Mike Aquilina

Patristics for the Parish

Tuesday November 18th 2008, 7:10 pm

Here’s just what the pastor ordered — or will order, I hope. It’s the Companion Guide to Pope Benedict’s ‘The Fathers’, penned by none other than Your Humble Servant.

I wrote it for group study of the Holy Father’s audience talks on the Church Fathers, which are handily collected by the same publisher in a book titled The Fathers. It’s designed to be a six-week study, but it’s easily expandable to twice that length, if a leader is so inclined. There’s enough material to acquaint a parish or neighborhood group with the early Fathers, from Clement of Rome to Augustine of Hippo. The Companion Guide groups the Fathers by historical period, gives cultural and personal background, synthesizes the material that Pope Benedict presented, and suggests questions for discussion. I’ve keyed the Guide to page numbers in The Fathers.

Ambitious groups can supplement these materials with The Fathers of the Church, Expanded Edition and The Mass of the Early Christians.

The new book weighs in at 96 pages — for only $8.95. Yes, I said $8.95! The novelist Kurt Vonnegut once recalled an ad he saw for a sale on straw hats: “For prices like this, you can run them through your horse and put them on your roses.”

I’d rather that you used these books for discussing the Fathers in friendly groups in your home or parish. But whatever works for the betterment of mankind.