Brother Richard Contino, OSF

Brother Richard Contino, OSF, has been a member of the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn since 1993. As a religious educator, he has taught on the high school level in both New York and North Carolina. He is also a member of the leadership Council for his religious community, the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn and also serves his fellow brothers in his capacity as Director of Formation. Brother has published two books: These Sacred Days; Walking with Jesus through the Sacred Triduum and To the Stable; Encounters on the Way to Bethlehem. Currently working on a third book on a subject close to his heart, that on the life of Saint Francis.

Book Reviews by Brother Richard Contino, OSF

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Padre: The Narrowing Path

Images and themes abound in this novel by Jennifer Leeper, beginning with the cover art and the depiction of a church door beneath the title, Padre: The Narrowing Path.  Clearly, this is a reminder of Christ’s teaching on entering the Kingdom through the narrow gate.  This image and title then flows into themes that I consider incarnational and redemptive.  In a sense, the story’s plot is an unfolding of a modern day ‘Paschal mystery’ that incorporates a dying into new life.

The main character, Russell Capshaw, is a man with an untamed life and heart, wh...

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Heresy

In November of 2011 the Catholic Church began using a new translation for certain parts of the Catholic Liturgy that included a change in the language of the Nicene Creed. Such a shift from the use of the words, “One in Being with the Father,” to “consubstantial with the Father,” caused hardly a tremor in the Catholic Church. Other than a few weeks of awkwardness with the word change, the Nicene Creed that had survived unchanged since the time of the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople as the standard of faith was taken as a matter of course and for granted by many who profess such a faith in Ch...

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Saints Alive! New Stories of Old Saints (Vol 1: Saints of Empire)

Saints Alive is a refreshing look at one of the Church’s most remarkable treasures – that of the great cloud of witnesses, those good men and women who living ordinary lives had an extraordinary effect on the life of the Church and society.

Pope Francis echoed  a similar thought about  the great need for living saints  when he spoke to the young people at Rio during World Youth Day 2013.  The Church needs saints today as much as in centuries past.

That past that receives a valuable restoration as Andrew Seddon, with a literary paintbrush, gives saint...

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The Coat Without Seam

This is a novel that engages the reader as an observer on a pilgrimage set in the language of descriptive words that breathes into view deep and powerful images. Who is the pilgrim on this pilgrimage but our main character Christopher Trevenes?

We join Christopher in a physical and symbolic journey that is sensory and yet flawed because this journey is bound deeply to the incarnational experience of God entering the human condition as Christopher searches for faith in God through the experiences of love.

After experiencing a major traumatic childhood event, our main character is left wounde...

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Knights of the Cross

At first glance this novel, Knights of the Cross by Piers Paul Read, appears to possess all the trappings of a murder mystery saga, one with international consequences and intrigue, with characters endowed with ample personality and foibles to whet one’s appetite to continue.  If such was not sufficient, then add to this mix a blending of moral degrees of integrity and the clash with human sinfulness, enough sexual tension to spark one’s interest, and an appreciation for the skill of the author who is about to take the reader on an adventure, but not the one that we might expect.  

...

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The Mandelbaum Gate

The Mandelbaum Gate is a modern day Canterbury Tales. Just as the Tales present an array of characters, situations and a moral tone, Muriel Spark and her saga weave a pilgrimage narrative that entertains and intrigues the reader.

The combination of pilgrimage motif, images of the Gate, shrines interwoven with various cultures and people converge at a geographic location that is holy but ordinary and even sometimes tempting and sinful. The reader is introduced to a host of various characters with unique personality traits and foibles that would indeed delight and entertain Chaucer.

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Catholic, Ink.

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Sign-up for this free weekly e-newsletter and receive the free article - "What is Catholic Fiction?" Read the weekly column The Catholic Imagination and You and more.