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 Auxiliary Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama of the Archdiocese Atlanta.
Bishop Luis Zarama was born in Pasto, Colombia on November 28th, 1958. He attended the Conciliar Seminary in Pasto, Colombia where he graduated from High School. He attended the Marian University in Pasto, earning a Degree in Philosophy and Theology. He also attended the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia earning a degree in Canon Law. He was a Philosophy and Theology professor at the Carmelites School, the Learning School and the Colombia Military School for a period of 11 years.
Bishop Zarama was ordained to the Roman Catholic Priesthood for the Archdiocese of Atlanta on November 27, 1993. His first assignment was as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Atlanta. He served as a member of the Vocations Committee. Bishop Zarama was the first Hispanic priest to be named pastor in the Archdiocese of Atlanta to St. Mark Catholic Church in Clarksville, GA and St. Helena Mission in Clayton GA. He was a board member of Habitat for Humanity in Habersham County in 2005. Bishop Zarama was named Vicar General of the Archdiocese in April of 2006. He was named Chaplain of His Holiness with the title of monsignor by Pope Benedict XVI on March 7, 2007. In 2008 he was appointed to serve as the Judicial Vicar for the Archdiocese’s Metropolitan Tribunal as well. He is also a member of the Archdiocesan Personnel Review Board.
On July 27th, 2009, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, named him, as Titular Bishop of Bararus and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. He was ordained to the Episcopacy on September 29th, 2009. He remains Vicar General of the archdiocese.
Here are his must-read books for Catholics today:
- Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II By George Wiegel
- Solo ya Pie(Spanish Edition) By Tellechea Idigoras
- Strangers and Sojourners (Children of the Last Days) By Michael D. O’Brien
- Father Elijah: An Apocalypse By Michael O’Brien
- Las sandalias del pescador (Spanish Edition) The Shoes of the Fisherman (Vatican Trilogy, Book 1) By Morris West
- La traicion de Roma (Zeta Maxi) (Spanish Edition) By Santiago Posteguillo
I have found that in reading any good book – while it is always entertaining – there should also be something good to learn from that book. There should be some kind of a lesson for life that you can apply. It doesn’t matter if the topic is about conversion and the life of a saint. It doesn’t matter if it is fiction or history. There should be some takeaways that help you live your life for the better. These six books have certainly had a strong impact on me. I urge you to read them and my hope is that your faith will grow and be strengthened.