Welcome back to “The Clergy Speaks”, a recurring feature here at The Catholic Book Blogger. “The Clergy Speaks” is a column focusing on one question I have asked various members of the clergy. That question is: What five books would you recommend as must-reads for Catholics today? I left the responses open to current or classic books with the only restriction being that the Bible and the Catechism could not be used as they are a given. This week we welcome Bishop Charles C. Thompson from the Diocese of Evansville, IN.
Bishop Charles C. Thompson was ordained and installed as the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Evansville on June 29, 2011.
He is a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and a graduate of Moore High School in Louisville. He attended Bellarmine University, where he earned a degree in accounting.
He also earned a Master of Divinity from St. Meinrad Seminary and a Master in Canon Law from St. Paul University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood, serving the Archdiocese of Louisville, in May 1987. In addition to serving five parishes across the Archdiocese, he served as Metropolitan Judicial Vicar and Director of Tribunals from 1993 to 1998, and as Vicar General of the Archdiocese from 2008 to 2011, when he was named Bishop of Evansville.
He has served as a visiting professor of Canon Law at St. Meinrad School of Theology since 2002.
The Bishop is also one of a number of Bishops active on Twitter. You may follow him at @BishopCThompson
Here are his picks for five must-reads for Catholics today:
1) The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium), 2013 Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis.
This is a must read for anyone who wants to understands Pope Francis’ vision for the Catholic Church. It is also one of the easiest reads of any papal or curial document.
2) The Church of Mercy, “A Vision for the Church (2014) by Pope Francis.
Along with his Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, this collection of talks, homilies and presentations give further insight into the mind and heart of Pope Francis.
3) Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus (2012), by Sherry A. Weddell.
Like her book, the author has become quite popular and greatly sought after in practically all Catholic circles. In addition to providing a great deal of real data, Mrs. Weddell shares her learned experience of enabling persons of faith to realize their particular charisms and experiencing a lived relationship with God in and through Jesus Christ.
4) Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith (2011), by Fr. Robert Barron.
While a bit dated, this is a book (also DVD series) touted by many as a presentation of the many facets of Catholicism that advances the call of New Evangelization.
5) The Future Church: How Ten Trends Are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church (2009), by John L. Allen, Jr.
Although somewhat outdated in its statistics, given the date of publication, this book provides a wonderful sense of the universality of the Catholic faith. John Allen, who makes quite clear that he is a journalist (not a priest, theologian or academic), provides a series of challenges and opportunities to be considered in light of the globalization of the Church.