From Publishers Weekly
After learning that his grandfather's late cousin would soon be canonized (declared a saint), Catanoso, a journalist, made several trips to southern Italy, taking part in family feasts and funerals and listening to stories about Padre Gaetano Catanoso's holy life and amazing miracles. Back home again, he researched the American branch of the family founded by his grandfather, Carmelo, Born eight years and half a mile apart, the two young men would take differing paths. Gaetano stayed in Calabria and became a priest; Carmelo emigrated to America in 1903, fathered nine children and rarely spoke of his Italian roots. The book starts slowly, with a barrage of information about the saint, the province of Reggio Calabria and the immigrant experience. A hundred pages in, the writing becomes more personal: Catanoso meets his Italian cousins and begins reflecting on his own experience as a Catholic Italian-American. Informative and thought provoking throughout, the chapters on his brother's bout with cancer are especially poignant. Why, he wonders, would a family saint answer some prayers for healing, but not others? (June)
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“Justin Catanoso went to Italy in search of his canonized cousin. In finding the story of his own family, he has written a warm and candid memoir that I admire.” (Gay Talese, author of Unto the Sons)
“Glorious. . . . It’s a great story: part travelogue, part detective story, part spiritual journal, and beautifully told.” (America: The National Catholic Weekly)
“A fascinating quest for ancestry and an illuminating wrestling with faith.” (washingtonpost.com)
“Worth worth reading for the travelogue alone.” (Greensboro News & Record)
“A glorious book! Part spiritual journey, part detective story, part travelogue, Justin Catanoso’s engrossing new memoir shows how discovering God always leads to discovering yourself. His quest to learn about his saintly cousin leads him to a fuller and richer understanding of his faith, his family, and, ultimately, himself.” (James Martin, SJ, author of My Life with the Saints and frequent commentator for the New York Times and National Public Radio)
“A beautiful book that brings with it the joy and recognition of family and of faith.” (Antonio Monda, author of Do You Believe?: Conversations on God and Religion)
“Vividly brings to life one of the Church’s newest canonized saints.” (The Catholic Standard & Times)
“A book for history lovers. . . for students of theology, for those who question their faith, or for anyone stumbling down life’s highway.” (Cape May County Herald)