Welcome back to “The Clergy Speaks”, a recurring feature here at The Catholic Book Blogger. “The Clergy Speaks” is a column focusing on one question I have asked various members of the clergy. That question is: What five books would you recommend as must-reads for Catholics today? I left the responses open to current or classic books with the only restriction being that the Bible and the Catechism could not be used as they are a given. This week we welcome Bishop David A. Zubik, Bishop of Pittsburgh.
On April 6, 1997, he was ordained an Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Pittsburgh and Titular Bishop of Jamestown, North Dakota.
As a bishop, he has served on many boards and committees at the diocesan, local and national levels, including St. Paul and St. Vincent Seminaries, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference of Bishops, the Duquesne University Board of Directors, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Priestly Life and Ministry, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Priestly Formation, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where he chairs the Pilgrimage Committee; the Catholic Leadership Institute; and St. Mary’s Seminary and University (Baltimore, MD).
On October 10, 2003, Pope John Paul II named Bishop Zubik the eleventh Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay. Installed on December 12, 2003, he embarked on vigorous efforts to improve vocations to all walks of life, deepen spirituality, and evangelize people of all ages. These efforts bore fruit as priestly vocations increased during his tenure.
In May 2004, Bishop Zubik accepted a three-year term to the Board of Advisors of the University of St. Mary of the Lake Mundelein Seminary in Chicago, and in November 2004, he was elected chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on the Laity, a three-year term that began in November 2005.
He currently serves on four committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops—the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations; the Catholic Communications Campaign Subcommittee; and as an alternate to both the Administrative Committee as well as the Committee on Priorities and Plans.
He was installed as the twelfth Bishop of Pittsburgh on September 28, 2007. Bishop Zubik is the fifth native son to lead the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Bishop J. F. Regis Canevin, who led the diocese from 1904-1921, and his successor, Bishop Hugh C. Boyle, who led the diocese until 1950, were born in areas that at the time were part of the diocese’s territory. Bishop Vincent M. Leonard, who led the diocese during the 1970’s, and Donald Cardinal Wuerl were native Pittsburghers.
Here are his picks for 5 must reads:
I am most happy that you have invited me to be a part of your project entitled “The Clergy Speaks.” I understand that you are looking for five Catholic books that I myself would personally recommend as “must reads” for Catholics today.
My list is as follows:
1) Journal of a Soul by Pope Saint John XXIII. I find this an important read because it shows over the course of his life how much Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli strove to grow in holiness. This book is helpful because it becomes an encouragement to each of us as we struggle with the ups and downs of embracing Christ and becoming more like Him.
2) The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henry J.M.. Nouwen. The story of the Prodigal Son in Saint Luke’s gospel is one of the most captivating stories and challenging as well. It calls us to be less judgmental and far more merciful than we are. Henri Nouwen does a beautiful job of painting visually and verbally each of the characters of the Prodigal Son story as envisioned in the painting of the same name. It calls each of us to take a good hard look at our personal failings and our willingness to be people of forgiveness.
3) Gift and Memory by Pope Saint John Paul II. What a marvelous reflection on the gift of the priesthood. Written on the occasion of his fiftieth anniversary of priestly ordination, Pope Saint John Paul II chronicles his journey as a priest “in persona Christi” and of service to all of God’s people.
4) 7 Secrets of the Eucharist by Vinny Flynn. This very practical book aims at deepening within the hearts of Catholics both an awareness nd appreciation of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
5) True Devotion to Mary by Saint Louis de Montfort and translated by Father Frederick Faber. This book, which goes back to the 17th century, is considered the greatest single book on the Blessed Virgin Mary ever written. It is the classic statement on the spiritual way to Jesus through Mary.
I hope that my selections are helpful to your project.
Grateful for our belief that “Nothing is Impossible with God,” I am
Your brother in Christ,
Most Reverend David A Zubik
Bishop of Pittsburgh