Tommy Tighe’s Catholic Hipster Handbook is a fun, informative, and inspiring book that either reminds or enlightens the reader about how cool it is to be Catholic. With “Forgotten Prayers,” “Cool Saints,” and activities at the end of each chapter that call us to action, this handbook is designed to celebrate our sometimes-odd Catholic faith and embrace all of it’s obscure traditions and trivia.
I enjoyed the short and sweet nature of this book. Even though I sat down and read it front-to-back, I could easily imagine a reader picking and choosing chapters to read based on their interest. Since each chapter stands alone, it’s easy to consume in small bites or one big gulp depending on your time and energy. I particularly enjoyed learning about some cool saints that I haven’t heard of before, such as St. Philip Neri, who was known for his faith and his playful sense of humor. And I loved how each chapter gave us a concrete way to live out our faith through the end of chapter “Activities.” One memorable activity was making a pilgrimage to a shrine near you but taking the longest way to get there to make it more of a journey. Clever and spiritually challenging!
This could be a great Christmas present for the young (or not-so-young) adult Catholic who embraces their faith wholeheartedly. Warning: this book is not for those who are questioning the Church or their own belief in God. This is NOT a book of apologetics even though there is information contained in it that might help some come home to Mother Church. The quirky weirdness that makes Catholics cool may be too much for those who aren’t completely “in the fold.” For example, if someone isn’t on-board with Mary and the saints, they might not be cool with the idea of relics of those saints bodies being “on tour” for people to venerate.
Overall, this is a well-written book that encourages Catholics to embrace their Catholic identity and celebrate it. I hope to see another volume that gets even more obscure on the saints and prayers and adds some cocktail or homebrew recipes in the suggested activities. Just sayin’.
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Copyright 2017 Laura Nelson