Can we talk about how excited I was to have the opportunity to read Tommy Tighe’s The Catholic Hipster Handbook? Answer: Super excited. Having lived in Brooklyn for three years (and as a Catholic my whole life), I was all in right from the start. Now that I have read the book, I’d like to offer seven reasons why you ought to do the same.
- The fabulous picture of St. John Paul II on the cover. I loved seeing this wonderful saint in shades and a beret on my nightstand or counter every day. As if JPII weren’t awesome enough already, right?
- The foreword by Jeannie Gaffigan. It’s as great as you’d expect it to be.
- Short, engaging chapters. Even when I had a short window in which to read, I’d still gobble up three or four chapters before I could put the book down.
- Saints! Each chapter offers a short bio of a relevant saint, many of whom I hadn’t heard of before. I loved being reminded of the breadth and depth of the communion of saints each time I “met” someone new.
- New-to-me prayers. Each chapter also includes a prayer that you might not have heard before. Many of my dog-ears are on these pages, as I’ll want to come back to them.
- The various perspectives of the authors. The contributors include a priest, a nun, and laypeople serving the Lord in a variety of ways. Their different paths toward the same goal add depth and interest to the topics presented.
- Humor! I have been enjoying spiritual reading more and more as I get older and more invested in my faith. There is something powerful about reading an encyclical or a treatise on some aspect of the faith, but sometimes I want to engage with the traditions of the Church in vocabulary I’m more familiar with, e.g. baby naming, Birkenstocks, and contemporary music. This book fit the bill and gave me lots of interesting info to share in casual conversation—truly a means of evangelizing!
No matter how much flannel you have or how local your produce gets, I’d recommend this book to basically anyone negotiating the present age from a Catholic point of view. The truth is, our faith is rich and full and fascinating. The more we know about that, the more we can share it—maybe on Twitter, like Tighe does, or maybe at school pick-up or by the water cooler at work.
Catholicism is 2,000 years old, and it is still relevant today. Kudos to Tighe and his contributors for bringing some of the best elements of our faith out of the darkness and back into the light.
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Copyright 2018 Lindsay Schlegel