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Ascend: The Catholic Faith for a New Generation Paperback – November 2, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 243 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press (November 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809146215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809146215
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,018,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This laudable effort to make the Catholic faith understandable and appealing to young adults labors mightily to sound hip and cool, but it suffers from an oversimplified style that could alienate more thoughtful young seekers. In their attempt to take the Catholic faith down to the basics, Stoltz and Tomkovicz, both deacons in the archdiocese of Los Angeles, write in a way that may strike some readers as rudimentary. For example, in the introduction, they use a footnote to explain their subsequent use of footnotes. The authors also seem uncertain about the age group they are addressing. While young adult typically refers to collegians and recent college graduates, the introduction at one point suggests the audience may be raising children and thus would be slightly older. The book's positive features include its organization into short chapters with sidebars, the inclusion of a glossary of terms and treatment of questions like I read The Da Vinci Code. Don't the facts in this book show Christianity is a lie? The authors also effectively use cultural references to convey some points. This book will work best for those who know lots about culture and little about Catholicism. (Nov.)
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Review

Anyone who picks it up will find it hard to resist, given its broad scope and lively writing coupled with solid grounding in Scripture.
--2010 Catholic Press Awards

From its inclusive, ecumenical language to its stunning graphic design, creative use of typography, evocative profiles, and beautiful photographs, Ascend is clearly intended to communicate with a contemporary audience --Catholic News Service

The authors, both permanent deacons from Los Angeles, write in clear, concise language meant for a time-challenged and technology-oriented generation. --The Evangelist, newspaper of the Diocese of Albany

Finally something for young adult Catholics that actually speaks their language--blunt, personal, authentic and visual. Ascend's groundbreaking new way of presenting simple Gospel truths is a bold new invitation to the faith addressed directly to the future of the church. --James Martin, S.J., author, My Life with the Saints

Everything about this book the design, structure, content, style is geared to an audience nurtured on visual appeal, technology and rapid assimilation. The content succeeds extremely well in the premise of its subtitle: the Catholic Faith for a New Generation. Anyone who picks it up will find it hard to resist, given its broad scope and lively writing coupled with a sold grounding in Scripture. --The Catholic Journalist June 2010

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Trini Godoy on April 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Amazing, easy to read book that is written so colorfully and vividly! It moves you out of the stuffy, dark paneled, vestibule and puts you front in center in front of the bright and airy sanctuary that is filled with the warmth of God's love.

This book is amazing and opens your mind and heart to our faith.

Recommended reading for Teens who are preparing for Confirmation, Adults in RCIA, Couples getting married in the Catholic Church and men and women considering a calling in vocations to serve.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Fran Rossi Szpylczyn on March 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Love, grace and peace to you."

These words open the introduction of "Ascend." This invitation by authors Eric Stoltz and Vince Tomkovicz leads readers into a creative, new book about Catholicism, written with flair. For anyone involved in young adult catechetical efforts or evangelizing ministry, "Ascend" is a must-have item.

This is no heavy theological tome filled with cerebral concepts and words. Ascend is written primarily for young people who want to learn more about the faith and who may need to be stimulated to retain what they read.

"Ascend" is made to be carried around, thumbed through and used as a guide. It is a small but hefty volume with eye-catching graphic design. The cover alone is stunning, with the word "Ascend" floating in a blue sky over office towers in Los Angeles.

The slick look is no gimmick: Even the well-informed will learn something from reading this book. The authors, both permanent deacons from Los Angeles, write in clear, concise language meant for a time-challenged and technology-oriented generation.

"Ascend" opens with some basic information, including a "how to read this book" section. Each chapter topic is complemented by Scripture references, art and graphics. There is liberal use of visual material, such as the Hebrew for many of the words used in our faith practices.

Each chapter also has some sidebar elements such as "profile" and "backstory" that either pose a question or by give essential information.

One profile about Joseph, the husband of Mary, begins by positing that we don't really know all that much about this man.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cameron Neal on December 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is catchy, but it suffers from a lack of content. Perhaps it is useful sort of like a brochure is useful: nice pictures, little content, catchy. I am a 20-year-old man and I received this book when I was Baptized and Confirmed during the Easter Vigil in 2011 when I was 17. My RCIA people gave it to me as a gift. For that I am grateful. For something *extremely* basic--like _pre_-RCIA basic* or for a coffee table book, perhaps this is good.

However, nothing really stood out at me in this book. I finished it, but I was not struck by a sense of longing for reflection. I haven't given this book a second thought. There is no set of principles that undergirds it. Now, I don't recall anything explicitly contrary to the faith in the text, but there are passages that contain the "ZOMG so pre-Vatican II, whatevurrh" (in a valley girl accent) tone.

I can't recommend this book. Vapid, low-on-content, and forgettable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas W. Hart on August 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a "cradle-born" Catholic, a seasoned (dislike the term "senior") seeker on my own faith journey, I was thoroughly delighted when I obtained my own copy of this tremendous spiritual resource. I want to commend the authors on their marvelous insights that enriched my appreciation for the heritage of my faith tradition.

I have read numerous religious education books, participated in many workshops, and taken advantage of just about every spiritual liturgical enrichment that is offered through the Catholic Church. As a member of our local Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) team, there have been many returning Catholics (and regular church goers) who have said they wanted to know more about their faith. I highly recommend this book will answer this desire for all ages in short "bites" suited for today's fast-paced world.

Well done!

Tom Hart
Lomita, CA
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