December Newsletter

Posted by ida decesaris on


After a too-long hiatus, I am glad to resume these monthly newsletters, and to invite you to visit our new website. I am also delighted to inform you that those who shop directly on our site will receive a 25% discount on all available titles through January 23rd! Just use discount code HOL22 when you check out. Now, let me share some highlights from our current list. 

Among these, I am happy to introduce you to my friend, Sister Wendy Beckett. You may already know her, as I first did, through her role as the famous “art nun” on public television. But through some mysterious grace I was privileged to know her in a different way in the last three years of her life, as we exchanged emails on an almost daily basis. Those letters are now collected in Dearest Sister Wendy… A Surprising Story of Faith and Friendship. Through this book you can know her too—as a brilliant guide to the spiritual life, a modern mystic, an unforgettable friend. 

I am also glad to introduce a friend I wish I had known: Father Ed Dowling, the Jesuit priest who served as a spiritual mentor to Bill W., founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Father Ed: The Story of Bill W.’s Spiritual Sponsor, an extraordinary biography by Dawn Eden Goldstein, brings to life a remarkable priest, truly a shepherd “with the smell of the sheep.” 


Speaking of shepherds, Pope Francis, in Against War, a compilation of his writings and homilies, offers a powerful and timely message of peace. It includes his historic addresses in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, his visits to countries wounded by conflict, and his response to the unfolding tragedy in Ukraine, 

Other new titles offer spiritual wisdom and consolation. In Awake and Alive: Thomas Merton According to His Novices, Jon M. Sweeney has compiled short memories from some of Merton’s former novices at the Abbey of Gethsemane. These tales and glimpses of the Novice Master in action, offer a fresh perspective on a great teacher and spiritual guide. 

From Adam Bucko, another spiritual guide and exponent of “the new monasticism,” comes Let Your Heartbreak Be Your Guide: Lessons in Engaged Contemplation, moving and challenging meditations on the place where contemplation engages the needs of our world. 

Lastly, as we enter a new liturgical year, I call your attention to Catholic Women Preach, edited by Elizabeth Donnelly and Russ Petrus. Based on a popular online series, this groundbreaking volume (the first of three), features a host of outstanding Catholic women from around the world to reflect on the lectionary readings for every Sunday plus feast days.

There is lots more where this came from. Come and see! And may you find peace and joy in this holy season. 


Robert Ellsberg


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