Thursday 21 June 2018

Edmund Arrowsmith - Father John S. Hogan - CTS Saints of the Isles Series

Edmund Arrowsmith
CTS Saints of the Isles Series
Fr. John S. Hogan
Catholic Truth Society

ISBN 9781784691219
eISBN 9781784694722

In the last month I have read 10 books and booklets from The Catholic truth Society, and this was the fourth one by father John S. Hogan. It is interesting, as a Canadian, with mixed Irish and Scottish ancestry, I have been raised with a certain animosity towards the British. And this booklet is one of the first biographies I have read about a British Saint. I encountered the Catholic Truth Society's current offerings while looking for books about Irish Saints by Irish author Alice Curtayne that were written between the 1930's and 1980's. This book really opened my eyes about how Catholics in Britain were treated, and in some ways it appears to be just as bad if not worse than in Ireland.

Being completely honest I must state that I had never heard the name Edmund Arrowsmith before researching books by John S. Hogan when I wrote my first review of one of his books. And other than a brief chapter in a Church History Course in University have not read much about the Catholic suppression in England and Wales. This book was an eye opener. And Will likely lead to me reading much more about Catholic history especially in England and Wales. The chapters in this book are:

Early Years 

The introduction begins with this passage:
"The children stand shivering in the cold. It was well into the night when they were awoken by the banging on the door. Thrown out of bed, now they huddle together disorientated, tied two by two; they watch as their home is ransacked. The priest-hunters tear through the house; swords are applied to every nook and corner, cupboards cleared, walls pounded to see if priest holes have been constructed in the fabric of the building. As usual, they find nothing. No doubt later, as they are cleaning up, certain items will be missing; perhaps they appealed to the searchers and were secreted away or just 'confiscated'. Leaving as suddenly as they came, they take mother and father with them: the children are left standing outside dressed only in their nightclothes. It was not the first time, nor, probably, the last. The eldest, Brian, takes charge of his siblings and leads them to a neighbour's house where he knows they will find refuge, warmth, and a little comfort after the ordeal. Their parents will be back in the morning after they have paid the fine to regain their liberty, and the priest-hunters' wages - they have to be compensated for their night's work and it is the victims who have to pay them. Life will resume its normal course, until another knock is heard in the middle of the night."

I was hooked from these first words. This story is powerful, as are most stories about martyr's. But Reading about a family, about generations that were devoted to the Catholic faith, no matter the person cost is incredibly encouraging. Especially in this day and age, where anger and actions against Catholics and Christians is one of the few politically correct opinions. To read about Edmund's courage, faith, and passion for his mission as a Catholic, as a priest, and as a Jesuit is very inspiring. It is a book that will challenge readers to ask what they are doing for the gospel.  

This book is an excellent read! I only have one disappointment with reading this book, I believe I have read all books currently published by father Hogan and will need to wait for more to be published or to reread this and the other three. This is a great book and I look forward to reading more by Father Hogan (Hopefully), in the CTS Saints of the Isles Series, and other books from CTS. I give this book my highest recommendation. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan
For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.  

Books in the Living Fruitfully Series:
Self-Control - Fr John S. Hogan
Chastity - Fr John McKeever
Joy - Mgr Paul Grogan
Generosity - Fr John S. Hogan
Patience - Christopher Mc Camley

Other Books by John S. Hogan:
Edmund Arrowsmith (Saints of the Isles)
A Book of Martyrs: Devotions to the Martyrs of England, Scotland and Wales

Devotions to St Thomas Becket

Author profile and interview with father John S. Hogan

Saints of the Isles Series:
Edmund Arrowsmith - John S. Hogan 
Margaret Clitherow - Jean Olwen Maynard
Edmund Campion - Alexander Haydon
John Southworth Priest and Martyr - Michael Archer
Saint Thomas More - Alvaro de Silva
John Ogilvie - Eleanor McDowell
Frances Taylor - Eithne Leonard
Mary Potter - Elizabeth Gilroy
John Fisher - Richard L. Smith
Robert Southwell - Fiorella Sultana De Maria
Ignatius Spencer - Fr. Ben Lodge
Sr Elizabeth Prout - Dominic Savio Hamer 
Forty Martyrs of England and Wales - James Walsh
Thomas Becket - J.B. Midgley

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