Cover image for I like being Catholic : treasured traditions, rituals, and stories
I like being Catholic : treasured traditions, rituals, and stories
Leach, Michael, 1940-
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Doubleday, 2000.
Physical Description:
159 pages ; 25 cm
Corporate Subject:
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BX885 .I2 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
BX885 .I2 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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A celebration of the treasured traditions, rituals, and stories that run through the bloodstream of American Catholics For Andrew Greeley, it is the reverence of Christmas night and the exultation of Easter morn. Martin Scorsese, like many others, remains grateful for the nuns who rapped his knuckles but built his self-esteem. Mary Gordon recalls the sense of lightness that follows confession; Vince Lombardi, the strength he derived from Mass; and Christopher Buckley, the role St. Thomas More plays in his writing. I Like Being Catholicbrings together the memories, thought, and hopes of famous Catholics and ordinary parishioners, lapsed and "good-enough" Catholics, and those who have devoted their lives to the faith. It captures their abiding ties to and deep affection for the Church and offers the wide-ranging, sometimes surprising views on the good things that come with being Catholic. This is not a book of theology. It is about the beauty at the heart of Catholicism. It is about what Teilhard de Chardin called "the chosen part of things." It is about family and community, the value of Catholic education, the significance of sacraments and milestones, and the cultural impact of Catholicism--there are lists of the ten best Catholic novels, the ten best Catholic movies, ten Catholic heroes of the twentieth century, ten good reasons to raise your kids Catholic, fifty things Catholics like best about being Catholic, and much more ... I Like Being Catholicis a book for all those who have ever called themselves Catholic. It is a book of warmth, affection, humor, and love.

Author Notes

Michael Leach, a founder and the president of Continuum Publishing and president and publisher of Crossroads/Continuum Publishing, is the executive editor of Orbis Books. He lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

This book's resolute title and upbeat chapter headings promise a positive, apologetic approach to Roman Catholicism, and its essays do not disappoint. Longtime religion publisher Leach and Catholic author Borchard have edited a glowing collection of Catholic testimonial essays, fond remembrances of childhood church and parochial school days, loving prayers and descriptions of favorite Catholic rituals, traditions, prayers, saints and cultural influences. Bestselling novelist and priest Andrew Greeley sets the tone with his enthusiastic opening essay, "It's Fun to Be Catholic," which extols Catholicism as both a "religion of festivity and celebration" and a uniquely communal "religion for everyone." The ensuing chapters consist of a wide array of topically arranged contributions from clergy and laity of all ranks, walks of life and degrees of renown. Side by side are accounts from Saint Francis, Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa; from Yogi Berra, Gary Cooper, Mary Higgins Clark and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy; and from ordinary electricians, innkeepers, parents and children. Leach and Borchard provide structure, connecting insights and a few brief essays to coordinate this multifaceted, highly favorable presentation of Catholicism. These laudatory essays are generally inspiring and educational to read, but the collection's perfectly positive picture omits any significant awareness of undeniable contemporary church dilemmas, such as declining church membership and vocations, or disagreements regarding "relevant" worship styles versus traditional Mass. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This little book covers a great deal of ground, offering quotations from the likes of Mary Higgins Clark, Woody Herman, and Bob Newhart as well as less-surprising choices such as Pope John Paul II and Andrew Greeley. Upbeat, celebratory, and not wholly without a sense of humor, this enterprising anthology includes not only testimonials from the famous and not-so-famous faithful but also a "photo gallery," as well as entertaining lists ("The Ten Best Catholic Novels You'll Ever Read" and "Ten Good Reasons To Raise Your Kids Catholic," which includes "So they'll have some rules to reject when they're teenagers"). Pleasant, and never darkened by doubts, this volume should attract a wide readership. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Andrew M. Greeley
Introduction: I Like Being Catholicp. 1
Chapter 1 It's Fun to be Catholicp. 3
Interlude: Brian Doylep. 9
Chapter 2 It's Good to be Catholicp. 10
Ten Good Reasons to Be CatholicKathy Coffey
Ten Good Reasons to Raise Your Kids CatholicMichael Leach
Fifty Things Catholics Like Best About Being CatholicWilliam A. Burke
Interlude: Mitch Finley, John Deedyp. 17
Chapter 3 JMJ--Catholicism's First Familyp. 18
JesusJoseph Girzone
Jesus, Model of LovePope John Paul II
There's Something About MaryTherese J. Borchard
Go to JosephJoseph M. Champlin
Plus selected bitsFlannery O'Connor and William F. Buckley, Jr.
Interlude: Cokie Robertsp. 33
Chapter 4 From Math to Mysteryp. 34
The Value of Catholic EducationBret D. Thomas
The Mystery of CatholicismJoan Wester Anderson
Plus selected bitsWilliam J. Bennett and Leon Panetta
Interlude: The Average Catholic by Michael Leachp. 41
Chapter 5 Sacraments and Milestonesp. 43
A Few of My Favorite ThingsTherese J. Borchard
Plus selected bitsRosemary Haughton and Robert F. Morneau
Interlude: Mary Gordon, Annie Dillard, Mary Higgins Clark, Clare Boothe Luce, and Flannery O'Connorp. 54
Chapter 6 Mass Appealp. 55
My Heart Got Stuck in the Daily MassPatricia Carol
Plus selected bitsMaria Shriver and Martin Scorsese
Interlude: Babe Ruth, Vince Lombardi, Knute Rockne, and Yogi Berrap. 62
Chapter 7 Favorite Prayers, Traditions, and Ritualsp. 63
The Varieties of Catholic PrayerMichael Leach and Therese J. Borchard
The Brooklyn Dodgers and the Catholic ChurchDoris Kearns Goodwin
What Makes Being Catholic Great? A Child's PrayerSusan Heyboer O'Keefe
Favorite prayers and selected bitsJulie Ann Brown and Richard Rohr
Interlude: John Thompsonp. 78
Chapter 8 Everyone Calls Me Father ... or Sister ... or alp. 79
I Like Being a Sister ... a Brother ... a Seminarian ... a Priest ... a Missionary ... a Lay Minister ... a Bishop... Plus selected bitsCardinal Joseph Bernardin and Florence Henderson
Interlude: Moses, Bob Newhart, and othersp. 89
Chapter 9 Saints Preserve Usp. 90
Outrageous HolinessRosemary Haughton
Ten Catholic Heroes of the Twentieth CenturyRobert Ellsberg
Plus selected bitsChristopher Buckley and Marilu Henner
Interlude: Martin E. Marty, H. L. Mencken, and Nicole Kidmanp. 103
Chapter 10 The Great Commandmentp. 104
The Challenge of StewardshipMario Cuomo
One Little Action at a TimePatricia Crowley
Plus selected bitsLouis Freeh and Sue Fox McGovern
Interlude: David D. Fosca, Richard K. Taylor, Catherine Mowry LaCugna, and Claire Catanesep. 114
Chapter 11 Catholic Culture--It's Everywherep. 115
The Ten Best Catholic Novels You'll Ever ReadPatrick Samway
The Ten Best Catholic Movies You'll Ever SeeMichael Leach
The Best Catholic Music You'll Ever HearThomas Day
Plus selected bitsWalker Percy and Mercedes Ruehl
Interlude: Federico Fellini, Joe Mantegna, Maureen O'Hara, Martin Sheen, Moira Kelly, and Gary Cooperp. 130
Chapter Twelve: Here Comes Everybody!p. 132
At Home in Noah's ArkCyprian Davis
Confessions of a Cafeteria CatholicMichael Leach
Selected bitsDiana L. Hayes and Lawrence S. Cunningham
Here Comes Everybody Photo Gallery
Interlude: Jeremy Langford, Marc Munfakh, Tom Beaudoin, Charles J. Chaput, and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedyp. 144
Epilogue: One Church, Two Erasp. 146
A Young Adult Catholic Looks Back with LoveTherese J. Borchard
An Elder Catholic Looks Forward with HopeMichael Leach
About the Editorsp. 154
Acknowledgmentsp. 155
Permissionsp. 157