June 2022: New Resources
Fr Paul Clayton-Lea
of C.S. Lewis
Bishop Fintan Monahan
Veritas Publications, 2022
pp. 104 • €9.99/stg£8.99
The most recent adaption of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis was a sellout production in Dublin in March of this year. The perennial popularity of this favourite tale of Aslan the lion in whose pawprints the flowers of spring grew in wintry Narnia where it was ‘always winter and never Christmas’ and who gave his life for a young traitor whose love for Turkish Delight outweighed his love for his brother and sisters, has entranced generations of children and adults who are no longer afraid to enjoy children’s stories now they have grown up. The man who lost his own mother to cancer as a small child never lost his childhood capacity for wonder – something he had first experienced when he created a miniature garden in a tin box in his Belfast home where he and his brother Warren enjoyed a closeness that endured until Lewis’s death on 22 November 1963, when his passing was eclipsed by the assassination of the young US President J.F. Kennedy on the same date in Dallas Texas. Since then his Christian apologetics which gained him early fame during the Second World War and children’s stories, his works in English Literature and science fiction have all gained an ever growing global audience and a place in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey which would have delighted Lewis whose poetic ambitions were never realised despite his other extraordinary success.
In Peace Apart Bishop Fintan Monahan has produced a valuable and engaging introduction to Lewis’s life and works. He describes his Belfast childhood and family traumas including the death of his mother and the gradual alienation from his father and tribal politics. Lewis’ wartime experience which he rarely described and his subsequent lifetime of care for the mother of his friend and comrade Paddy Moore’s thanks to a vow both young soldiers made to each other to care for their lone parent should one of them not return from the war, as well as the love he found late in his life with the American Joy Davidman, are all introduced in this small, 100 page accessible volume. In this latest of his series which have so far included Thomas Merton and John Henry Newman, Bishop Fintan has achieved that great desire of authors which is for their reader to want more.
BECOMING A PASTORAL PARISH COUNCIL
Messenger Publications, 2022
ISBN 978178812 520 8
As Director of Mission and Ministry in the Archdiocese of Dublin, Patricia Carroll also has thirty years’ experience in pastoral leadership and brings that expertise and hands on life skills to ‘Becoming a Pastoral Parish Council’ to great effect.
In his Foreword, Archbishop Dermot Farrell charts some of the significant challenges now facing the church with reduced numbers of clergy and the need for flexibility and creativity and a re-imagining of the institutions of the church. The parish of today and tomorrow, he suggests; ‘needs a sharing of responsibility rather than a carving up of power.’
He praises Patricia Carroll for outlining in her book a very practical approach for parishes to set up and run Parish Pastoral Councils as an essential part of walking together to build an effective, collaborative synodal church in a parish.
Over six chapters and 64 pages each chapter begins with a short scripture reflection that acts as a springboard into the theme. At the end of every chapter there are also some reflection questions both for individuals and the PPC for group reflection.