Franciscan Spirit Blog

7 Award-Winning Catholic Books

Franciscan Media’s books were honored at the 2018 Catholic Press Association Awards this month! The awards honor the best in Catholic publishing from magazines, newspapers, websites, books, and more. In all, seven books from Franciscan Media and Servant Books received CPA Awards this year—learn more about them!

Praying the Rosary Like Never Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth
by Edward Sri

Award: Third Place, Popular Presentation of the Catholic Faith

About the Book: Do you struggle with praying the rosary: finding time, fighting distractions, worrying about your mind wandering?  In Praying the Rosary Like Never Before, Edward Sri offers practical suggestions that come from the rosary’s tradition and, most especially, St. John Paul II. These helpful tips will make the rosary a constant companions through the different seasons, moments, and challenges we all face. These tips serve as easy on-ramps for those who don’t pray the rosary regularly motivate avid devotees of the rosary to go deeper with the Lord. You will find answers to common questions such as the significance of the Hail Mary, whether the attention given to Mary distracts us from God, the meaning of all the repetition, where the rosary came from, what to think about for each of the mysteries, and whether one should focus on the prayers or the mysteries.

Judge’s Comments: Many Catholics may feel theyve been there, done that,when it comes to the rosary, but author Edward Sri offers a range of information, ideas and techniques to make this very Catholic prayer a lively part of ones spirituality. Dr. Sri offers scholarship for the scholarly and simplicity for the simple, all in a friendly and highly accessible package.

Read an excerpt from Praying the Rosary Like Never Before!

Our Lady of Fatima: 100 Years of Stories, Prayers, and Devotions
by Donna Marie Cooper O

Award: Honorable Mention, Popular Presentation of the Catholic Faith

About the Book: On May 13, 1917, the Virgin Mary first revealed herself to a trio of shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. She would appear to them five more times over the course of the year until the great miracle of the sun on October 13, 1917. She brought a message of love and peace that was heard around the world—a sorely-needed antidote to the ravages of World War I. To mark the 100th anniversary of the apparitions, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle provides a one-stop guide to the tradition, history and spirituality of Our Lady of Fatima, including the testimonies of those who have made the pilgrimage and prayers for those who share this devotion.

Read an excerpt from Our Lady of Fatima!

Ignite: Read the Bible Like Never Before
by Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Sonja Corbitt

Award: Honorable Mention, Scripture (Popular Studies)

About the Book: No matter how well you know the Bible — a little or a lot — Ignite will help you read it with new eyes. Speaking directly to your heart, Ignite presents the richness and beauty of the Scriptures in a way that connects the incredible story of God’s love to your everyday experience. You will find clear answers to the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the Bible. Fuel your knowledge and love for God by spending time with his voice in sacred Scripture. With Ignite as your guide, the ever ancient, ever new pages of the Bible will come alive again for you.

Read an excerpt from Ignite!

Eight Whopping Lies and Other Stories of Bruised Grace
by Brian Doyle

Award: First Place, Family Life

About the Book: This is a guided tour through the mind of one of the most acclaimed voices in contemporary Catholic writing. Brian Doyle effortlessly connects the everyday with the inexpressible and consistently marries searingly honest prose with interruptions of humor and humanity. These essays bear Doyle’s trademark depth and deliver with eloquence his piercing observations on mohawks and miracles, vigils and velociraptors, syntax and scapulars, jail and jihad, and mercy beyond sense.

Judge’s Comments: This is a wonderful collection of short but exceedingly memorable vignettes of life in all of its beauty and its messiness. Brian Doyle was a gifted writer who told universally identifiable stories about growing up and living Catholic. Simple stories of the faith, prayer, family life. He writes movingly with a balance of humor. This is appealing reading.

Read an excerpt from Eight Whopping Lies!

Saint Junipero Serra’s Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California Missions
by Stephen J. Binz

Award: First Place, Pilgrimages/Catholic Travel

About the Book: Travel Saint Junipero Serra’s Camino Real in California with a pilgrim’s heart—and this book in hand— and prepare to continue, in your own way, the forward journey that he began in the 1700s. You’ll make your way to 21 missions, stretching from San Diego to Sonoma north of San Francisco Bay. The more you seek, the more you will find. The more you ask, the more you will receive. Such is the nature of a pilgrimage. For each of the 21 missions, this guide offers you the street address for your GPS, the mission’s website, a brief history of the place, the story of the mission’s patron or namesake, and information about the mission bells. You’ll be given a tour of the mission church, as well as a prayer service for your visit.

Judge’s Comments: Well-researched and thorough. Substantive.

Read an excerpt from Saint Junipero Serra’s Camino!

101 Places to Pray Before You Die: A Roamin’ Catholic’s Guide
by Thomas J. Craughwell

Award: Second Place, Pilgrimage/Catholic Travel

About the Book: Catholic travelers don’t always realize that every state in the Union contains unique shrines, retreat houses, missions and other significant holy places. In 101 Places to Pray Before You Die, you’ll discover the unexpected, the somber, the whimsical and the inspiring spots that, at times, are hidden in plain sight. Conveniently organized by state, 101 Places to Pray Before You Die  will enhance your travel experiences—whether it’s a day trip to explore a spot you’ve breezed past a hundred times, a quick detour on a business trip or a family vacation dedicated to more intensive spiritual searching. Each entry contains details about the location’s significance to American Catholics, along with the address, contact information and hours of operation (if applicable).

Judge’s Comments:  Nice little book, but quite subjective, though reasonable, in its choices. An easy and pleasant read.

Read an excerpt from 101 Places to Pray Before You Die!

Mother Mary: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis
by Pope Francis (Alicia von Stamwitz, editor)

Award: Second Place, Pope Francis

About the Book: The writings, homilies, prayers, talks, and even tweets of Pope Francis in this book gather his most important and inspiring words about Mary. For Pope Francis, Mary is an icon of wisdom, strength, courage and joyful hope. Her unconditional “yes” to God encourages modern believers to say “yes” to God’s call today. We must turn to Mary often, he says, for she is a mighty intercessor and a faithful companion on our spiritual journey. Because Pope Francis highlights Mary’s “feminine genius” and her receptivity to divine guidance—something to which believers of many religious tradition aspire—people of many faiths will find nourishment in the Pope’s words. 

Judge’s Comments: A book that confirms not only the Universal Church’s love for Mary, but also the persona, intimate love Pope Francis possesses and advocates. Beautiful in every way.

Read an excerpt from Mother Mary!

Shop for inspiring Catholic books!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Franciscan Spirit Blog

Scroll to Top
Skip to content