It’s that time of year again! Whether you’re decking the halls or shopping the malls, the panic to buy your loved ones a memorable gift this Christmas is in full swing.
The pressure to buy a perfect gift is immense. Between novelty socks and miscellaneous mugs, it can seem like an impersonal process as well. But gifting a book shows you care in a million ways! A book isn’t just a gift for Christmas, it’s a gift for life, and the right one can bring joy whether you’re giving or receiving it.
With so many titles to choose from, it can seem daunting but that is why we have compiled a list of our top 12 books. And remember, you can gift one yourself as well!
Fr Bryan Shortall
As a Capuchin priest born and brought up in Dublin, Fr Bryan has seen it all. From working at the Capuchin Day Centre with Br Kevin and helping the homeless and hungry, to carrying out his priestly duties in inner-city parishes, Fr Bryan has always strived to maintain a positive outlook and this season is no different. Sending Positive Vibes is sure to put a smile on any reader’s face, and a gift like this clearly indicates they are always in your thoughts and prayers.
Fr Pat Collins CM
Fr Pat Collins is a renowned exorcist who guides the reader on how we can free ourselves from the debilitating influences that may take a stronghold on our lives — from fear and addiction, to oppressive evil spirits. Written from a personal viewpoint of dealing with his own fears and anxieties, Fr Collins offers practical advice on how to overcome afflictions so common in today’s world. Gift this book as an offer of support to those in your life who may feel they have no one to turn to for help.
Mark Patrick Hederman
Benedictine Monk Mark Patrick Hederman of the famed Glenstal Abbey sets out to explain how to bring a new sense of the sacred into one’s life with this book. He explores what lies between science and religion, and argues that they are not polar opposites as is widely claimed. In this fascinating read, he explains that not only are most of us religious, but that we cannot help but to be religious; being human is to be “religious” — otherwise we would die of despair. Gift this to someone who is intellectual and wishes to delve deeper into the mysteries of life.
Photographs by Valerie O’Sullivan
A collection of stunning images from an award-winning photographer allow us to glimpse into the daily life of the Benedictine monks based in Glenstal Abbey, County Limerick. From bookbinders and beekeepers, to artists and gardeners, the monks of Glenstal share their fascinating stories with us. O’Sullivan trained her lens on Glenstal Abbey and its residents for over a year, and in the process gives us a rare insight into a fascinating way of life. From the silence and prayer of the guesthouses and retreats, to the beauty of the woods, gardens and farm, this book captures the monastic culture in all its richness. A worthy gift for someone who appreciates beauty and culture.
Fr Ray Kelly
In his debut book, Fr Ray Kelly — affectionately known around the world as ‘the singing priest’ — recounts the emotional and telling journey of his experiences while competing on Britain’s Got Talent, all the while managing the daily duties of his vocation as a diocesan priest in Co. Meath. An uplifting read, his memoirs take us on a journey that follows his rise from humble beginnings in a loving family, to a life of priesthood and prayer, and finally to international fame and success. The perfect gift for a fan of Fr Kelly’s singing!
Inspired by writings of Pope Francis, this book offers exciting revelations about God and Creation. Be prepared to fall in love with your faith again — read this book as you would a love letter from God. It offers a call to stretch your thoughts, emotions and imagination in many ways; there will be ideas about the world, God, and yourself that may both trouble and delight your spirit. A read that is sure to transform your life, it would make a perfect gift for yourself!
Sr Stanislaus Kennedy
A beautiful collection of meditations using poems, reflections, and photographs, Sr Stan and Síle Wall draw from their experience of working together. They founded the Sanctuary in Dublin where thousands of people journey every year seeking opportunities to meditate as well as to become more present, attentive, aware, and mindful. The images used in the book are all photographs taken by people connected to the Sanctuary, going about their ordinary daily activities, and — in a moment in time — experiencing an awakening of their senses. Sr Stan and Síle Wal invoke feelings toward common sights to show readers that if they pay attention to the world around them, they can discover the sacred in the ordinary and mundane. A touching gift for a loved one is who is most attuned to their inner self and wish to travel on a path of reflection and insight.
Bishop Abernathy of the Diocese of Connor in Northern Ireland examines how his years of leadership in the Church of Ireland caused him to lose sight of the original awe that called him to his faith. In this very personal book, he looks at the idea of God without the institutions, hierarchy and bureaucracy, instead refocusing on the figure of Jesus at the heart of the Bible. Through his struggle with mental health and his diagnosis with cancer, he came to find the message of Jesus in the difficult, dark and chaotic parts of life. A thoughtful gift for a loved one who may need a hand to climb out of their despairs.
Cora Guinnane & Joanne O’Brien
A though-provoking read, Where I Find God brings together many of Ireland’s finest thinkers and asks them where they have found, and continue to find, the Divine in their lives. These encounters can be provoked by both positive circumstances – in the midst of great beauty, or through human relationships – as well as through the pain and suffering which we all inevitably face at some point in our lives. Their reflections are accompanied by photographs that both complement and enhance the inspirational prose. With contributions from former President Mary McAleese, homelessness campaigner Fr Peter McVerry. RTÉ Radio’s Joe Duffy amongst others, it’s a book that asks the reader to pause and reflect on their own unique spiritual experiences.
John Callanan SJ
How can we pray with faith in God’s goodness about hopes unfulfilled, about disappointments that threaten to crush individuals struggling, maybe, with failure and disillusionment? Using the wisdom of Anthony de Mello, one of the finest spiritual teachers of modern times, Fr John Callanan, an Irish Jesuit, outlines how to deal with these darker moments. A wonderful gift for someone struggling with hope and fear which can come into our lives from the stresses and strains of our life today.
Anne Marie Mongoven, O.P.
Go beyond the traditional understanding of the Holy Trinity with this new exploration from Sr Anne Marie Mongoven on the relationship between humankind and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The book delves into the mysteries of the Trinity through investigation of dynamic literary images and reveals what the love between the Holy Trinity can teach us about loving each other and ourselves. She wrote her final book in the hope the reader would ‘love more fully, love God, love your neighbour, love yourself, love the universe and everything in it’. This pastorally sensitive book succeeds in realising her hope.
Photographs by Valerie O’Sullivan
Between the wild ruggedness of Connemara woodland and the power and intensity of the Atlantic Ocean in the West of Ireland, lies the enchanting Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden. Owned and run by the Benedictine community who have been in residence here since 1920, Kylemore Abbey is one of Ireland’s best loved and most iconic visitor attractions. The Benedictine nuns are renowned for their delicious home-baking and wholesome food in the Abbey restaurant and tea rooms. As well as offering a range of Kylemore’s unique recipes, this book gives an exclusive insight into one of Ireland’s most intriguing estates, beautifully documented by award-winning photographer Valerie O’Sullivan.
Please note: All prices listed above are excluding postage. We have e-book versions available as well. Please check the e-book section in the bookshop.