Catholic Church -- Fiction

I Heard the Owl Call my Name by Margaret Craven

I heard the Owl Call my Name cover

My favorite book when I was in high school was I Heard the Owl Call my Name, by Margaret Craven, so I decided to reread it to see how I related to the book now.  Even though it is almost 50 years old, the book is still just as timely and beautifully-written as it was in the 60’s. Perhaps its message is even more important in today’s world.  It is about a young Vicar, Mark Brian, who has been diagnosed with only a few years to live.  His Bishop has been told his diagnosis, but the Vicar has not. 

When the Bishop learns of the young Vicar’s diagnosis he says, “So short a time to learn so much? It leaves me with no choice. I shall send him to my hardest parish. I shall send him to Kingcome on patrol of the Indian Villages.”

The Da Vinci Code

By Dan Brown

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Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and French cryptologist Sophie Neveu work to solve the murder of an elderly curator of the Louvre, a case which leads to clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci and a centuries-old secret society.

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The Book of Q

By Jonathan Rabb

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"Asia Minor, sixth century: After several centuries of conflict with the early Christian church, the Manichaeans, a heretical sect, vanish from the historical record.

"Bosnia, 1992: Ian Pearse, a young American relief worker destined for the priesthood, has his faith tested by the horrors of war, but is jolted from his despair by a passionate affair with a Croatian woman named Petra.

"Rome, present day: Father Pearse, now a researcher at the Vatican Library, comes into possession of an ancient scroll after the mysterious death of one Vatican priest and the disappearance of another. His scholar's curiosity aroused, he has the document translated by an old friend in Rome. He is stunned to learn that the scroll contains ingeniously coded letters and the text of the "Perfect Light," a Manichaean prayer that has never been found in its written form.

"In the early days of the Christian church the Manichaeans had been an overly zealous, highly organized secret society, scorned by the church and seemingly driven out of existence. But these newly discovered documents indicate an earth-shattering alternate history, a long-dormant, highly evolved conspiracy carefully nurtured for centuries, and an even more important scroll hinted at in the letters that will facilitate 'the great awakening.'"

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The Last Confession

By Morris West

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West’s last novel (he died at his desk, at its completion) is a strong story of the philosopher and heretic Giordano Bruno, who was burnt by the Inquisition for his heresy.
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Conclave: A Novel of Passion and the Papacy

By Greg Tobin

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Born and raised in suburban New Jersey, Timothy John Mulrennan is a typical American of the post-WWII generation. Since childhood he has known a deep and abiding faith in God that leads him to a career as a priestand propels him onto the stage of world events that includes the election of the first Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic church in the third millennium. Along the way he encounters some remarkable characters: Henry Martin Vennholme, leader of the conservative lay movement called Evangelium Christi; Rachel Seredi, a beautiful artist from Hungary who falls in love with Bishop Mulrennan and gives him the greatest gift a woman ever could; Cardinal Leandro Biagi, a wily and urbane politician who would have been at home in the time of the Medicis and Borgias; and Jaime de Guzman, the Archbishop of Manila, the one man who speaks in the Americans' defense and who pays the ultimate price for his honesty and faith in God.

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Absolution by Murder

By Peter Tremayne

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Seventh-century Ireland is the scene of Celtic-style Christianity vs. Roman Christianity, warrior-kings, and brutal murder. Can Fidelma, sister to the king and judge in her own right, discover who has murdered the abbess of Kildare? A sister of the Celtic persuasion, Fidelma is teamed with her intellectual and spiritual equal, Brother Eadulf, who owes his allegience to Rome. First of a series.

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Clay

By David Almond

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Davie and his friend Geordie are altar boys, but are beginning to doubt the value of their long-held religious beliefs. They live in fear of the bullying Mouldy, a hulking, drunken lout from a neighboring village whom they're sure is out to kill them. Enter Stephen, a slightly older boy whose father is dead, whose mother is mad, and who was reputedly kicked out of priestly training for some kind of trouble related to devil worship and performing a Black Mass. A talented sculptor, he proceeds to scare Davie silly with his talk of creating life, of creating, in fact, a monster that will wreak revenge on Mouldy. Davie sees Stephen's clay figures move. Is it hypnotism, faith, or madness? Whatever, their monster is eventually made real. (School Library Journal)
 

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The Possibilities of Sainthood

By Donna Freitas

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While regularly petitioning the Vatican to make her the first living saint, fifteen-year-old Antonia Labella prays to assorted patron saints for everything from help with preparing the family's fig trees for a Rhode Island winter to getting her first kiss from the right boy. 

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