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The Catholics Next Door: Adventures in Imperfect Living Audio CD – Audiobook, CD
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I wasn't sure what to expect from their book. Would it be a how to? Advice? Just silly stuff? Or would it be a memoir type of book?
And, even more importantly, would I love it as much as I wanted to?
As it turns out, YES.
It's equal parts laughter, insight, and advice. You get perspective from a couple who admits their imperfections with a smile and a humility I can't help but admire.
Every chapter, except the parent-specific chapters, is written in a back-and-forth conversational style. Greg might start, Jennifer will pick it up, and Greg continues a few paragraphs later. I often felt like I needed to pass the chips and refill some coffee as I was reading...it's reading that's casual and relaxed, even though it deals with some of the heaviest topics in Catholicism (read as: NFP).
There's a lot packed into 141 pages. There's sex, marriage, kids, parenthood, sacraments, prayer, schooling, and technology, to name a few.
Some of these stories will be familiar to those who have followed the Willits through the years, but there are others that, if you don't or can't listen to their daily radio program, will be new to you.
Bottom line: highly recommended. It's a quick read and you'll leave it a better person.
The defining characteristic of these books tends to be a hoity-toity know-it-all attitude that exalts one way of parenting or spirituality as "the way" above all others, without regard to the rich diversity of the Church's history and practice.
The Catholics Next Door is not that type of book.
In fact Greg and Jennifer Willits go out of their way to assure readers that they don't have all the answers, that they are just like the rest of us poor schlubs trying to honor God while making a living, raising a family, and attending to the rest of life's demands. But, as they point out, there is holiness in that imperfection. Call it a "spirituality of the screwups":
"In a way it helps to know we're not the only screwups in this world. I suspect that many of the seemingly perfect parents sitting in the pew ahead of us at church, the ones with the angelic children, are screwups as well. I don't know why that helps me, but it does.
"It's good to remind ourselves, especially when we're ready to throttle a kid who just spray-painted a brand new set of golf clubs, that you were a screwup before your kid was. And you still are. But you're getting better, with the help of God."
The Willits cover a wide range of topics in the book, from living with our neighbors to natural family planning, using technology for evangelization to the Eucharist. The connecting thread is a relentless focus on Christian living in the messiness and uncertainties of modern life.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've followed the Willits' since about 2007, starting with Rosary Army podcasts. I love their message and their wonderful example of living out the Catholic faith.Published 5 days ago by Mary Hinkle
A really great read for anyone- Catholic or non-Catholic. Greg & Jennifer have a really easy-going way about their writing. They are entertaining and honest. Read morePublished 13 months ago by T. McQuade
A lot like their old show on the Catholic channel on XM. Greg and Jennifer tell their story of raising a family. Read morePublished on August 21, 2014 by Ed W
The book is a wonderful witness to the struggle and joys of being Catholic parents, and good parents, in this age where temptation is coming at kids and adults from all sides. Read morePublished on May 29, 2014 by Sr Paige
I really enjoyed this book! It was different than the usual "stiff" Catholic book. It had heart and opinions. And, in my opinion, it was a fun, but meaningful book.Published on January 3, 2014 by Kelly Pace
I can get caught up in the hecticness of life which can feel very lonely. This book reminded me others are living the ups and downs that I experience and that a strong faith can... Read morePublished on June 28, 2013 by Catherine Oberfoell
Catchy, well written and a reminder that we are all sinners looking for salvation. The humor in this book makes it well worth the read.Published on April 28, 2013 by Nicole Marie Goddard
Do you have questions about Catholics or being Catholic? How do Catholics practice their faith in today's secular world? Do you sometimes think that your faith is on shaky ground? Read morePublished on March 21, 2013 by Mom