MY COUSIN THE SAINT
A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles
by Justin Calanoso

Posts Tagged ‘Saints’

Book review

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Gavin Ferriby, director of the Sacred Heart University Ryan-Matura Library in Fairfield, Conn., reviews My Cousin the Saint this week in great depth and detail. Here’s an excerpt:

“This is a engaging account of life, death, and faith in an Italian-American family — the latter portions on canonization are unavoidably less emotionally engaging than the author’s account of Padre Gaetano, or the illness and death of the author’s brother Alan. Catanoso nevertheless gives an authentic account of how being Catholic has changed for him, and those things that continue to hold him to the church, and those things that make him want to run from it.  Written in a decidedly lay, non-theological voice, the journalist Catanoso covers his story with graceful prose and a sure eye for telling detail.”

Just-in Time for Christmas

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Just a reminder that My Cousin the Saint — in hard cover, paperback or e-book — makes a great gift for Christmas. It’s a timeless story about faith, family, and miracles. And much of the story is set in Italy! The prices in any format are really inexpensive these days. So order early and often!

Glowing review from St. Petersburg, Florida

Monday, November 15th, 2010

“At a time when I should be spending my time reading documentation in advance of next week’s annual meeting of the bishops of the United States, I found myself totally engrossed in a book, which I highly recommend to anyone. Titled My Cousin the Saint (Harper Collins, 2008), this masterful account was written by Justin Catanoso…”

So begins the Nov. 14, 2010 blog entry by Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Fla. My book was brought to the bishop’s attention by an old friend from my boyhood days in Wildwood, NJ who now lives in St. Pete. The rest of the kind and gracious review is here.

“Just let me say that I have seldom been as captivated by a personal story as I was by this one, finding it hard to put my iPad on ‘off,’” Bishop Lynch writes.

Coming soon to Fairfield, CT

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT has put up a nice web site to promote my talk there on November 3. Very much looking forward to it.

Seize the day

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Now that My Cousin the Saint has been out a couple of years, calls for media interviews stopped about a year ago. But I had a delightful one this morning on Sirius XM Satellite Radio with Gus Lloyd, who hosts the drive-time program Seize the Day on the Catholic Radio Network.

Gus was prepared with excellent questions and lots of enthusiasm. It was a pleasure to talk with him and whomever was listening earlier today. Thanks Gus, and thanks to Emily, your producer, too.

Piero Catanoso, 1941-2006

Friday, June 25th, 2010

So many things about this time of year that remind me of the amazing and memorable month I spent in Italy exactly four years ago in doing research for my book. This day particular day, June 25, was both joyful and tragic. My day started with my cousin Giovanna, who drove me the 25 miles from Reggio Calabria to the hillside village of Pentidattilo, where Padre Gaetano had his first church and parish. We spent a few hours that morning wandering through the abandoned village. It was spectacular. On the drive home, however, I learned that Piero Catanso, the family patriarch and  legend of the legal community in Reggio, had died suddenly that morning of a heart attach at age 65. Late that afternoon, my interpreter, Germaine, took to me Piero’s niece’s apartment, where the viewing took place just a few hours after Piero had died at the hospital.

My emotions that day were so conflicted and confused. I wondered if in doing the research for my book if I had actually encountered more than I was prepared to handle, whether I really was a part of this Italian family, whether it was necessary for me to return home to America a week early and put this entire book project on hold. But while my spiritual faith was always up for grabs, my faith in my Italian relatives held strong. The week I spent in Reggio after Piero’s death gave me incomparable insight into what it means to be a Catanoso in Italy, what it means to be part of such a large and loving family, and not incidentally, what it means to be related to a saint. A real saint, as in St. Gaetano Catanoso. I will always be profoundly grateful for that.

I know Piero’s wonderful wife Adriana and his grown children, Claudia, Allesandra and Natale, miss him as much today as they did the day he died four years ago today. The fact is, I miss him, too. And all of them as well.

A saint from Brooklyn?

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Today’s New York Times:

Brooklyn, the borough of churches and trees, Walt Whitman and Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand and Mike Tyson, has never lacked for people of distinction — except perhaps in one category.

Nobody from Brooklyn has ever been made a saint.

But at a special church service on Thursday night, Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn opened what is known as a “canonical inquiry” into the cause of sainthood for a Brooklyn priest, Msgr. Bernard J. Quinn.

April 4, 1963

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Today is Easter, of course. It is also the anniversary of the death of Padre Gaetano Catanoso. He was 84 on this day in 1963, when he died in his own bed in Santo Spirito in Reggio Calabria. Some hours before his death, Monsignor Sorrentino of Reggio visited his mentor and spoke with him about Saint Francis of Paola, the last saint named from Calabria (in the early 1500s). The mother general of Padre Gaetano’s order of nuns mentioned to the monsignor that Calabria was in needs of new saints. Thus, the idea was lodged. Sorrentino launched the cause for canonization in 1980 under Pope John Paul II. The canonization, led by Pope Benedict XVI, took place Oct. 23, 2005.

February 14, 1879

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

St. Valentine’s Day, yes. But also the birthday of a saint far more appealing to me — Gaetano Catanoso.

Happy birthday, cuz.

NC Bookwatch — encore performance

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

On Sunday, Jan. 24, at 5 p.m., my interview with NC Bookwatch host D.G. Martin will be rebroadcasted on UNC-TV. The 30-minute interview with me about my book originally aired last July. Tune in!