Every day is a holiday in the Catholic Church. In their latest collaboration, Cardinal Wuerl and Mike Aquilina examine the history and traditions behind both favorite and forgotten holidays, from Christmas to Easter, from the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity to the Feast of the Holy Angels
Catholic faith is festive, and the Catholic faithful count their days by celebrating the mysteries of Jesus’ life. There is a message to be found in the passing of days, weeks, and seasons. Through the feasts, ordinary Christians learn the life of Christ, share it, and come to imitate it.
This book continues the work the authors began in their books The Mass and The Church, exploring the meaning and purpose of the most basic and beloved aspects of Catholic life. Each chapter uncovers the biblical origins and development of one of the great feasts or fasts — Advent, Epiphany, the Holy Angels, all the Marian feasts, and even this very day. The calendar can be a catechism for Catholics who know how to live it.
“The feasts form us,” write the authors, “They help to make us and remake us according to the pattern of the life of Jesus Christ. We number our days as we walk in his footsteps, from his birth to his baptism, from his passion to his resurrection, from his Ascension to his sending of the Spirit to make us saints. We do this faithfully every year, and it defines us as who we are.”
“Cardinal Wuerl and Aquilina show us the transformative spiritual power in the Church’s original and most ancient feasts. This is a book to be prayed with and meditated on. Because when we understand the meaning of the Church’s liturgical feasts, we know better the great dignity and destiny we have as children of God.”
- Most Reverend José Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles
Mike is author or editor of more than a dozen books on Catholic history, doctrine, and devotion. He is vice president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology based in Steubenville, Ohio.
Mike is co-host, with Scott Hahn, of “The Lamb’s Supper” (2001), “Hail, Holy Queen” (2002), “First Comes Love” (2003), “Lord, Have Mercy” (2004), and “Swear to God” (2005) — all airing on EWTN. He also appears regularly as a panelist on “The Weekly Roman Observer,” broadcast by Catholic Familyland Network.
Mike’s career in publishing spans two decades, and hundreds of his articles have appeared in many periodicals and journals in the United States and abroad.
Donald Cardinal Wuerl
Cardinal Donald Wuerl is the Archbishop of Washington and was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI.
He is known nationally for his catechetical and teaching ministry and for his efforts on behalf of Catholic education. He serves on numerous national and international bodies and is chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, chancellor of The Catholic University of America, chairman of the board of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Foundation and also of The Papal Foundation. He is chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine and a member of the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including the best-selling catechisms, The Teaching of Christ and The Catholic Way. His most recent book, The Mass, was published in January 2011.
In April 2008 Cardinal Wuerl hosted in Washington Pope Benedict XVI on the Holy Father’s historic journey to the United States. The Cardinal is also active in community activities, joining with civic and business leaders to promote education, service to the poor, pastoral assistance to refugees and immigrants as well as interfaith understanding.
The Cardinal was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received graduate degrees from The Catholic University of America, the Gregorian University while attending the North American College, and a doctorate in theology from the University of Saint Thomas in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 17, 1966, and ordained a bishop by Pope John Paul II on January 6, 1986 in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome. He served as Auxiliary Bishop in Seattle until 1987 and then as Bishop of Pittsburgh for 18 years until his appointment to Washington. His titular (cardinalatial) church in Rome is Saint Peter in Chains (San Pietro in Vincoli).
Cardinal Wuerl and Aquilina show us the transformative spiritual power in the Church’s original and most ancient feasts. This is a book to be prayed with and meditated on. Because when we understand the meaning of the Church’s liturgical feasts, we know better than great dignity and destiny we have as children of God.
- Most Reverend José Gomez, Archbishop
In this highly approachable volume, co-authors Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina have combined sound research with pastoral sensitivity to take readers on a journey of discovery and inspiration through the Church’s liturgical year. Beginning with the fundamental question of why the Church has always celebrated the Eucharist on Sundays, all the way to the origins of feasts of more recent vintage, such as Divine Mercy Sunday, this fine work reminds us that the feasts and seasons we celebrate are not just arbitrary events. Rather, we discover how the Church year is the Church’s time-honored way of inviting present-day Christians to learn about, be challenged by, and find hope for the future through the unfolding of the Paschal Mystery in time and the witness of all the saints, upon whom 'we rely for unfailing help' (Quotation taken from Eucharistic Prayer III).
- Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville & President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
This gracefully written book will serve not only as splendid explanation of the church’s feasts and solemnities but also as an illuminating introduction to the faith itself. Mike Aquilina and Cardinal Wuerl have once again shown their prowess as champions of the new evangelization.
- Robert Barron, author of Catholicism
We have to weigh every opportunity and know the times, says the early martyr St. Ignatius of Antioch. He encouraged the Christian communities to meet more regularly for the Eucharist. The book, The Feasts: How the Church Year Forms Us as Catholics, is a thorough and very readable guide through the Church's Feast Days, beginning with Sunday, the Lord's Day! The book invites us to be formed in a genuine Catholic identity and ethos through these beautiful and significant celebrations of our Liturgical Calendar. Cardinal Wuerl and Mike Aquilina help us to weigh every opportunity for witness to Jesus. The authors show us how the Feast Days become a connatural way to learn the Faith so that we will be intelligent and credible witnesses for the Faith.
- Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Catholics are a people of celebration. More than anything else - we celebrate! The Feasts is a fabulous book that will teach you the what, when, where, how, and why of the celebrations that are at the center of our incredible faith. The genius of Catholicism is all around, but often it goes unnoticed. The Church year is full of celebrations - feasts - and they seek to remind us of what matters most. Enjoy this book. It will help you to celebrate in new and profound ways.
- Matthew Kelly - Founder of DynamicCatholic.com and author of Rediscover Catholicism
This book delighted my heart! In a style that is simple and gracious, Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina have brought the extraordinary from the ordinary in The Feasts. They bring through the ordinary things of time, calendars, and feast days the timeless things of God through the Incarnation of the Word into our needy world in Jesus Christ. They remind us of the stunning divine realities behind the human calendars and feast days we often take for granted. This sense of bringing the sacred throughout the secular is a most timely message for our world today.
- John Michael Talbot, author of Ancient Path