Cover image for What makes us Catholic : eight gifts for life
What makes us Catholic : eight gifts for life
Groome, Thomas H.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
[San Francisco] : HarperSanFrancisco, [2002]

Physical Description:
xxii, 314 pages ; 24 cm
Corporate Subject:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BX1751.3 .G76 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This comprehensive survey of the events, people and themes that makes us who we are explores the interwoven culture, society, politics and economics of the recent past. Two hundred concise essays cover topics as diverse as pornography and the poll tax, the Blitz and New Labour.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Groome, a theology professor at Boston College, has written this book at a time when his church is reasserting its beliefs through publication of the catechism and pronouncements on such polarizing issues as the ordination of women. He appears to be trying to assure Catholics who are disappointed with the state of their church in the wake of the reforming Second Vatican Council of the 1960s that it's still okay to be Catholic, even if they don't like the present pope and his vision for Catholic Christianity. What really makes people Catholic, he argues, are such thematic elements as sacramentality and the Catholic view of "society's function as serving the common good." Groome's vision of Catholicism seeks to reveal a more palatable side of the church as an advocate of such social values as inclusiveness and concern for the poor. He also downplays the hierarchy's teaching role by saying this function requires the participation of everyone, "not a small group doing all the teaching." Groome's reputation as an author of several Catholic school texts could make his latest book a popular resource for adult educational programs, since each chapter includes questions suitable for group discussion. However, despite the author's claim that he writes for Catholics "who span the spectrum," his views may alienate more conservative members. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In his latest work, noted Christian educator Groome (Boston Coll.; Christian Religious Education) eloquently contends that all Catholics be they faithful adherents or lapsed members share eight distinctive qualities, e.g., sacramentality, community, social justice, and reverence for tradition. To each Groome dedicates a skillfully written chapter, which opens with an anecdote from his own experience that concretizes its theological subject. Readers will find themselves pausing and engaging in the text with questions for reflection and conversation (in fact, ample room is left for making notes). This format makes the book adaptable to small faith-sharing groups for private inquiry but might compromise it in a circulating collection. To increase its usefulness, Groome kept complex religious jargon to a minimum, allowing his simple stories to resonate in the heart. For the scholar or pastoral leader, five pages of notes complete the text. Recommended for public libraries. John-Leonard Berg, Univ. of Wisconsin, Platteville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



What Makes Us Catholic Chapter One "What Stories to Tell?" Interpreting Christian Faith What Stories to Tell Luke? Marybeth gently cradled Luke out sideways. The priest intoned solemnly, "Luke, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Water rolled down the little head into the baptismal font below. The words echoed through the cavernous old New York church with a definitive ring, as if marking a watershed, literally, with things never to be the same again. Ten-week-old Luke rendered some top-lung protest, and then surveyed the ogling assembly as if knowing he was at center stage. The priest lit a small candle from the big Easter one and handed it to me. "Receive the light of Christ," he said, and then, with a commissioning tone, "Parents and Godparents, this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly." I prayed in my heart to be a good godfather to this new member of the Body of Christ. I resolved to help his parents share with Luke the Christian faith into which, as the priest announced, "he has now been baptized." The ceremony completed, and it being a lovely April afternoon, we walked up Broadway from Fifty-ninth to Seventy-first for a reception. The newly minted Christian, Luke, led the entourage in a regal-looking pram, a family heirloom. I fell into step with Peter, the proud father and himself brought up as a Lutheran. Peter said the ceremony meant a lot to him, that he thought the priest had done a good job. He was glad so many family and friends could come; likely some had never been at a Catholic baptism before. Then he added reflectively, "Yeh know, a lot of people have negative stereotypes about Catholicism. They think it's only about sin and guilt, but it's a lot cooler than that." Ah, I thought to myself, now that's the version we should share with Luke -- the "cool" one -- the Catholic Christianity that encourages fullness of life. It has a thousand stories we could tell to this good end and some that would not serve well at all. I wondered about which is which and how to choose. By now, however, we had reached the restaurant and I put my musings aside for another time. Then we enacted an old faith story that I would surely tell Luke someday -- we had a grand party to celebrate his baptism. With lots of good food and choice wine, laughter and conversation, his Catholic socialization had made a good beginning! What Makes Us Catholic . Copyright © by Thomas H. Groome. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from What Makes Us Catholic: Eight Gifts for Life by Thomas H. Groome All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.