on November 8, 2012
Wow! This book is so good that I could not put it down. Campbell is a very talented writer. She brought some lofty spiritual truths into great focus and with tremendous heart that never felt anything other than genuine. Her personal story is so relatable and yet unique. I love each of the saints that she wrote about and knew much about them already, but still managed to learn more. Her voice is an important one for women of today. I have already recommended this book to my parish book club and cannot wait to hear what they all have to say about it the next time we meet. I would recommend it to anyone, whether they were Catholic or not. It is a thought-provoking and moving gem of a book. This might just be an instant classic!
Colleen Carroll Campbell delivers a brilliant and refreshing spiritual memoir about life's challenges and struggles, and how her deep faith helped her get through trials-and-tribulations along her long path to find peace and tranquility. The author chronicles an engaging and fascinating story about her life journey through caring for a parent with Alzheimer's disease, dating, marriage, and much more. She shares the pain of personal experience of illness, tragedy, and conflict. But,she also portrays her powerfully moving moments of strength in following her deep faith through six Saints on her mission to glory, and happiness. Her devotion to The Blessed Virgin Mary and other sister Saints illuminated and reflected her own personal journey. This provocative, spiritual memoir tugs at the heartstrings as we follow a touching story that not only contributes to culture, but also helps others to follow the same guiding light to success. In conclusion, the author offers uplifting spirits for others,who are thrown into confusing and difficult situations, needing guidance. Beautifully written, poignant, and Highly Recommended!
on November 15, 2012
I got the book on Kindle and read it in a very short time, I could not put it down. This is a very personal account of a woman in need of, and looking for, salvation. She found it by following saints that were introduced to her just when she most needed them. They are also some of my favorite saints. If you need guidance, a role model or someone to talk to, turn to the saints. They will never let you down or lead you astray, as this author attests.
on January 18, 2013
My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir by Colleen Carroll Campbell begins with Colleen as a young twenty-something, nominally Catholic college student who slowly begins exploring her Catholicism as a way to decipher what it means to be a woman.
Colleen explores the faith through the guiding influence of different women saints of the Catholic Church: St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Faustina, Edith Stein, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Dorothy Day, and Mary, mother of Jesus. The book worked on both levels. The events of Colleen's life, from exciting career opportunities and marriage, to her father's decline through Alzheimer's, engage the reader and made me cry on more than one occasion. The accompanying mini-biographies on the saints throughout the book gives enough information to make the saint real, but not so much as to be overwhelming or become textbook-like instead of a personal account.
I did find myself turned off in portions of the book where Colleen veered into apologetics of Catholicism's ban on birth control and in vitro fertilization, and a defense of prayer to Mary. I suppose this is because I've already heard these multiple times, and felt boredom and disruption to the narrative hearing them again. I did however, appreciate her candor in expressing the struggle of staying loyal to the Church's teaching in the face of infertility.
Overall, I think I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the spiritual memoir genre, or anyone curious about these saints. I'm resolved to read more concerning Teresa of Avila and Edith Stein, two saints who I've been ambivalent about in the past. Even just knowing the story and courage of Colleen's father is enough reason to read this book. At just over two hundred pages, it is a quick read and although not groundbreaking, it is an enjoyable, personal, and moving account of the spiritual growth of a modern woman.
on November 2, 2012
This is one of the best books I have ever read. Colleen Carroll Campbell is an excellent writer. I have read a lot of books about the saints but she told me things I had not read before. Her own personal journey was very inspiring. Truly inspirational. I am going to recommend this book to my parish book club.
on February 16, 2013
There are many popular "memoirs" published today. We love to write about ourselves, our finding ourselves or creating ourselves. This work, however, is not self-centered, though it is a reflecting on Coleen Carroll Campbell's event-filled life. In many ways, readers can easily identify with the anxieties, hopes and sufferings of the author--most would say, "It happened to me!" But Campbell's depth, of feeling, reasoning, and spiritual awareness is a wonder to follow. Many would think--"This could be for me."
She puts complex experiences in simple narration. Dealing with love, the slow loss of a parent, the ups and downs of trying to have children, Campbell never narrows to herself. She captures surely the others in our life--the bigger picture. Without preaching at all, she provides spiritual insights, ties contemporary Christian life to those of saints in bonds of love, and leaves readers with a hopeful, joyful hope.
on November 30, 2013
I can't recommend this book enough. In fact, I bought copies for several priests I know because I believe it will enable them to help people who suffer in various ways, especially with loved ones who are sick, and couples wanting to live out their Catholic life faithfully, even through painful circumstances.
Colleen Carroll Campbell takes us on a journey that encounters many of the challenges of ordinary life for Christians. She shows her less virtuous attitudes and imperfections along the way only to later reveal God-pleasing changes. Her life and those early attitudes likely mirror thoughts held by many who did not fully grasp the beauty of the Catholic faith.
Looking at the lives of six women known for their heroic virtue, Colleen shines a light on how each influenced her choices in life (St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Edith Stein, Mother Teresa, St. Faustina, and the Mary of Nazareth). She is painfully honest at times and in ways to which I could totally relate, even discussing some of her initial apprehensions about certain saints. As the book unfolds, her understanding of those saints, and what made them stand out, blossoms in ways that she can work to apply that understanding.
While my own mother did not suffer the same illness as did her father, I regretted not having, "My Sisters the Saints" years ago. It would have helped me to cope better with the challenges that I was faced with during those times, and to see God's grace at work in shaping me through them. Many times I ended up in the confessional, feeling confused, guilty, and helpless. For this reason, I strongly recommend this book as a "must read" for all Confessors and spiritual directors. Copies of the book should be kept at the parish for borrowing and purchase.
Men should not be intimidated by the feminine appearance. Never judge a book by it's cover, as the saying goes. This book teaches us how to be guided by the lives of the saints.
"My Sisters the Saints," gripped me from beginning to end, making it difficult to set aside. It took me on an emotional roller-coaster ride with Colleen, despite the fact that these were ordinary challenges faced often by ordinary people. In the end, I was left feeling a sense of hope and triumph, and given a renewed sense of vigilance to make faith-based choices to please God above all others, including myself.
on February 20, 2013
I received this book as a Christmas gift from my parents, right after graduating from college. At first, I thought, "Oh great, another saint book. Here we go again." But I was bored one day and decided to pick it up. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. I feel as if I lived Colleen Campbell's life alongside her. I had been through many of the same struggles and had the same questions throughout college. I started to feel that I wasn't alone in my search for something deeper, and my dissatisfaction with college life and college friends. Colleen's journey was a healing process for me, and it was also very comforting. I felt that I could be better, and that it wasn't too late. When I finished the book, I immediately bought five copies and sent them to my closest friends. They call me everyday saying how much this book has helped them to get their priorities straight and to find hope that they didn't have before. It has also made all of us grow a lot closer. Now, whenever I feel that I'm not good enough or that it's too late to be better, I think of Colleen and find strength through her. I consider her a friend.
on December 4, 2012
This very well-written book [author is former White House speech writer] addresses real issues facing many women today. Colleen Carroll Campbell doesn't sugar coat the struggles she faced nor her reaction to them. She realistically recounts the ups and downs and the surprising relationships she formed with six women... who happen to be dead! Their strength and wisdom provided much needed guidance and I benefitted from Colleen sharing it!
on May 30, 2013
I realize we are all on a faith journey of our own and each is in a different place; however, I am always amazed how God gives you what you need at the right time. God sent this book to me at a time when lots of change was happening in my family, immediate and extended. To walk through similar life changes with the author and to learn how she "leaned" on the lives of various saints to help her in her journey was inspirational.
As a cradle Catholic I grew up "going through the motions", receiving my sacraments, attending Mass, etc; however, once I became a mom I realized there were lots of things I was not taught as a child/young adult. Living in a house divided by different religions, there was no one to teach me about all the wonderful aspects of the Catholic faith (yes, I attended CCD, but who remembers what they learn as a child) i.e the lives of the Saints, praying outside the box (not just the Hail Mary and Our Father), reading Scripture, Adoration, etc. As a mature mom, I am slowly, but surely learning more about my Faith and ways to incorporate it into my daily life. Ultimately, I am developing a relationship with God.
Through the story line, Colleen Campbell illustrated to ME simple and inspirational ways to incorporate the Saints into my daily life. Keep in mind this is not a how-to, step by step book, but a story journaling her walk through the various challenges of life. An easy book to read, one that will keep you engaged, laughing and crying along the way, one that "SPOKE" to me with each page I turned - Thank you, God! Ultimately, it is one that will send you looking for other resources, especially resources about the Saints who were vital to her journey.