Pauline Spirit

New Book from Birmingham
June 18, 2008, 5:07 pm
Filed under: books, Paul resources, Pauline Year

The Diocese of Birmingham is busy with preparations for the Year of Saint Paul, called for by Pope Benedict XVI last year, which begins this year on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul (June 29) and concludes one year later on the same Feast.

Shortly after his installation last October, Bishop Robert J. Baker commissioned Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J., to write a bible study guide for parish and school use within the diocese during the Pauline Year. Our Sunday Visitor Publishing in Indiana agreed to co-publish the book, “Saint Paul: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics” with The Birmingham Catholic Press making it available to all Catholics throughout the world looking for a resource to use in celebration of the Year of Saint Paul.

The book, now released, includes six sessions covering Saint Paul’s teaching on the Sacraments as well as his missionary activity. The appendix of the book includes a reference checklist to enable the reader to study the Letters of Saint Paul during the year.

In September and October of 2008, Father Pacwa will present a lecture on each of the six sessions in the book at the Cathedral of Saint Paul in Birmingham. Parishes in the diocese will conduct the bible study on Saint Paul this Fall and in the Spring of 2009.


Paul, Missionary of Jesus
May 29, 2008, 1:58 am
Filed under: books, Scripture

Barnett Paul MissionaryI highly recommend this recent work by Paul Barnett, published this year by Eerdmans. This is the second of a projected three volume series on Christianity “After Jesus.” Barnett demonstrates that Paul was not the “creator” of Christianity, but a faithful missionary who knew a great deal about Jesus’ earthly life and ministry, and continued it in the way he lived his missionary life. Paul did indeed have “the mind of Christ”!

The treatment is not biographical, but it is not a theological work, either. It is an eminently readable kind of chronology of Paul’s thought, as drawn from Acts (accepted as historically reliable in most respects) and the Letters (up to Romans). There is a wonderful appendix on the mind of Paul (“Mind and Spirit: How Paul Made Decisions”). Personally, I’ll be reading this another time very soon, and expect to give it at least one more thorough going through before the Pauline Year ends.

I found several helpful reviews of this title: one at and one from a blogging professor at Grace Theological Seminary.

Children’s Titles for Pauline Year
May 28, 2008, 1:54 am
Filed under: books, Paul resources
An easy-to-read biography of the Apostle

A comic book that you color!

A chapter book for middle grade readers: great for book reports!

A readable book about Paul
February 19, 2008, 8:19 pm
Filed under: books, Paul resources

It’s Paul for the rest of us! Sr. Julia (Best Catholic Books blog) makes her recommendations.

Now you would think that a Daughter of St. Paul would be able to tell you where to find a book about her spiritual father and patron saint, right? Well, up until a short while ago I would probably have responded, “good luck!” It seems I’ve been on the look out for a good biography of St. Paul since forever, but in spite of the fact that I basically live in a book store, I couldn’t seem to find anything that wasn’t academic, dry, outdated or just too over my head. Sure, you can always find shelves of books on St. Paul in the Scripture study section (after all, he did write 14 letters in the New Testament) but a decent biography? One that inspired devotion and made me want to be related to him?

Well, I’m writing this to tell you that all is not lost. I did find one! Last year we published Paul, Least of the Apostles, and I grabbed a copy as soon as we put it on display! It was easy to get into the story and I found it an extremely readable biography and one that I could confidently pass on to anyone. You’ll be happy to know that no degree in Scripture or Theology is needed to understand and enjoy this book. Alain Decoux is a French journalist and historian and writes this popular biography for the average reader (that would be most of us!). He has a smooth way of connecting past and present by giving details of the actual places Paul visited in a way that makes you feel as though you’re there and it’s real and you’re part of it. It has great pictures, too – both of the archeological sites and masterpiece artwork of Paul.

All in all, it comes highly recommended by one of his Daughters who has been looking a good long time for a book on him worth getting excited about.