So you're working for the Catholic Church?

Yes, well, as a matter of fact, I am. How did you guess?

Oh, sorry, its a book title, and I (or at least someone called “David Shultz”) have been invited to the launch.

John Garratt Publishing (those responsible for spreading retired Bishop Robinson’s song and dance–the title of which I can’t recall for now) is releasing a book called “So you’re working for the Catholic Church” by Mons. Tony Doherty.

According to one internet site, “Doherty’s pastoral work has been substantially in the area of adult faith eduction, but has more recently been Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral.” Ah well, that seems pretty right then.

Not much is said about the contents of the book on the invite, nor can I find anything on the net about it–not even on John Garratt’s website.

The subtitle is “A Friendly Guide to the Catholic Tradition”. And yes, the title on the cover is written in “large friendly letters”, although it does not read “DON’T PANIC”. In fact the editors might have followed the example set by that earlier and much better selling Guide. The advice would have been at least as pertinent for those who work for the Church as for intersteller hitchhikers…

On the back of the invite is the only indication as to what the book might contain. There is a quotation (one assumes from the book) also written in “large friendly letters” which reads:

At the heart of the Catholic Christian faith is the rock-like belief in…

…wait for it… Can you guess what this “rock like belief” might be? Go on. Try a few. God’s revelation of himself in the man Jesus of Nazareth? The Resurrection of the Dead? That the Pope is the successor of Peter and exercises an infallible teaching magisterium? Yeah? No. Here is the completion of that quotation:

…in the possibility of healing and forgiveness.

Yep. That’s what I like. A rock-solid belief in a possibility… Reminds you of that other great quote from the aforementioned Guide: “If you’ve done six impossible things already today, why not round it all off with Breakfast at Milliways?!”

But it gets better. Elizabeth Dodds RSC has this recommendation:

It is my hope that the book will be used within Catholic organisations not only to emphasise what is curious and unique aobut Catholicism, but that its readers will also be struck by the many rich and deep similarities that transcend faith traditions and cultural expressions.

Right. Yeah. Impressive. I would be struck by that, wouldn’t you? As the other book says, “DON’T PANIC”!

I am sure the book will be very nice. But this invitation hasn’t encouraged me to go along for the free lunch, let alone buy the book.

Now for couple of really, really good guides to the “curious and unique” things about being Catholic, check out these books. If these books were more widely read, we would be swampped in applications from people wanting to work for the Catholic Church!

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