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What Makes Us Catholic: Eight Gifts for Life [Paperback]

By Thomas H. Groome (Author)
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Item description for What Makes Us Catholic: Eight Gifts for Life by Thomas H. Groome...

Inviting Catholics of all kinds to embrace their own culture and spirituality, a renowned expert on Catholic religious education presents a lively volume that explores that distinguishing facets of Catholic life and identity by revealing the eight qualities that all Catholics share, including a sense of ultimate meaning, a feeling of community, and a sense of human potential and fallibility. Reprint.

Publishers Description

What makes a Catholic a Catholic? According to Thomas Groome, an expert on the essential ingredients of Catholic Christianity, Catholics share certain vital features of life and identity. What Makes Us Catholic explains and illuminates that character, and invites Catholics of all kinds to connect more deeply and imaginatively with their own culture and spirituality.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: HarperOne
Pages   314
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8" Width: 5.42" Height: 0.75"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2003
Publisher   HarperOne
ISBN  0060633999  
ISBN13  9780060633998  
UPC  099455013956  

Availability  145 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 25, 2016 01:52.
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More About Thomas H. Groome

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! THOMAS H. GROOME is professor of theology and religious education at Boston College, where he is also the senior faculty at the Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry.

Thomas H. Groome currently resides in Boston, in the state of Massachusetts.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > Substores > jp-unknown1
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Inspirational
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Catholic

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about What Makes Us Catholic: Eight Gifts for Life?

More chaff than wheat  Aug 30, 2007
Other "one star" reviewers have done a good job on this, so I'll be short & sweet. I don't usually throw away books. I made an exception on this one. I'm glad I bought it used.
Amen  Jul 12, 2007
If you are looking for a hopeful, faith-filled perspective of the Catholic Christian Church then Thomas Groome's What Makes Us Catholic?: Eight Gifts for Life is for you. Groome's book is a fluent, thoughtful examination of what today's Catholic Church is called to be. It reminds us that each Catholic is an integral part of the Church (body of Christ).
Cafeteria Catholicism  Dec 11, 2006
I purchased this book, before I really knew anything about Catholicism. When I entered the Church last year, from the Anglican church, and actually studied the Faith objectively, I began to read this book. The author is a classic cafeteria Catholic, picking and choosing various teaching and discarding the rest. Take for example this statement: "Remember too, that there are three major expressions of Catholic Christianity, each with it's own distinctiveness - Anglicanism, Eastern Orthodoxy and the Roman communion." There are a numble of obvious blunders here in light of what the Church really teaches. 1) Anglicanism is not recognized by the Catholic Church as an "expression" of the historic Church, but rather an "expression" of the English Reformation, caused by Henry the VIII who placed himself as head of the church in 1533 resulting in excommunication. After this time, Protestant influences made it necessary for the Church to officially refuse recognition of Anglican sacraments. 2) Eastern Orthodoxy (big O, as opposed to Eastern Rite orthodox Catholics in full Communion with Rome) is not recognised as an "expression" of the Church's full unity, due to the schism of 1054 resulting in their excommunication. Unlike the Anglican church, however, Orthodox Sacraments are recognized because they were not affected in any way, shape or form from Protestanism.

There are other comments such as how terrible it is we have no women priests. Jesus Christ was a man. Christ breathed on 12 Apostles giving them authority......they were all men. Sure, there were women disciples of Jesus who followed Him faithfully, but they were not included among the 12 Apostles which God Incarnate bestowed authority, and was passed down through Apostoloc Succession. Therefore, I'm afraid the author is out of his league. Christ is the Revealer, and we are His humble mail carriers. Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College says it well: "we do not have the right to edit God's Mail." and that includes this author. Beware of the labels, for there is only one Catholic Faith. There isn't, as the author suggests, a "liberal" Catholic, or "Conservative" Catholic, but only "Catholic" Catholic. As the Redemptorist Fr. Pablo Straub says: "Jesus didn't say on this Rock I will build my debating society." Those attempting to change the Church of Christ, the Catholic Church, into a relativistic debating platform such as this author, need to at least have enough respect to give the Church the last word on Her objective stances. The author has failed in this regard.
Catholicism for those who have left the Church  Jun 5, 2006
Welcome to a celebration of what makes Catholicism beautiful. Boston College Theology professor and religious educator, Thomas Groome presents "What Makes Us Catholic: Eight Gifts For Life" as a passionate declaration of the Catholic spirit. This book attempts to describes eight distinctive emphases he says are shared by all Catholics, from Ted Kennedy to Pat Buchanan, from pop-star Madonna to Mother Angelica.

The book began in response to a quip in a bar. "Maybe you should write a book about that -- what it means to be Catholic, even after you've left the church" (xiii). "What Makes Us Catholic" is a book for those people of God who have hung up their rosaries and stopped attending Mass, but who have not left the spirit of Catholicism. The author describes his audience as ranging from the devout to the alienated, radical reformers to defenders of the status quo; from liberal baby-boomers who feel that Vatican II has been betrayed to conservative Gen Xers who wonder what the boomers are whining about. Groome suggests that today people don't disagree with the Church, they ignores it. While Groome is an engaging thinker with strong credentials, his all inclusive vision will probably not be well appreciated by conservative readers.

Groome begins by asking the "Big questions" of human existence, and then organizes the responses which have been drawn from the depths of Catholicism's rich legacy. Sacramentality, community; justice, an appreciation of human potential and fallibility; a reverence for tradition, universal care, a Catholic imagination, and a faith-based spirituality that permeates every day are the eight attitudes or qualities that mark the Catholic Christian. Each chapter begins with a personal story illustrating the particular way of thinking, which is further explained in the chapter. Sewn within the warm narration are reflection questions. Each chapter then concludes with suggested practices to exercise that particular quality of faith.

Groome presents what he sees as the best of the Catholic tradition, downplaying the hierarchy and emphasizing aspects he finds more palatable to contemporary tastes such as the Church's affirmation of all great religions and inclusiveness. Catholic Christianity is marked by an overwhelmingly positive attitude toward the human condition and the world. Life is to be celebrated and enjoyed, cherished and defended. The Catholic faith insists that people are essentially good, drawing a contrast with the Calvinist emphasis prevalent in America which stresses our totally fallen nature. Because it is free of religious jargon the book will not intimidate those who feel they have little theological background. It would be an excellent discussion starter for adult education programs, faith sharing groups and youth retreats.

It is written for those who are searching for essential values, for people who, if it really came down to it, might want to put their faith to work. "What Makes Us Catholic: Eight Gifts For Life" is for those who treasure their Catholic heritage even though they don't practice the Catholic faith as they should. Sensitively written with an ecumenical spirit this book should appeal to non-Catholic readers and practicing Catholics as well.

How Do We Live As Catholics?  Nov 4, 2004
I was recently talking with someone who had read Thomas Groome's WHAT MAKES US CATHOLIC. She said "I did not recognize the Church in this book." While this may sound like a good reason not to purchase the book, it was actually a ringing endorsement. This woman was recently returning to the Church and it helped her realize the richness of her faith, a faith that has been tested, and in recent years marred by scandal, but none the less a faith that at its best mirrors Jesus Christ.

While Groome himself is a professor of theology and religious education at Boston College, the work is not a catechism of sorts. It does not explicitly talk about what the Church teaches, but how the Catholic faith can shape a person. Groome focuses on eight areas that affect the lives of Catholics: grace, the sacramental way of life, community, scripture and tradition, social justice, reaching out to others, and spirituality. In each are he focuses on hat it means to live each of these areas, which for a Catholic is essential, since the Catholic faith is one that is based on lived experience (contrary to what some may think). Her also uses the gift of Catholic imagination, so much a part of Catholicism, but often neglected. The end result may be a Catholic faith that is not instantly recognizable, but if one looks through history and the way in which many Catholics live today, it is a Catholicism that is real and very much a part of human life.

The book was first published in 2002, just as the current scandal in the Church was making the headlines in newspapers across the country, and throughout the world for that matter. For many who read Groome's book at that time, it was a reminder of what the Church has to offer and why it needs to be saved. This alone makes the book a gift to the Church. From a spiritual point of view, it is a great book to re-infuse a person's faith and give it a fresh perspective. Catachetically it is a great book to be used in RCIA programs. It is a readable book that will be an important resource for years to come.

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