Wednesday 17 October 2018

The Catholic Hipster Handbook - Tommy Tighe - Rediscovering Cool Saints, Forgotten Prayers, and Other Weird but Sacred Stuff

The Catholic Hipster Handbook:
Rediscovering Cool Saints, Forgotten Prayers, and Other Weird but Sacred Stuff
Tommy Tighe
Ave Maria Press
ISBN 9781594717079
eISBN 9781594717086

This book was not exactly what I was expecting. I had seen it mentioned by so many people that I was certain it would be something I would like and purchased it without realizing that it is an anthology with 12 contributors when you included Tommy. Sort of a modern-day group of apostles.

The contributors are:
Leticia Ochoa Adams
Sr. Brittany Harrison
Lisa M. Hendey
Steven Lewis
Anna Mitchell
Mary Rezac
Fr. Kyle Schnippel
Arleen Spenceley
Katherine Morna Towne
Sarah Vabulas
Tiffany Walsh

And the sections in this book are:

Foreword by Jeannie Gaffigan
Part One: Rediscover the Attitude
Part Two: Rediscover the Stuff
Part Three: Rediscover the Life
Part Four: Rediscover the Attraction
About the Contributors

Each chapter follows the same format, the main article, cool saint, forgotten prayer, and activity. When I first started reading this book I could not tell if it was satire, sarcastic, or real devotion. My wife often comments that sarcasm is lost on me so it took me a few chapters to figure it out. In the end I found I really enjoyed the book at took it at face value. I give it a solid 4/5 stars. And it took a few days to settle on that rating. I read fairly widely, and I read a lot, but I was unfamiliar with most of the contributors prior to reading this book. I have started following a few of the contributors on social media because of their contributions to this book.

I have known a few Catholic Hipsters, going back to a college and Careers group at Saint Mary's Cathedral in Kingston Ontario in the late 80's and early 90's. Hipsters before being a hipster was cool. What I loved most about this book was that it comments on several trends in the Catholic community today, some that are growing and others with longer standing. I really appreciated the section 'Forgotten Prayer' and also 'Cool Saint' the activity sections are good also.

This book comes across for the most part as a fun playful read. It pokes a little fun at certain traditions or practices but not in an irreverent manner. It has some interesting activities to try, either personally or in a group. It would be really intriguing to work through this book with a group of friends and find where it really connects with readers and where it misses the mark.

This is an easy read and very accessible. I would say it is even accessible for teens and tweens. So, could be a good study for a youth group. What I loved most were the prayers and saints presented. Overall a very refreshing read, particularly during this time of conflict within the church. So give it a read and figure out where you end up on the hipsters scale or tribes.

Books by Tommy Tighe:
The Catholic Hipster Handbook

Catholic Hipster: The Next Level
How to Catholic Family: Nurturing Faith in the Messiness of Everyday Life
#blessedmother: How to Follow, Share, and Defend Mary in the World of Social Media

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