Sunday 17 November 2019

Catholic Hipster The Next Level - Tommy Tighe - How Some Awesomely Obscure Stuff Helps Us Live Our Faith with Passion

Catholic Hipster The Next Level
How to Catholic Family: Nurturing Faith in the Messiness of Everyday Life
Tommy Tighe
Ave Maria Press
eISBN 9781594719202

This book was not exactly what I was expecting. And that was a surprise, because I began my review of, The Catholic Hipster Handbook the exact same way.  I really enjoyed volume one. And did not expect a follow-up. And according to the author neither was he. And yet he has delivered another great read.  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 13 contributors when you included Tommy. Sort of a modern-day group of apostles plus a Paul. But there are 39 articles in the volume compared to 27 books in the new testament. Some contributed as few as 2 pieces and Tommy contributed 6.

The contributors are:

Fr. Damian Ference
Haley Stewart
Holly Vaughan
Jackie Francois Angel
Julie Lai
Kaitlyn Facista
Katie Prejean McGrady
Matthew Sewell
Patrick Neve
Samantha Povlock
Sr. Brittany Harrison, F.M.A.
Theresa Zoe Williams
Tommy Tighe

And only one of the contributors other than Tommy repeat from the first volume.

And the sections in this book are:

Part 1: Living with Faith
Part 2: Living with Hope
Part 3: Living with Love
About the Contributors

Each chapter follows the same format, the main article, cool saint, forgotten prayer, and a Living the Faith activity. When I started reading book 1 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. This time I knew going in it was written from a place of deep faith, deep devotion, and desire to grow in living that faith. 

I found I really enjoyed the book, even more so than volume 1. I take the authors and the articles at face value. I give it a solid 4/5 stars. With book one I waffled between 3 and 4 stars. This time I wavered between 4 and 5, and finally settled on a solid 4, and would give it 4.5 if it was possible. I read fairly widely, and I read a lot, but again with this volume I was unfamiliar with most of the contributors prior to reading this book. In fact, other than Tommy and Sr. Brittany Harrison from volume 1 I only knew one of the other contributors. Like the last time 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.

I really appreciate that this book is called the next level and not just Volume 2. For that is my feel. This book goes further up and deeper into living the faith. 

The articles in the order they appear are:

Honor the Sabbath: Learning to Pause the Noise in Our Lives to Hear God
Healing the Sick and Raising the Dead: Just Your Average Catholic Hipster
Jesus, I Trust in You (Easier Said than Done)
Observing Ember Days
First Mass, Last Mass, Only Mass
Third Orders: Extreme Hipster Catholicism
There’s More than One Way to Pray a Rosary
The Song of Songs: The Mass in the Old Testament
J. R. R. Tolkien: Catholic Hipster
Guitars and Organs
Deck the Halls with Weird Old Testament Ornaments, Fa La La La La, La La La La
Lectio Divina: The Art of Sacred Reading
Fasting: Not Just for Diets
They Don’t Call Us a Universal Church for Nothing!
Bringing Catholic Twitter into the Real World
Punk Rock Catholicism (aka Tattoos)
Becoming Inklings
Human Formation for Every Catholic
I’ve Got That Grief, Grief, Grief, Grief Down in My Heart
Catholic Feminism (aka Things Popes Said That No One Talks About)
The Early Church Was the Catholic Church
You Must Wait Three Days to See the Pope
Chalk on the Door: House Blessings
Social Justice in Every Sip
Getting into the Spirit of Michaelmas
Servant Royalty
Hipster Mom: Working Catholic Mom of Nine
The Art of Accompaniment: Journeying with Others in Faith
The Catholic Worker Ethic
I’m Not a Regular Catholic; I’m a Cool (and Prideful) Catholic
The Catholic Idea That’s Key to Gender Equality
How to Make a Flannery O’Connor Pilgrimage
Catholic Bees
NFP, Yeah You Know Me
Co-Creating with God
Making All Things New
St. Andrew, an Apostle before It Was Cool
Attraction: Hormones Meet Theology
Heroic Friendship 

This is an excellent read. But be warned, if you read it you will be challenged and changed. I doubt many could read this book and not be impacted by several if not many of the articles. And I will likely circle back and reread it in a few years, at a different point in my life and benefit from it in a different way. 

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, but I must state again it will challenge you. So give it a read and take your hipster-ness to the next level.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

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

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