly
Director of Marketing

The Angry Christian

 At a time when anger runs at a high pitch in our society, Bert Ghezzi offers biblically based advice on how to use it wisely. Invite him to speak to your church or group.
Phrases such as “culture of anger” have come to describe much of our world today. Bert Ghezzi corrects the mistaken view that anger is always bad and sinful. Bert says it is a normal part of our human nature. Anger is good if we engage it to help us do the right thing and if we don’t let it escalate out of hand. But it spawns evil if it gets out of control or if we use it for selfish, wrong-headed purposes. Bert explains that under the power of the Holy Spirit, we can transform our anger into occasions of grace. We can replace it with behaviors like patience, endurance, and determination to do the right thing. So anger used well can help us overcome obstacles that block our twofold mission of becoming saints and advancing and applying the Gospel.

Bert’s unique approach to this issue is much needed today. Endorsers of the book include Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap, Archbishop of Philadelphia; Dr. Ray Guarendi,and Fr. Dwight Longenecker who writes, “In this practical and pastoral little book, Bert Ghezzi walks us through a guidebook on anger, showing how anger is God’s blessing not his curse. When the energy of anger is directed properly, God’s power to heal and transform ourselves and our world is unleashed.” — Bert is available to speak to groups or churches. If you are interested, please contact the author directly at bertghezzi@gmail.com

Sr. Antonia Cleverly
Director of Marketing

When the Wing Gives Way

Today we feature poet Jennifer Wallace’s blog post on the Paraclete Press blog. Look for her new book of poetry Almost Entirely this November. 
As the release date (Nov. 
14) for my latest poetry collection, Almost Entirely, approaches, I’d like to share a sense of the book and its arcs. Poems are grouped in four sections: When the Wing Gives Way, Something for Us to Stand On, One Hundred Footsteps, and Like Light Through the Branches. Each week until the book’s release, I will post another poem.

Poems in “When the Wing Gives Way,” the first section of Almost Entirely, represent a “coming-out” for me. Many poems in this section are expressions of faith and doubt. These themes may have always informed my poems, but never as overtly as they do here. This one, “The Wind of God…” takes as its title a line from the Book of Genesis (1:2).

I am always wondering which pronoun to use when referring to God. It is sometimes “he” or “she” or “they” or even “It.” Until recently, God was for me an “It,” a limitless, anonymous (but upper case) expanse that incorporates everything. I am coming lately into an awareness of a personal, less abstract, relation with God. Here is the poem:

The Wind of God…

…moved over the face of the waters. And after reading this,
the awareness that, more than once,
God has turned my head in the right direction,
yet I haven’t seen the gesture for what it is.

The world charges and is charged with a white-hot flame.
I might turn away, but each morning my head is turned for me
toward a crow’s flight, squirrel passage, or a person
with whom I share an ever-present reaching toward.
I let myself be turned sometimes. Sometimes
I get into my car and drive away.

Today I picture God’s hand cupped atop my head —
a quiet turning and then receding.
We are ‘fine’ with each other. This god has all the time in the world.

Bestselling author of The Holy Longing turns his attention to one of the stigmas of our time

Paraclete Press
Orleans, Massachusetts
October 27, 2017

For Immediate Release

Bestselling author of The Holy Longing turns his attention to one of the stigmas of our time

“Unique insights on the nature of suicide, its devastating effects, and God’s embracing love throughout. Fr. Ron is exactly who I would have wanted at my side when my daughter died.”
–Marjorie Antus, author of My Daughter, Her Suicide, and God: A Memoir of Hope

 A new way of understanding death by suicide with chapters on:
• Removing the Taboo
• Despair as Weakness Rather than Sin
• Reclaiming the Memory of Our Loved One

Bruised and Wounded: Struggling to Understand Suicide

 

On-sale Date: December 1, 2017
US Retail Price: $10.99
Format: Trade paperback
ISBN: 9781640600843

Ronald Rolheiser is a Catholic priest, president of The Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas, an internationally renowned speaker, and a spiritual writer whose books appeal to Christians of all backgrounds and spiritual seekers of all kinds. He is the author of many books, including the bestselling The Holy Longing, and the award-winning weekly column “In Exile,” which is carried by more than seventy newspapers worldwide.

For more information, contact Sr. Antonia Cleverly, srantonia@paracletepress.com(508) 255-4685 x 329​​

 

Paraclete Launches New Fiction Line

Paraclete Press
For Immediate Release
October 10, 2017

LAUNCH DAY!

The first in the new Paraclete Fiction line, We are pleased to announce the book launch for Kate James’ debut novel “Can You See Anything Now?“.

Can You See Anything Now? explores grace in the midst of tragedy, and in the lives of unforgettable, utterly ruined characters. The novel follows a year in the small town of Trinity, and the lives of the suicidal painter, Margie, who has been teaching her evangelical neighbor, Etta,

how to paint nudes; her husband, the town therapist who suspects his work helps no one; and their college-aged daughter, Noel, whose roommate, Pixie, joins them at home for a winter holiday, only to fall into Trinity’s freezing river.

Themes of small-town life and the juxtaposition of tragedy and redemption should resonate with readers of Marilynne Robinson, Richard Russo, and Elizabeth Strout. Early endorsers include Leslie Leyland Fields, Suzanne Wolfe, and Scott Cairns.

About the Author: Katherine James has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University in New York City, where she received the Felipe P. De Alba Fellowship. She has been on staff with CRU, a ministry to college students, for over twenty-five years. She is a member of Redbud Writers Guild, and is senior editor for CruPress. Her memoir, Notes on Orion, about the opioid epidemic in the suburbs of Philadelphia and the ways that it affected her family, will be published by Paraclete in the second half of 2018.

“Katherine James just might be a genius. If you’re a redemption chaser, you’ll love this book. If you hate redemption stories, you’re going to love this book.” —Leslie Leyland Fields

For more information, contact Sr. Antonia Cleverly, srantonia@paracletepress.com, (508) 255-4685 x 329

Introducing “Almost Entirely”

This November, we are adding a new title to our Paraclete Poetry collection! Look for the release of Jennifer Wallace’s book of poetry “Almost Entirely.”

Below is a preview from her blog.

The title for my newest collection of poetry (due out from Paraclete Press on November 14, 2017) comes from a poem (“Testament”) by my first favorite poet, Hayden Carruth.

I fell for Carruth’s poetry 30 years ago while sitting on the floor at a local bookstore, pouring over the shelves, looking for poems that would “give me a feeling.” When I read the long lines of his book, Tell Me Again How the White Heron Rises and Flies Across the Nacreous River at Twilight Toward the Distant Islands (1989), I admired the movement of his mind, his mysterious but down-to-earth images. I didn’t know a lot about poetry and said to myself: “I want to write like he does.” And I literally reproduced his poems in syntax and lineation—my nouns where his were, my verbs where his lived.

I read his “Testament” many years later. At 86, while contemplating his life and reinvigorating the previously stale idea of life as hourglass, he remarks: “I am almost entirely love, now.” That just grabbed me. It was not envy of him for seeing himself as made almost entirely of love. Such an affirmation! An aspiration! No, I was 100% puzzled and seduced by “almost entirely.” How could it be? Entire—as in complete, and almost—as in partial. Those two in endless orbit. My poems, never quite finished, finished by readers I never get to meet. My life, winding down, and filled with people and places I love, but also distant. My relationship with God—ever present and ever elusive.

Here is the opening poem from Almost Entirely:

Carruth, my first loved poet, said
in his “Testament”: Now I am
almost entirely love. He
imagined his ego’s heaviness
sifting through the hourglass’s narrowness
and settling on a gatheringcone of love below.

He didn’t know, then —
that when I lift his book from the shelf,
the love he has become spills
like galaxies in my hands.

Paraclete adds Megory Anderson’s “Sacred Dying Journal” to extensive list of pastoral care resources

For Immediate Release

This ecumenical book is being praised as a “tool to assist us in reflecting upon and expressing our wishes around dying,” by Sr. Maryann Lucy, OP, of the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters of Wisconsin, and as “a gift that opens the heart to the deeper personal mysteries of death and dying,” by Barry R. Howe, retired Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Missouri.

Sacred Dying Journal by Megory Anderson, PhD, adds to the growing Paraclete Press list of pastoral care resources related to grief, bereavement, suicide, and addiction.

Specific questions and exercises help the reader to discover their wishes, desires, and spiritual needs for the final chapter of their lives. As the culture continues to discuss ethics of euthanasia and aspects of palliative care, this book highlights the spiritual needs of those approaching the end of life.

Marketing will include promotion through the author’s Sacred Dying Foundation, as well as outreach initiatives to hospices, funeral homes, and chaplains, and pastoral care programs in churches of many denominations.

The book launches the weekend of October 13–15, 2017 at the The Art of Dying Conference: Spiritual Scientific and Practical Approaches to Living and Dying at New York’s Open Center.

For more information, contact Sr. Antonia Cleverly,
srantonia@paracletepress.com
(508) 255-4685 x 329 .

What Are We Waiting For?

When I was a child I loved Advent. I loved lighting candles and watching the light grow even as the days became darker. I loved the familiar hymns. I loved opening the little doors on my calendar. I loved the smell of cookies in the oven and the big spruce tree that had to be watered every day but still dropped needles all over the carpet. I loved the way our spare bedroom became a place for secrets: mysterious bundles and rolls of wrapping paper. But as much as I loved Advent, I also found it a strange season.

Everyone said Advent was a time for getting ready—for waiting. But what were we waiting for? The birth of Jesus? How could we still be waiting for someone born so long ago? The usual reply was that we were waiting for Christ to come again. But what did that mean? And what did all our preparations—the cooking and wrapping and baking half a dozen varieties of cookies—really have to do with Jesus anyway?  

Unlike Lent, which has a coherent story built around following Jesus on the way to Jerusalem, Advent seems stitched together from bits and pieces: prophetic words of consolation; hints about one who is coming; glimpses of an imagined future. The only thing that holds it all together is the idea of waiting: waiting for a better future; waiting for an end to exile; waiting for a savior. But what are we waiting for?

When I had children of my own, I was eager to share with them many of the Advent traditions I had enjoyed. We also added new ones: a Jesse tree with ornaments lovingly crafted by hand; an Advent Spiral around which a wooden Mary and her donkey travelled on her journey inward; a library of seasonal picture books. But the question still lingered: What are we waiting for? What is the purpose of this sacred season? Where are we in this story? If all our rituals do not connect in some genuine way with who we are and what we are meant to be and do, then what is the point?

 

These questions simmered in the background until one Advent when a surprising image presented itself. I was blending sweet potatoes for my youngest child, helping my son cut out ginger cookies, and trying to keep my middle daughter out of the dough, when a passage from the letter to the Galatians popped into my head (an occupational hazard for a student of the New Testament). Paul, frustrated with the behavior of the community of Christians in Galatia, decides to lay on some guilt and compares himself to their mother who endured the pains of childbirth for them, but now—horror of horrors—finds himself in labor all over again because of their immaturity. In a fascinating double metaphor, Paul not only envisions himself as a woman in labor, but also warns the Galatians that his pangs will not go away “until Christ is formed in you.” In other words, they are pregnant too, struggling to bring Christ to birth.

Like the best metaphors, this one both startled and enthralled me. As I watched my children toddle around the kitchen, the idea of them being pregnant with Christ made me laugh. But at the same time, I knew there was some deep truth here. What is the point of Advent? Not more busyness at a time already overstuffed with commitments. Not sentimental traditions or empty rituals. Not an acting out of something that happened long ago and far away. Suddenly I could see more clearly the now of Advent.

Advent is a time to practise patience as something new is formed in us. Advent is a time to be particularly open to the Spirit. Advent is a time to watch for ways we can take part in transforming aworld which cries out for healing. Advent is a season for looking—searching for signs of Christ bursting into the world, and knowing that we are all invited to share in that holy work.

Now there is a worthwhile invitation. So what are we waiting for?

***************

Look! A Child’s Guide to Advent and Christmas presents Advent as special time for waiting and watching—paying attention—to the ways God comes to us.

Told from the point of a view of a child, the story weaves together familiar Advent traditions like the Jesse tree and the Advent wreath, biblical stories and characters, and reflections on what these stories call us to do and be.

This book reassures children of the presence of God in all times and places and invites them to become part of the holy work of making Christ present in the world.

Surprised by Grief

by Roger Hutchison

It has been said that we are currently in a place of perpetual trauma.

I feel it.

I feel it from my head to my heart to my toes.

I feel it in the interactions I have with those around me.

There is a weariness in my human brothers and sisters.

A palpable grief in the way their bodies move.

Shoulders and hearts burdened by so much pain and sadness.

I weep for the murdered children of Sandy Hook.

I weep for the millions of people impacted by the wrath and destruction of recent hurricanes.

I weep for the division, anger, and injustice that is sweeping through this country.

…and I weep for those impacted by the senseless and brutal massacre in Las Vegas.

The grief is simply too much to bear—and for many of us, there is a numbness.

Twenty-five years ago, I took a pottery class at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC and created several items, most of them not very memorable.

Today I rediscovered one of the vases, took it in my hands, and much to my surprise, I began to weep.

Grief washed over me like a waterfall. I cried with my entire being and I cradled the vase close to me as if to protect it from breaking.

Until recently, most of my pottery was with my mom and dad. You know…the place where artwork you create as a child ends up.

It either clutters the surface of the refrigerator, ends up in a box under a bed somewhere, or like this vase, it sits on the shelf in a guest room and collects dust.

This vase now sits on a bookshelf in our home and today I gave it a name.

The vase is a bit portly—like its creator. It is not spectacular, but it is mine.

I remember the sensation of the wet clay in my hands. I remember the sound of the potter’s wheel as it hummed below me. I remember the feeling of the spinning lump of earth in my hands.

I remember watching with awe (and some disappointment) as it began to look like an ashtray…then a bowl…and finally a “vase.” I use the word “vase” in the most generous sense.

I removed it from the wheel and waited for it to dry.

Days passed. Once it was dry, I applied the glaze.

The glaze is a bit uninspiring before it is fired—dull and thick. I had no idea what it would ultimately look like. It certainly wasn’t beautiful in its current form!

Once the glaze dried, we dug a hole in the ground and filled it with sawdust, paper, and leaves. We buried the pot in those same combustibles and set it on fire.

After a full day of being exposed to intense heat, we covered the pottery and burning material with sand. This last step gives the finished pieces more color and variation

Surprised by grief.

This is the name of my vase.

This clay vessel, created by human hands was returned to earth from where it came.

It was transformed by fire and carries scars and burn marks on its surface.

Wounds that heal but never go away.

The dull glaze now sparkles in the sunlight—a cobalt blue “drip” spills over from the top edge.

Blue…like the grief that overflows from our eyes and our souls.

Tiny cracks dance across its surface.

Surprised by grief…and the color blue.

All of humanity weeps right now, and the fires are burning.

There is much pain in our world. And we will never be the same because of it.

But the vessel will hold and our colors will shine brighter than before.

And we must carry this color and light out into the world.

 

Roger Hutchison is the author of My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes. — available next month.

Christmas Book for Children on Race, Ethnicity, and Faith

After reading this book…”you and your children will never look at a crèche the same way again. That Baby in the Manger is a wonderful starting point for family discussions on race, ethnicity and faith. ” —  Paul Canavese and Ann Naffziger, co directors of GrowingUpCatholic.com

This week at Paraclete we caught up with Anne E. Neuberger the author of a new children’s book for Christmas that is a powerful conversation starter!  This is a timely book as parishes, congregations, and communities become more and more diverse, and national conversation about race and ethnicity increases.
Anne, can you give us a synopsis of the book?

It is just a few days before Christmas and the first graders have gathered around the nativity scene in the front of their church.  The manger, however, is empty, as the Christ Child statue will not be placed in it until Christmas morning.  The statue’s absence causes a discussion amongst this multi-cultural group, and it becomes clear that they are bothered by the statue they remember (with blonde curls). Each child wants to identify with Jesus, but he doesn’t look like any of them!  An inspired solution comes just in time for Christmas, and shows how Jesus and his love came down for all of us. 

What  makes this book unique?

Christmas stories for children are not uncommon and fall into three basic categories. Some are religious and focus on the events in the nativity story in scripture.  Some use this story and add new characters children will appreciate, such as a child shepherd or a  mouse that is a resident of the stable. Many books are secular, portraying fun holiday preparations and gift giving.  

 THAT BABY IN THE MANGER is clearly reflecting the scripture story but its theme is very contemporary: how can children of a variety of ethnicities in an urban, 21st century setting, identify with the child-God who came to earth  into a very different a culture, centuries ago?

 We are raising our children in a secular society. It is a tremendous challenge to help them become aware of the spirituality in life. Our world is more commercial than any earlier generation.  How can we do this?

 One way is through the use of stories. This ancient and very reliable method of passing on wisdom and heritage is still available to us.  Story has the power to let us slip into someone else’s life and emotions. Through stories we can experience another time and place. Add THAT BABY IN THE MANGER to a reading of a more traditional Christmas books. It can either open up a discussion about who Jesus is and how we experience  Him , or help make the time we call Advent about Jesus and not about gift getting.

 This book may encourage families to get or create their own nativity scene. Download a discussion and study guide, suitable for ages Pre-K-4th grade. 

Anne has also created an online activity and discussion guide to assist churches and families to discuss the themes of the book even further.

Click here to read the book, or to place an order.