CATHOLIC WOMEN CONFRONT THEIR CHURCH: Stories of Hurt and Hope, by Celia Wexler, published by Rowman & Littlefield.
"Award-winning journalist Wexler tells the stories of ten women (including herself) of various ages, ethnicities, and life experiences who have wrestled with their Catholicism and the institutional church's approach to women. Each finely crafted profile includes a biographical story interwoven with a faith journey in progress, all of which include a strong sense of a call to service. Certain themes recur: the question of women’s ordination, ordination in general, issues of social justice, and a commitment to a “faith that transcends the institutional church.” Those profiled include Sister Simone Campbell, of “Nuns on the Bus” fame; Barbara Blaine, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests; and Marianne Duddy-Burke, “a full-throated advocate for gay Catholics.” Wexler quotes liberally, conveying the women’s own voices; for example, Frances Kissling, longtime president of Catholics for Free Choice, says, “Abortion is very serious for me. It is a moral issue”; Diana L. Hayes, an African-American womanist theologian and adult convert, says, “God knew not to ask me into this church prior to Vatican II.” These thought-provoking profiles brim with hope and concern for the future of the Catholic Church.”
--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
The courageous Catholic women profiled in this timely book have issued a clear call for the transformation of the institutional church. Their faith is profound; their voices are strong. Their message has the power to change hearts, minds, and hierarchies.
--Joan Connell, former editor of Religion News Service
Wexler, a journalist and lifelong Roman Catholic, offers 10 biographical portraits developed from interviews with women who continue to practice Catholicism–or have returned to it–in spite of social, political, theological, and psychological issues they have faced with the Church. In addition to the well-known Sister Simone Campbell (Nuns on the Bus), the subjects include Sharon MacIsaac-McKenna, present at Vatican II before leaving the religious life; Marianne Dudldy-Burke, active in the American Church's LGBT DignityUSA; women who have persevered in Catholic academia in spite of its sexism; and those who have suffered deeply and personally through abuse by clergy or racial injustice. Each woman's story of internal conflict, theological development, and spiritual growth is, of course, unique, and yet together they form a nuanced account of women in the American Church today and offer models for those who experience both deep belief and religious structural doubt.
This [is a] well-reported story of smart, committed, progressive Catholics [who prove] that women are church. In light of the corrupt, often-criminal institutional Roman Catholic Church, Frances Kissling, Diana Hayes, Theresa Delgado, Marianne Duddy-Burke, and others profiled model the best of the Catholic tradition—faith, primacy of conscience, social justice work, and dedication to equality. Ironically, these women who are variously mistreated and dismissed give Catholicism a good name.
-- Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER)
In Celia Wexler’s meticulously assembled inquiry into the state of mind of contemporary Catholic women, we hear from nine different subjects, each as riveting and articulate as the next, calling for compassionate and heartfelt change. The result is a stunning choral effect, worthy of being heard in the sacristy and in the streets, by men and women alike. Wexler’s prose reads with the clarity and conviction of a beautiful prayer.
--Madeleine Blais, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, University of Massachusetts Amherst
For most of modern history, Americans have been religious outliers—we're the rare society that's both prosperous and devout. In recent decades, however, a growing number of Americans, especially the young, have drifted away from organized religion. This is a complex phenomenon with multiple roots. Celia Wexler has summoned her impressive journalistic skills to tell one aspect of this story with great insight, empathy, and humanity.
--Paul Taylor, Pew Research Center, author of The Next America: Boomers, Millennials and the Looming Generational Showdown
This well-reported story of smart, committed, progressive Catholics proves that women are church. In light of the corrupt, often-criminal institutional Roman Catholic Church, Frances Kissling, Diana Hayes, Teresa Delgado, Marianne Duddy-Burke, and the others profiled in this book model the best of the Catholic tradition—faith, primacy of conscience, social justice work, and dedication to equality. Ironically, these women who are variously mistreated and dismissed give Catholicism a good name.
--Mary E. Hunt, Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER)
Celia Wexler explores an important question for many modern women of faith: Is it possible to be a professional, independent thinking woman—who believes in gender equality—and still be a Catholic? Through the personal stories of ten notable women, herself included, Wexler navigates the clash of traditional Catholicism and the realities of twenty-first century womanhood with wisdom and insight. A must-read for any person of faith living in today's secular world.
--Joanne Bamberger, author/editor of Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox
OUT OF THE NEWS: FORMER JOURNALISTS DISCUSS A PROFESSION IN CRISIS, by Celia Wexler, published by McFarland. Presenting profiles of 11 journalists who left some of the country's biggest mainstream media for new careers, the book explores factors that led talented people to re-assess the profession they loved. The book raises profound questions about the economic structure of news organizations and the culture of newsrooms, and their impact on the practice of journalism. By demonstrating that the skills the profession teaches remain valuable in other careers, OUT OF THE NEWS offers hope and direction to both aspiring and current journalists contemplating the future.
Celia Wexler, a former award-winning journalist, is a public interest lobbyist for the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C. She serves on the membership committee of the National Press Club, and has been a freelance contributor to The Washington Post, The Nation, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia.
"Celia Wexler has written a compelling narrative of these noted journalists that underscores and illuminates the challenging media environment. Their inspiring stories give hope to all of us who love journalism and realize its importance."
--Helen Fallon, Point Park University
"Wexler persuasively demonstrates why the crisis in journalism requires our attention. Through elegantly interlacing reporters’ first-person stories with public-policy implications, she provides a primer for those who care about sustaining our democracy."
--Danielle Brian, executive director, Project on Government Oversight
"Celia Wexler writes with great insight and empathy--and timeliness--into why many journalists are leaving the profession. The result is a book that captures key aspects of a profession in the midst of great change.
--Wes Pippert, Missouri School of Journalism.
* * * * * * *
Environmental writer David Wheeler's WILD NEW JERSEY: Nature Adventures in the Garden State, recounting how wildlife -- bear, bobcats, herons and bald eagles -- is steadily reclaiming what industry and suburban sprawl stole from the state over the past century, to Rutgers University Press. Visit WILD NEW JERSEY online.
* * * * * * *
THE ESSENTIAL DAUGHTER and NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO author Mary Collins’s AMERICAN IDLE: A Journey Through Our Sedentary Culture, explores the subtle and systemic issues behind the physical, social and moral consequences of our sedentary lives – and how to offset them. Capital Books.
Read the Smithsonian article, "Are Americans Stuck to Their Cubicles?"
Listen to the NPR interview and call-in with Mary Collins on AMERICAN IDLE:"Are you sitting down?".
Watch the Fox video.
“Getting everyone to be more physically active is—in theory—one of the simplest ways to improve our nation’s health, but accomplishing that is a conundrum. Mary Collins has thought about this problem in ways that few have and offers insights that might help solve it.”
--Tom Farley, director of the Partnership for an Active Community Environment (PACE), Tulane University
* * * * * * *
ZERO DAY THREAT: The Shocking Truth of How Banks and Credit Bureaus Help Cyber Crooks Steal Your Money and Identity, by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Byron Acohido and USA Today tech reporter Jon Swartz. A nonfiction techno-thriller that examines the world of cyber crime and online identity theft as practiced by cells of elite hackers and organized crime groups. ZERO DAY THREAT reveals the risks faced by the average person, and the complex underlying forces that assure cyber crime will continue to expand.
Praise for ZERO DAY THREAT:
Read the USA Today review
"This is an important and major piece of investigative journalism that you ignore at your own peril."
-- James V. Grimaldi, 2006 Pulitzer Prize winner, Washington Post, and President of Investigative Reporters & Editors
"If you bank or manage your stocks online, you have to read this book. Cyberspace is making all sorts of things possible, unfortunately among them are fraud, theft, and espionage—all of which can directly impact you."
-- Richard A. Clarke, Counterterrorism Consultant and author, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror;
Your Government Failed You: Breaking the Cycle of National Security Disasters
"Zero Day Threat tells the real stories behind computer crime headlines. Who really is behind these attacks? This book gives us a fascinating view into a world that you normally wouldn’t know anything about—and points us the way out."
-- Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer, F-Secure Security Labs
"Rushing in to profit from online commerce and banking, financial institutions knowingly put our personal information and identities at risk. This is like the digital-age equivalent of tobacco companies making sure cigarettes have high enough addictive properties."
-- Mitchell Ashley, Security Consultant, The Converging Network
"Zero Day Threat reads like a juicy cyber thriller in the tradition of William Gibson and Neal Stephenson. But it’s also An Inconvenient Truth for the digital age. Every great industry needs great reporters to hold leaders to higher standards, and that’s just what Acohido and Swartz are doing here."
-- Marc Benioff, Founder, Chairman & CEO, Salesforce.com
"Be afraid. Be very afraid of an accelerating wave of computer crime encouraged by lazy software and a blase attitude by the very institutions that should be guarding our electronic purses and profiles. That’s the message of Zero Day Threat."
-- Tom Abate, Tech Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle
"When it comes to cyber crime, ignorance is not bliss. What you don’t know can hurt you. Zero Day Threat is an ambitious look at the breadth of the problem and the people who exploit the weaknesses of our financial systems."
-- Joe Simitian, California State Senator and author of California’s landmark data loss notification law
"A harrowing inside look at the brave new world of cybercrime and identity theft spawned by technology. Acohido and Swartz take us into the shadowy dens of the scammers and call their enablers to task."
-- Robert Weisman, Technology Writer, The Boston Globe
"If we’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s that nothing about the breadth, complexity and pervasiveness of the cyber-crime world should surprise you, and that the problem is only getting worse. Acohido and Swartz bring to long form the same reporting and storytelling skills that have allowed them to boil-down such a massive issue into front-page news on a daily basis. Bravo!"
-- Matt Hines, Senior Writer, InfoWorld.com
"We madly rush our lives (and money!) on the Web, thoughtless to the ripoff artists and cyberthieves waiting for us there—or the financial bigshots who write them off as the cost of business. Kudos to Acohido and Swartz for a dazzling, essential expose."
-- Quentin Hardy, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, Forbes