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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
14
All In: Why Belonging to the Catholic Church Matters
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on June 25, 2017
Pat Gohn's passion for Christ, her faith, and her burning desire to share both with everyone shines through on every page of this book. I admire Pat's ability to communicate in plain, clear language even as her intellect and theological knowledge permeate what she's saying. I dogeared a number of pages for contemplation as I slowly made my way through the book, savoring it. This is perhaps my favorite passage, from page 106: "Sin drains. Grace gains. Sin tames me and shames me. Grace inflames and reframes me. Sin retains me. Grace unchains me, and grace retrains me. Sin knocks me down. Grace raises me up. Sin plunges. Grace expunges. Sin destroys. Grace gives joys. Let us choose to move from sin, to turn and beg Jesus for the grace to begin again." Amen, sister!
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on May 9, 2017
This book is timely and teaches without being preachy. It is an easy read, so whether new to the faith or a seasoned Catholic, the author gives simple explanation and sound reasoning making it easy for anyone to understand the beauty of being Catholic and most important, why we choose to remain Catholic.
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VINE VOICEon April 19, 2017
Over the past decade, I have watched as Pat successfully launched her Among Women apostolate, ministered to thousands of women worldwide with the launch and retreat ministry of Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious, pursued her credentials as a spiritual director and assumed the helm at Catechist magazine. Is there anything my friend Pat can't teach us about living our faith with authenticity and gusto? I don't think so! I'd call ALL IN a "must read". It should be on your bookshelf as an inspirational resource. You should gift it to your pastor, your RCIA director and your loved one who is "spiritual but not religious". I hope your copy becomes as dogeared and highlighted as mine is, and that it gives you a sense of what it means to be joyfully "All In" for Christ and his Church. Enjoy!
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on March 31, 2017
I enjoyed reading this book, I liked the author's writing style. I felt like I was reading a book by a good friend. The author uses lots of stories from her own life to make her points about being a Catholic so I really felt like I got to know her. I really appreciated the honest stories from her own life struggles.

I think this would be a great book for someone who has fallen away from the Catholic Church and is thinking about becoming part of the Church again. The author gives so many great reasons to make prayer and going to church an important part of your life.
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What’s your relationship to the Catholic Church? Are you devoted? Dedicated but doing the minimum required? Dabbling? Discouraged or done with the Church? Unsure? In All In, Pat Gohn invites readers to reconsider their relationship with the Church, whatever that relationship might currently be.

Gohn is a cradle Catholic, but truly fell in love with the faith in her teen years after being around joyful Catholics. As she states, her “one thing” is the Catholic faith. “I’m all in. When God came first in my life, the rest eventually fell into place and made more sense.”

What convinces her to make her faith such an integral part of her life? Why does she put her faith in the Catholic Church, an institution which she admits has had its scandals and imperfections? She begins with a relationship with Jesus, rooted in love, encountered in both personal experience and in Scripture. She then explores the image of the Church as the bride of Christ. “Christ will never be separated from his Bride . . . Jesus will never divorce the Church. Jesus is permanently wedded to the Church. What is Christ’s is the Church’s, and all that the Church has comes from his merits, glory, power, and magnificent love.”

We are all connected to God and the Church through our Baptism. “What God has joined together, we must not divide. . . Being a beloved child of God is our single greatest identity, which sheds light on everything we are and all that we do.” God is our Father. He “will never disown or divorce us. We may choose to leave him, but he will never leave us.”

Gohn also explores the image of the Church as mother. “Jesus’ great love for his Bride, the Church, makes the Church a fruitful mother of many spiritual children, born through Baptism. . . The family of God is born of the fatherhood of God and the motherhood of the Church.”
The concept of Church as the Mystical Body of Christ, the importance of love of neighbor, and respect for the dignity of the human person are also discussed.

Gohn invites us to “view each day with an eternal perspective.” Being part of the Church matters, not only in this world, but also the next. Gohn, who has a master’s degree in theology and certificates in adult faith leadership, theology of the body, and spiritual direction, offers solid theological reasons for making our faith and the Catholic Church the main priorities in our lives. In addition, each chapter concludes with an invitation to deeper prayer, suggestions for further reading, and activities to deepen one’s faith.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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on March 21, 2017
Pat Gohn's book, All In, Why belonging to the Catholic Church Matters, is a wonderful blend of conversation, consolation, conversion and catechism! The author artfully walks the reader through a journey of her own discoveries about faith, in the midst of serious challenges surrounding the Church. She delicately discusses the failings of some in the Church, while reminding the reader that the Bride of Christ (the Catholic Church) is both human and divine.

All In, answers many of the questions, concerns and even criticisms of the Catholic Church with clarity and love. As an RCIA coordinator, I find this book a valuable resource for my adult students learning about the Catholic Faith!
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on March 18, 2017
Pat Gohn writes about profound things in the simplest of terms. Her openness in sharing herself in the stories she tells makes it real. I found myself in tears over the MRI story because it brought back a similar one of own where my husband was holding my hand. Through it all she makes a great case for being "all in". Very readable, interesting and informative.
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on March 15, 2017
Pat Gohn is a solid writer who inspires and challenges me. As expected, with All In: Why Belonging to the Catholic Church Matters, she delivers solid food to nourish our souls and give us confidence in our Catholic Faith.
Jesus, our Bridegroom, went all in out of love for us, to bring us all into his Church where his kingdom “already exists and will be fulfilled at the end of time. The kingdom has come in the person of Christ and grows mysteriously in the hearts of those incorporated into him, until its full...manifestation” (CCC, 865). Yes, Pat is fluent in the Catechism and encyclicals and uses their authority when necessary to solidify the soundness of her spiritual guidance.
Some Catholics, including members of Pat’s family who were victimized by bad Catholics and unholy priests, have cause to reject the Church and view it as splattered with the mud of scandal. Pat’s imagery of the Catholic Church, as the “mud splashed Bride” of Christ is brilliant!
Some quickly adopt that misguided view and write off the mud splashed Bride rather than explore her hidden beauty. Pat reminds us that the holy marriage between Jesus the Bridegroom, and the Church, to date have never divorced, and never will.
God created marriage as a sacrament, to make his love visible on earth. That’s a huge gift for us and a huge risk for God to take! Pat learned that this gift of God’s love being made visible in her marriage was a microcosm of something much more vast and cosmic. The invisible God is all about making his love visible.
His plan of sheer goodness holds a secret remedy. “The most powerful gift of God’s love made visible was in the coming of his very self to redeem us. The gift of God’s love made visible is another way of describing the Incarnation,” she writes.
The Incarnation is the antidote for what Pat calls the “mud-splashed-Bride syndrome.” Jesus is the gift of God’s love made visible. His love, poured into the Church makes her a radiant Bride, resplendent with graces.
Pat writes about the identity crises we experience when we separate ourselves from the reality that God gives himself personally to us in the sacraments. God baptizes us, making us his beloved children, giving us our greatest sense of identity. God nourishes us in the Eucharist. Jesus enters into us, his True Presence hidden in the bread and wine. God’s life is alive in us through the sacraments.
When we disassociate from our baptism or when we fail to live the promises of our baptism, we step away from the family of God, the Church. “We divide ourselves from our true identity as beloved ones. We have identity crises, and often lose a sense of our dignity.”
Pat reminds us that we can choose to mature in the spiritual life as we do in our natural life. To have an adult faith, we must grow up in our union with Christ, “while being ever mindful of the gift of our spiritual childhood. To be a child of God is to learn to live with ongoing conversion, ongoing renewal. We are not going backward, we are being ever renewed.” We make adult decisions about following Church teachings while keeping our child-like faith. We keep our faith fresh and alive so that we develop an intimate friendship with God.
Her personal story of maturing spiritually from a cradle Catholic of the John Paul II generation runs through All In. As a teen, she committed her life to Jesus at a retreat. She was nourished in her faith in ongoing ways “through God’s voice in the Bible, the graces I received in the sacraments, and through the people in our parish faith community that surrounded me. But, for me, God used my marriage to profoundly shape my understanding of his love. God’ s love became visible to me.”
Desperately needing to be a more nurturing and gracious mother, Pat turned to Mary, “to coach me, to mentor me, to allow her good influence to find a home in me.”
Pat’s faith, tested by cancer and other surgeries, brought moments of heart knowledge, not head knowledge of Jesus more closely. She writes, “My life with Jesus was a slow burn, a friendship that grew over time. His divine friendship called me to participate in the community of my local church. He wanted me to form relationships with members of his Body, and to have Mother Church to nurture me and school me in her wisdom.”
The result? “Today, I know Jesus not only as my friend, but as my healer, my redeemer, and my deliverer. He has accompanied me through some scary times and through the best of times.” Pat writes that Jesus works in her life as a good friend, always wanting what’s best, even when he needs to confront her to change.
“His love that I receive, especially in the Eucharist, gives me the confidence to change. . . .With Jesus as the Bridegroom, I am all in!“
What God has joined together, let us not separate – and Pat applies this to God’s family, the Church who share a common Father and Mother. “We have a Beloved Brother in Jesus, whose blood we share as we hold to a common creed, sacraments, and worship. The Church as Mother was part of the Father’ s will for us, to nurture the divine life in us. We never outgrow our need for our Mother Church, the Mater Ecclesia, until we reach heaven.”
God’s plan is to unite his family into the Church with the dignity he gives us at our baptism. Pat writes, “I’m all in when it comes to the Catholic Church, not just because it preaches heaven, but because it holds sacred all human persons.”
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on March 15, 2017
Are you looking for a gift for those coming into the Church or those who may have been away from the Church. Pat Gohn has done is again. I have a feeling that I will be buying her latest book in bulk to give away! It is the perfect book to bridge the gap between catechesis and evangelization.

As a Church we are very good at teaching the doctrines and dogmas, but not so much why these things should matter to the Catholic Christian. Pat Gohn, through her amazing personal story-telling, is able to give us some serious adult catechesis, pulling in material from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Fathers of the Church and some heavy-weight theologians (St. John Paul II, anyone?) without making you feel like you are sitting in a boring classroom lecture. This is her story introducing us to her friend Jesus and how, in him, everything and everyone is connected: God, Church, Holy Trinity, friends and enemies, theology and personal experience, Saints, sinners, and those who have gone before. While reading her story, you will be challenged to reflect on your own relationships and faith and what you can do to strengthen and deepen your connection with Jesus and in him, with all the people in your life.

Each chapter of the book, ends with prayer, suggestions for prayer, study and engaging the material. The book would be a wonderful book to spark discussion in a book club.
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on March 10, 2017
This book is just as much for the struggling and/or “recovering” Catholic as it is for the faithful churchgoer. Readers on any stop along their faith journey can benefit from the wisdom and action steps provided here, on their way to going “all in.”
Honest discussions of sin, mercy, grace, the Sacraments, and human dignity fill out this book. Each chapter concludes with a 3-part reflection: pray, learn and engage. This last section includes concrete action steps readers can take to heal or deepen their relationship with God and with the Church.
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