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  • Fascinating look at ancient Qumran answers lingering Bible questions

    "Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls: Revealing the Jewish Roots of Christianity" by John Bergsma. Image Books (New York, 2019). 257 pp., $25. One of the last acts of the Jewish community that once inhabited Qumran on the Dead Sea's northwest shore may have been the hiding of its treasured "holy scrolls" in nearby caves upon seeing Roman legions "approaching in the distance." This happened around the time in 70 C.E. when Rome also destroyed Jerusalem and its temple.

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  • Marriage handbook offers good advice for engaged or married couples

    "Habits for a Healthy Marriage: A Handbook for Catholic Couples" by Richard P. Fitzgibbons, M.D. Ignatius Press (San Francisco, 2019). 280 pp, $17.95. It is commonly understood that approximately half of marriages in the United States end in divorce. The rate of divorce is higher for second and third marriages. Thus, it is understandable why the Catholic Church has made it a priority to prepare couples for healthy, permanent marriages through thorough, well-developed diocesan programs.

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  • Author's ideas on meeting God offer welcome antidote to isolation

    "Heartstorming: Creating a Place God Can Call Home" by Robert J. Wicks. Paulist Press (Mahwah, New Jersey, 2020). 158 pp., $21.95. In these unsettling days, the prospect of talking with a gentle, listening friend about our relationship with God may sound appealing indeed. That's what Robert Wicks, author, speaker and psychologist, provides here for the reader. His introduction sets the tone: "Come Sit By Me: An Invitation to Prayerfully Experience Living with More Meaning, Inner Peace and Joy."

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  • Scholarly look at clerical sex abuse crisis still an accessible read

    "Clerical Sexual Misconduct: An Interdisciplinary Analysis," edited by Jane F. Adolphe and Ronald J. Rychlak. Cluny Media (Providence, Rhode Island, 2020). 480 pp., $29.95. Two years ago, the world learned former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick faced credible accusations of sexually abusing underage boys.

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  • New books for summer reading focus on Jesus, forgiveness, saints

    The following books are suitable for summer reading: "The Big Book of Christians Around the World" by Sophie de Mullenheim. Ignatius Press (San Francisco, 2020). 85 pp., $16.99. Has your summer vacation been canceled thanks to the COVID-19 virus? No problem, leave the luggage unpacked and take an epic family trip to 25 different countries with "The Big Book of Christians Around the World." Full of interesting facts, illustrations and photography, this hardback will pique children's curiosity about culture, geography, politics and religion. Time to set up a virtual trivia game and impress the grandparents. Ages 9-12.

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  • History of American Catholicism will set standard for years to come

    "American Catholics: A History" by Leslie Woodcock Tentler. Yale University Press (New Haven, Connecticut, 2020). 416 pp., $30. This sweeping history starts with the first Spanish missionary settlements in what later became the United States, and continues to the present, a journey of nearly 500 years.

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