Book reviews

REAP Team educator pens book on transitioning to high school

Rachel Allen was the smart kid in grade school. So when she moved on to high school, she was more than ready to shed that image. But she later realized she was wasting her gift by hiding her talents, initially afraid of how she would be treated by other students.

Allen shared that message in her first book, "The Next Step: A Catholic Teen's Guide to Surviving High School," published this month by Life Teen. Allen is a chastity educator for the REAP Team, the archdiocesan youth retreat ministry and part of the Catholic Youth Apostolate.

New novel for teens delves into morality issues

What happens when the lives of an aspiring rock star and a professional football player collide? They find themselves on a journey that opens their eyes to some of today's top moral issues.

That was Zip Rzeppa's aim in writing "My Rock and Salvation," a Catholic novel for teens and college-age students, released this month. Rzeppa, a former sportscaster and former director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in St. Louis, said he had been planning for years to write the novel.

Author details strength of first American saint's faith

Joan Barthel

Despite setbacks in her life, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton's faith continued to get stronger, especially her devotion to the Eucharist. In her last days, her little room at the convent faced the chapel, with the door open so she could see the tabernacle.

She explained: "I keep my eyes fixed on it as the needle to the pole," said Joan Barthel, author of a new book, "American Saint: the Life of Elizabeth Seton."

Barthel said learning so much about the saint has helped her grow in her faith, and she prays more now.

Book Review | Local priest inspires lead character in ecclesial thriller

At 82, "Father T" is still active, living out his priestly vocation as full-time pastor of a parish and staying involved -- not only in his faith community but in the local community that he loves.

But that part of his life is put on hold when he learns that his former archbishop and now cardinal is being threatened in Rome by a left-wing terrorist group trying to intimidate and frighten the Church into changing its position on several issues.

Second book by police officers develops theme

"The Fallen"

The second book in The Light Bringer Trilogy -- "The Fallen" -- hit store shelves and online listings earlier this month.

The book was written by two police officers who are members of Assumption Parish in O'Fallon: Chris DiGiuseppi, assistant police chief, and Mike Force, police chief, of the Lake St. Louis Police Department. Published by HCI Books, "The Fallen" is a supernatural thriller that expands on the concept of the first book and walks the reader beyond life, further invoking the question, "Why do people die?"

Through prose, poetry and teaching, Benedictine's book shows infinite value of life

Benedictine Father Ralph Wright has penned a new book that he prays will help in the promotion of the "culture of life," that Pope John Paul II so often spoke about throughout his pontificate.

"The Eloquence of Truth" (Monograph Publishing, $14.95) uses a three-point approach to revealing the simple truth that all human life, from the moment of conception, has inherent dignity and value.

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