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Mystery book mentioned in Messenger catalogue

The Autumn 2018 catalogue of Messenger Publications draws attention to its new highlights, including two beautifully illustrated books, one on Gerard Manley Hopkins and the other on “prayerful Ireland”. But the introductory letter from the Publisher, Cecilia West, also makes mention of a third new publication – a book “so secret we can’t put it in our catalogue”.

“We can tell you,” Ms West continues, “that it has been especially commissioned by Pope Francis, who has written some of the material.” An announcement and “surrounding publicity” will appear in early November, she promises. “You will want this book!”

Prominent among the books that can indeed be mentioned is Bright wings, dappled things, a selection of poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ, illustrated with photographs by renowned Irish Jesuit photographer Frank Browne. Introductory notes are by Sr Jo O’Donovan RSM. Sr Jo takes the reader through the story of Hopkins’ intellectual development and explains the theological, and philosophical underpinning of his poetry. 

Helena Connolly’s Prayerful Ireland shows, through vibrant photographs, the many pilgrim places and paths which crisscross Ireland. “There is beauty and mystery within these landscapes,” the catalogue remarks, “which the early monks celebrated wonderfully in their poetry, and which drew them to God and to prayer.”

For those who like to follow the instructions of Sacred Space offline, the catalogue includes both an Advent & Christmas 2018 volume and the much larger Sacred Space Prayerbook for 2019.

Recent bestsellers are included too, of course. Uppermost of these is a book which garnered much attention in the press around the Pope’s recent visit to Ireland, Gerry O’Hanlon SJ’s The quiet revolution of Pope Francis, which examines Pope Francis’s efforts to bring about a more synodal form of church life and how this might help to revitalise the Catholic Church in Ireland.

For more details about the books in the current catalogue of Messenger Publications, see their website.