Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande (Doubleday, hard cover, 304 pages, $20).
We don’t die the way we used to. At the turn of the 20th century, the primary causes of death in the United States were pneumonia, influenza and tuberculosis. Today, heart disease and cancer are by far the major causes of death. In 2010, pneumonia and influenza combined accounted for a slightly higher number of deaths than suicide, but less than Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Tuberculosis was virtually eradicated in the United States by the 1950s.
SASKATOON - Many factors contribute to a positive healing experience at a hospital, including medical expertise and respectful and compassionate care by physicians, health care personnel, staff and volunteers. But for patients at St. Paul’s Hospital, where core values include holistic care, the process of healing the body, mind and spirit is enhanced through art.
Richard John Neuhaus: A Life in the Public Square, by Randy Boyagoda (Image, hardcover, 480 pages, $35).
Fr. Richard John Neuhaus’ life was a broad sweep in many ways. Born into a Lutheran family in the rural Ottawa Valley, he ended up living in densely populated lower Manhattan.
David A. R. White and Michael Scott fell in love with movies at Church. Both grew up as pastor’s kids (or PKs as Scott likes to call it) and had regular movie nights at their respective churches, enjoyable nights that brought the whole community together.
“Bless you for playing Jesus, peace be upon him.”
All presidents beseech God to bless the United States of America. Many pray for divine aid for themselves or their policies. Some can only wonder at the inscrutable ways of the Almighty.
Then there’s Frank Underwood, who spits in God’s face.
VATICAN CITY - Having so much world-famous art housed in Rome's churches and chapels has risked turning the city's sacred spaces into sightseer circuses. A hushed prayerful atmosphere for the faithful is often broken by clicking cameras and tourists exchanging guidebook details.
NEW YORK - Forget the Avengers. The coolest Marvel-related character this year is Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, better known to the world as St. John XXIII.
The Unquiet Monk, Thomas Merton’s Questing Faith, by Michael Higgins (Novalis, 126 pages, $14.95).
Heroes matter. Which is not to say that our heroes define us. Superman has many admirers, but few who fly or fight crime. Despite the ways each of us falls short, every hero we admit into our personal halls of fame, whether starting pitcher or saint, gives us an opportunity to aspire as well as admire.