Email this review


Simple and honest essays, recollections, and quotations on contemporary Catholic faith and culture in America today.

As promised, this collection offers dozens of answers to the question “Do you like being Catholic?” and to its natural followup: “Why?” The responses are celebrations of favorite prayers, Christmas Masses, Catholic music and literature, and the lives of heroic and “average” Catholics—told by well-known and unknown Catholics. Editors Leach and Borchard include several of their own pieces in the set, such as Leach’s “Ten Good Reasons to Raise Your Kids Catholic” and Borchard’s “There’s Something About Mary.” While both of these titles suggest a comic slant, however, the essays—and the collection as a whole—fall short on wit and entertainment value. Still, the writing is honest, warm, and uncomplicated, conveying authors' devotion to their faith and to the Catholic community. Highlights include best of Catholic culture picks—amusing yet somewhat predictable top-ten lists of the best Catholic novels and movies (think: Ulysses, A Man for all Seasons, etc.). Also featured throughout are a flurry of quotes by well-known Catholics from Martin Scorsese and Flannery O’Connor to Mario Cuomo and Yogi Berra. But while the editors have collected material from a broad scope of the 63 million American Catholics, the result is a choppy stream of soundbites that never truly gets beneath the surface.

Catholic readers should not expect an in-depth reaffirmation of their faith, but they may enjoy dipping into the memories and sentiments of those who share their religious heritage.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-385-49951-5
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2000