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Year of Faith: Let’s get this party started

We’re just days away from the start of the Year of Faith, a time of renewal, prayer, and study for Catholics around the world.

Pope Benedict XVI has specifically asked that Catholics spend time studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which, as you may recall, I covered page-by-page in my book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Catholic Catechism.

Here’s what the pope had to say on the matter in his apostolic letter announcing the Year of Faith:

“From Sacred Scripture to the Fathers of the Church, from theological masters to the saints across the centuries, the Catechism provides a permanent record of the many ways in which the Church has meditated on the faith and made progress in doctrine so as to offer certitude to believers in their lives of faith.

“In its very structure, the Catechism of the Catholic Church follows the development of the faith right up to the great themes of daily life. On page after page, we find that what is presented here is no theory, but an encounter with a Person who lives within the Church.”

So I’m pretty psyched to get back on the catechism bandwagon and maybe bring some new folks along with me. Here’s what I’ll be doing to get the Year of Faith party started:

On Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, at 8:10 a.m. EST, I’ll be talking about the catechism and the Year of Faith with Brian Patrick on the Son Rise Morning Show. You can catch that on Sacred Heart Radio 740 AM and 89.5 FM in Cincinnati, Ohio, or you can go to this link and listen online. 

Then on Thursday, Oct. 11, the official start of the Year of Faith as well as the 20th anniversary of the publication of the catechism and the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, I’ll be kicking off a weekly series here on Not Strictly Spiritual.

Throughout the year, I plan to post some of my favorite catechism-related excerpts. Do you find it hard to believe I could actually have “favorites” from the catechism? It’s true. Despite how it looks in its intimidating, almost 1,000-page form, it’s actually a super cool read. Of course, if you don’t have time for 1,000 pages of catechism, there are always shorter, easier-to-read versions, like, oh, I don’t know, the Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Catholic Catechism, which has an imprimatur, meaning it is all kosher according to the Church.

Finally, I’m happy to tell you that I’ll also be sharing posts occasionally throughout the Year of Faith over at Catholic Moms Talk. Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle was nice enough to invite me to join a cast of impressive Catholic moms who will be offering their take on the catechism as it relates to family life. Be sure to visit there regularly to see what we’re saying. (I’m sure I’ll find a way to let you know when I’m appearing over there.)

There will be more tantalizing catechism goings on in the months ahead, some I’m not at liberty to talk about just yet (doesn’t that sound intriguing?), so stay tuned. And make sure you have your catechism or your Complete Idiot’s Guide — or, better yet, both — on hand for the Year of Faith.

One more review…

The Denver Catholic Register ran a story about my book, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Catholic Catechism,” in this week’s edition. You can check it out by clicking HERE.

And in case you missed it a couple of weeks ago, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver endorsed my book, saying that it is a “wonderfully clear, readable, absorbing and very enjoyable resource for exploring and understanding what Catholics believe.”

Lots of good stuff coming from Denver, and it isn’t even ski season.

Endorsement from Archbishop Chaput

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver sent me an endorsement for my book today, something that fills me with gratitude and humbles me. The blurb — or at least an abbreviated version of it — will run on the cover of my book when it goes into its second printing, which I’m told will happen soon. Here’s what the good archbishop had to say:

“Mary DeTurris Poust’s name has always meant great writing and reporting, and her new guide to the Catholic Catechism proves her skill once again.  This is a wonderfully clear, readable, absorbing and very enjoyable resource for exploring and understanding what Catholics believe.  Poust and her colleague Msgr. David Fulton offer a real service to the Catholic community in these engaging pages.”

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Denver

Check out the Journal News today

I would just like to thank Hannan Adely of The Journal News for the very nice article she wrote about me and my book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Catholic Catechism. It was no small feat, taking 90 minutes of my ramblings on everything from the Son of God to the band I sang in when I was in college and boiling it down into a concise and accurate article, but somehow she did it.

Click HERE if you would like to read the article that’s running in today’s Rockland edition. If you don’t want to be annoyed and/or offended, skip the comments at the end, which run the gamut, from supportive to anti-Catholic to vulgar.

A new favorite book store

OK, so the tornado watch and torrential rain probably didn’t help my book signing on Saturday, but it was worth the three-hour ride to Raritan, N.J., if only to hang out at Trinity Church Goods, one of the nicest Catholic book stores I have ever been in. If you live in central New Jersey, or are passing through the area, make sure you schedule some time to browse at this great little find.

Trinity carries all the usual Catholic paraphernalia and so much more. Here’s the beautiful icon that owners Mark and Patti Maher gave me as a gift for signing there this weekend.  Read more

Tune in this weekend

I will be on Christopher Closeup on The Catholic Channel, Sirius Satellite Radio 159, on Sunday, May 25, at 7 a.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. (EST) talking about my new book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Catholic Catechism, with host Tony Rossi. This interview, which was prerecorded, is different from my previous radio interviews, a little more far-reaching. We talked about politics and lines from movies, Aerosmith, and, of course, the catechism. So please check it out, if you have a Sirius subscription.

If you don’t have a subscription, you can get a three-day free trial membership, accessible via your computer, by clicking HERE. The interview will later be posted as a podcast, so I’ll let you know when that’s available for download in case you just can’t live without hearing me do yet another radio interview.

Heading back to my hometown

I’ll be driving south on the New York State Thruway today, making the short two-hour drive back to my hometown of Pearl River. I’m meeting a reporter from The Journal News at my childhood parish of St.Aedan’s to talk about my new book and my life growing up in Pearl River — at least I think that’s what we’re talking about.

Chiara will make the road trip with me, so that should keep things interesting. We’ll make an early stop at my 95-year-old grandmother’s apartment and then my Aunt Margaret will arrive to watch Chiara while I go to work. An interesting way to run a business, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. I’ll post a link to the story when it runs.

Thanks to my fellow parishioners

just want to thank all the folks at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Delmar who came over to my table after Mass today and bought a copy of my book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Catholic Catechism. I truly felt supported by both friends and strangers, some of whom went home and got checkbooks or came back a second time to buy an additional copy for a friend or relative. That kind of positive feedback means more than any newspaper review. I wrote this book for you and for everyone who wants to explore their faith on a deeper level, and so knowing that you find it helpful means the world to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Story in this week’s Evangelist

The Evangelist, the weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Albany, ran a nice little feature on me and my new book in the issue that came out today. The “official” version included a photo of me presenting The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Catholic Catechism to Bishop Howard Hubbard. (You may have see this photo on my blog back when I first met with the bishop, but I’m running it again today since it’s not part of the online version of the story.)

You can read the Evangelist article by Maureen McGuinness by clicking HERE.