April 2022: New Resources

New Resources



Introducing the Carmelite Authors
Edmond Cullinan TOC
Veritas Publications, 2021
ISBN 9781800970106
pp. 129 • €12.99/stg£11.70

Fr Cullinan’s study is a most useful reminder to those of us who have long neglected reading the lives of the saints and who remember doing so in seminary or later. It has been noted that many saints, including Edith Stein, who is featured, became saints or were motivated to conversion through reading the lives of the saints. Saints too became authors of other saints’ lives and contributed to the deposit of spiritual richness from which we carve out our own pathway. More contemporary practices like Lectio Divina and the Focolare movement and its founder Chiara Lubich are woven into spiritual sketches and extracts from Saint Teresa of Avila; Saint John of the Cross; Saint Therese of Lisieux; Saint Edith Stein and the lesser known Brother Laurence of the Resurrection.

      The biographical details of each saint are recounted. Human interest always draws one in and provides a context for the thoughts and practices of those who are separated from us by centuries and cultural changes. The personality, the practical nature and the humorous asides of Saint Teresa of Avila shine through. The book is immensely readable and practical, with a series of extracts for Lectio Divina and a very reader-friendly format and font. In re-acquainting many of us with the lives of the saints and the Carmelite authors in particular, Fr Cullinan has led us to the water and has encouraged us to drink deeply from the wells.

Reviewer: Michael Murtagh


The Way of the Cross in the Company of St Oliver Plunkett, Archbishop and Martyr
Benedict Fee
St Paul’s Publishing, 2021
ISBN 9781911178460 • pp. 45

In his introduction to this unique series of reflections structured around the Stations of the Cross and carefully crafted from the literary legacy of St Oliver Plunkett, Archbishop Eamon Martin points to the wealth of letters left by his martyred predecessor that has allowed posterity to encounter a living personality from another age. The author fuses excerpts from the saint’s letters to the traditional Stations format with the use of prayer, scripture reading and reflection adding a concluding Pause for Thought at each station to encourage a deeper sense of personal reflection in the light of the saint’s letter and particular station. The 45-page publication is illustrated throughout with photographs of the new statue of St Oliver in the Ecce Homo pose unveiled in 2019 in St Patrick’s cathedral Armagh, created by Dublin-born artist Dony MacManus. In the postscript to the reflections the author also includes brief sketches of modern, martyrs and witnesses with local connections including Columban priest Fr Tony Collier from Cruicetown in Clogherhead parish Co Louth killed in Korea by advancing communist troops in 1950, Servite Fr Malachy Skelton from Dungannon, Co Tyrone killed in South Africa in 1997 and Derry city’s Sr Clare Crockett of the Servants of the Mother who with 687 other souls perished in an earthquake in Ecuador in 2016 as she tried to save her class of schoolchildren.

      Fr Benedict’s reflections lead inexorably to an invitation to all those who follow Christ today to respond to their baptismal call with the same generosity as these great witnesses to the Gospel.

Available in Veritas, St Oliver’s shrine in Drogheda and Armagh Cathedral bookshop.

Reviewer: Paul Clayton-Lea


John Quinn
Veritas Publications, 2021
ISBN 9781800970021
pp. 237 • €16.99/stg£15.30

In ‘Stolen Moments’ former RTE broadcaster and prolific author John Quinn has followed on from the success of his collection ‘Moments’ (2011) with a second volume of brief memories, thoughts and reflections from the contemplation of a spider’s web on the wing mirror of his car which survived a fierce overnight storm to the potential for embarrassment or pride of a child in the presence of a slurry trailer outside a village school as parents collected their children at the end of the school day. The all too short ‘moments’ – nearly a hundred altogether – provide a vivid and as with the slurry trailer, a sometimes-pungent sense of life’s daily insights and revelations which so frequently arise from seemingly mundane and everyday experiences. One poignant encounter the author relates concerns the hug he received from a homeless man whom the author had told of his beloved wife’s Olive’s death six weeks earlier; ‘The seed in your heart shall blossom,’ the man whispered to him and so it has proved to be. The present fine volume is evidence of the continuing fecundity and resilience of the author’s heart.

Reviewer: Paul Clayton-Lea