Saint Bakhita of Sudan, Forever Free

Susan Helen Wallace, FSP

Saint Bakhita is an outstanding example of gentleness, love, and faithfulness. In a world so easily consumed with bitterness, revenge, and self-centeredness, her virtues of forgiveness to others who deeply harmed her and gratitude for all of God’s goodness and grace in her life are inspiring. She often said, “’Be good, love the Lord, pray for the unhappy souls who do not know him yet. What a grace it is to know God!’”

Copernicus, Galileo and the Catholic Sponsorship of Science

Book cover: 'Copernicus, Galileo and the Catholic Sponsorship of Science'
Jane Meyerhofer

This is by far the most useful (and easy to understand) resource on clearing up the confusion, myths and down-right lies associated with Galileo and the Catholic Church. Mrs. Meyerhofer sorts through the myths. She is fair to the Catholic Church, but also willing to put blame where blame is due.

My Heart Lies South

Book cover: 'My Heart Lies South: The Story of My Mexican Marriage (Young People's Edition)'
Elizabeth Borton de Trevino

Elizabeth Borton de Trevino is best known as the author of children's stories, especially I, Juan de Pareja which won the Newbery Award in 1966). Long before all that, in the 1930s, she was simply Elizabeth Borton, a modern American lady, living in Boston and working as a journalist, when she was given an assignment in Monterrey, Mexico. There she met, was courted by and eventually married a native by the name of Luis Trevino.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Book cover: 'J.R.R. Tolkien: The Man Who Created the Lord of the Rings'
Michael Coren

This is a surprisingly good, very readable biography of one of the most popular authors of all time. J.R.R. Tolkien was born in South Africa, the son of an English banker. After her return to England and the death of her husband, Tolkien's mother, Mabel, converted to Catholicism. Shunned by relatives after this, she was assisted by a kind parish priest who took care of her two sons after she died at age 34.

The Shadow of His Wings

Book cover: 'The Shadow of His Wings'
Fr. Gereon Goldmann

This is a fascinating tale on many levels - spiritual, historical, adventure, humor. Fr. Goldmann was a young seminarian in Germany when he was drafted into Hitler's dreaded SS. Despite amazing obstacles and in spite of his loud mouth and rather hot temper with regard to his disagreements with the Nazi's, Goldmann works his way through World War II as a medic for the German army and is finally ordained as a chaplain to his comrades in the French prison camps in North Africa.

Richer than a Millionaire

Paul Waldmann

The brief autobiography of a Jewish man who grew up in the Austria in the 20s and 30s. He witnessed the persecution of the Jews but was able to avoid being sent to a concentration camp by escaping to America where he later converted to Catholicism.

The World of the Trapp Family

Book cover: 'The World of the Trapp Family'
William Anderson

Whenever I hear the phrase "based on a true story", I want to know what the true story was. The World of the Trapp Family will provide just that for anyone interested in the real family behind The Sound of Music. The movie is just factual enough that Sound of Music fans will surely enjoy the flesh and blood behind the story. However, the real family is so much more vivid and fascinating than the movie that this book will probably be enjoyed even by those who didn't care for the movie (or grew tired of seeing it too many times.)

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers

Book cover: 'The Story of the Trapp Family Singers'
Maria Augusta Trapp

This is the actual book, written in 1949, which inspired the script of the movie the Sound of Music. It is Maria and her family's autobiography, covering some early details of the Captain and Maria's separate lives and the history of the family from Maria's position as teacher to the young Maria all the way through the late 1940s. After reading the World of the Trapp Family (reviewed below), I finally picked up this book which I had started to read years earlier, but never finished.


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