The SvDP Catholic Book Club's purpose is to learn and share our Catholic faith through reading classics, fiction and nonfiction books. Our discussions of the books will be with a Catholic lens.
The group meets the first Monday of every month at 7:00 pm in the Family Room, which is located between church and parish center. In addition, some of the group will meet weekly every Monday at 7:00 pm in the Family Room and everyone is welcome to join us any week.
We try to use the Catholic website Formed to access Catholic books and other books on the site. These books can be downloaded for a KINDLE OR EPUB version. If you do not have a device to read the book electronically, you may be able to get one from the SVdP library or other resources. We may read other Catholic books that are recommended too.
Formed Website: formed.org
If you don’t have account, click on Enter Code with code: nr3939 (case sensitive).
Then you will be prompted to enter your information.
Upcoming Book Selections:
August- The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
The Merchant of Venice is probably the most controversial of all Shakespeare's plays. It is also one of the least understood. Is it a comedy or a tragedy? What is the meaning behind the test of the caskets? Who is the real villain of the trial scene? Is Shylock simply vicious and venomous, or is he more sinned against than sinning? Can the play be described as anti-Semitic? What exactly is the quality of mercy? Is Portia one of the great Christian heroines of western literature? And what of the comedy of the rings with which Shakespeare ends the play? These questions and many others are answered in this critical edition of one of the Bard's liveliest plays.
Week 1: August 5-12
Read: Introduction, Act 1
Essays: The Family in The Merchant of Venice
Shakespeare’s Italian Stages: Venice and Belmont in The Merchant of Venice
Discusion on August 12
Week 2: August 12-19
Read: Act 2
Essays: Text as Test: Reading The Merchant of Venice
The Hand of Love
Discussion on the 19
Week 3: August 19-26
Read: Act 3
Essays: Breeding Barren Metal: Usury and The Merchant of Venice
Law and Mercy in The Merchant of Venice
Discussion on August 26
Week 4: August 26- September 2
Read: Acts 4 & 5
Essay: The Merchant of Venice and the Good of Venice
(Optional Essay: The Merchant of Venice on Film)
Discussion on September 2
September- Something Other than God by Jennifer Fulwiler
Jennifer Fulwiler told herself she was happy. Why wouldn't she be? She made good money as a programmer at a hot tech start-up, had just married a guy with a stack of Ivy League degrees, and lived in a twenty-first floor condo where she could sip sauvignon blanc while watching the sun set behind the hills of Austin. Raised in a happy, atheist home, Jennifer had the freedom to think for herself and play by her own rules. Yet a creeping darkness followed her all of her life. Finally, one winter night, it drove her to the edge of her balcony, making her ask once and for all why anything mattered. At that moment everything she knew and believed was shattered.
Asking the unflinching questions about life and death led Jennifer to Christianity, the religion she had reviled since she was an awkward, skeptical child growing up in the Bible Belt. Mortified by this turn of events, she hid her quest from everyone except her husband, concealing religious books in opaque bags as if they were porn and locking herself in public bathroom stalls to read the Bible. Just when Jennifer had a profound epiphany that gave her the courage to convert, she was diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition—and the only treatment was directly at odds with the doctrines of her new-found faith. Something Other Than God is a poignant, profound and often funny tale of one woman who set out to find the meaning of life and discovered that true happiness sometimes requires losing it all.
October- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
In this exciting novel set during the French Revolution, Charles Dickens expresses sympathy for the downtrodden poor and their outrage at the self-indulgent aristocracy. But Dickens is no friend of the vengeful mob that storms the Bastille and cheers the guillotine. As with all of his stories, his passion is for the unforgettable and unrepeatable individuals he creates. The sorrows of the suffering masses, their demands for justice, and the indiscriminate fury they unleash take flesh in Madame Defarge, while the self-sacrifice that is the truest means of atonement and rebirth is manifested in the unlikely hero Sydney Carton. In A Tale of Two Cities, humanity does not show its best side in the mean streets of Paris or even London, but in the intimate circle of loyal friends that gathers around the honorable Doctor Manette and his lovely daughter, Lucie.
November- Fatima for Today by Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R.
Though the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima took place almost a hundred years ago, Our Lady's call to prayer and penance for the salvation of souls and peace in the world is as relevant now as when first delivered to three Portuguese peasant children in 1917. At the peak of the First World War, Our Lady warned of another worldwide conflict, the rise and spread of Communism, and a terrible persecution of the Church unless people repented of their sins and returned to God. She also requested devotion to her Immaculate Heart and a special consecration of Russia.
Much of what Our Lady of Fatima said was revealed soon after her appearances, but the third and final "secret," which was not a message but a prophetic vision seen by the children, was not unveiled by the Vatican until 2000. Pope John Paul II, who read the third secret while recovering from the attempt upon his life in 1981, believed the vision signified the sufferings the Church had endured in the twentieth century. Because of the prophetic nature of her messages, Our Lady of Fatima has been the subject of much controversy and speculation. In this book, Father Andrew Apostoli carefully analyzes the events that took place in Fatima and clears up lingering questions and doubts about their meaning. He also challenges the reader to hear anew the call of Our Lady to prayer and sacrifice, for the world is ever in need of generous hearts willing to make reparation for those in danger of losing their way to God.
December- Power of Silence by Robert Cardinal Sarah
In a time when technology penetrates our lives in so many ways and materialism exerts such a powerful influence over us, Cardinal Robert Sarah presents a bold book about the strength of silence. The modern world generates so much noise, he says, that seeking moments of silence has become both harder and more necessary than ever before. Silence is the indispensable doorway to the divine, explains the cardinal in this profound conversation with Nicolas Diat. Within the hushed and hallowed walls of the La Grande Chartreux, the famous Carthusian monastery in the French Alps, Cardinal Sarah addresses the following questions: Can those who do not know silence ever attain truth, beauty, or love? Do not wisdom, artistic vision, and devotion spring from silence, where the voice of God is heard in the depths of the human heart? After the international success of God or Nothing, Cardinal Sarah seeks to restore silence to its place of honor and importance. "Silence is more important than any other human work," he says, "for it expresses God. The revolution comes from silence; it leads us toward God and others so as to place ourselves humbly and generously at their service."