Catherine Wolff served as director of the Arrupe Center for Community-Based Learning at Santa Clara University. She is married to Tobias Wolff, an author and professor.
Not Less than Everything is a one of a kind book that features many voices, including “contemporary journalists, novelists, scholars and poets” (p.5). Each author contributes a single short chapter about a saint — formally recognized by the Catholic Church or unofficial yet of significance to many — that tells portions of that saint’s story, often intertwined with the writer’s personal experience of the saint or of the saint’s work. Readers from all Christian traditions will be enriched by winding their way through the varying forms of dissent expressed over hundreds of years by the saints contained within the pages of this easy to read collection. Perhaps, like the editor, many will find strength in these stories that will empower them to continue on in the journey of faith by participating in the church or tradition of which they have long been a part.
The Catholic Church isn’t as single-minded as many perceive. This reality has always been true, but comes alive in a new way in this collection of essays. The same complexity is present in all religious traditions, including thousands of Christian denominations.
- Explore the difference between how those within a religious tradition view those who seek to reform it from within to those who voluntarily leave that tradition and seek to generate reform from outside of such. Which is typically more powerful? Why?
- What is your initial response to Wolff’s remark about how best leaders can begin to re-establish their authority? ” . . . I would suggest that they lead exemplary lives, adopt simplicity in dress and language, cultivate humility, listen to members of the Church in ways that enable them to imagine themselves in the other person’s shoes, and demonstrate loving justice in what they say and in what they do” (p.10).
Catherine Wolff, ed. Not Less than Everything: Catholic Writers on Heroes of Conscience from Joan of Arc to Oscar Romero (HarperOne, 2013). ISBN: 9780062223739.Tweet