Summer Reading

by Fr. David Halm, C.S.C.  |  06/09/2024  |  Pastor's Letter

I read somewhere that the “school summer reading list” goes back to the 1890’s, probably as a way to keep kids reading and intellectually stimulated over the summer-break. For those of a certain age you may remember Pizza Hut’s “BOOK IT!” program that earned you pizza for having read a certain number of books. I, for one, am confident that the only reason I read Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities is because of that delicious incentive…

Summer here in Arizona is different from other regions of the USA because of the extreme heat and how limited we are for outdoor activities from June through August. So, perhaps we’re in an almost ideal place for summer reading! Whatever our ages we can benefit from delving into literary and poetic worlds, particularly drawing from the many and beautiful works of Catholic writers. So many brilliant minds - and creative! - have written novels, poetry, prose and plays that explore God, the spiritual and religious, earthly lives of the saints and God’s Providence in our human relationships. Perhaps you’ve had some of these on your “must-read” lists and never found the time. Why not make a commitment to tackle one or more of these this summer?

Since a few of our parishioners have asked for recommendations on this, I thought I’d recommend a few for your consideration:

Fr. David’s Summer Reading List


Illustrasted Book of Saints

by: Rev. Thomas J. Donaghy


The Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien


Lord of the World                   

Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson

If anyone’s interested, I’ll be hosting a couple nights of sharing together about these books in late-August - a sort of “parish book club.” There’s no book reports, but I’ll make sure we still have pizza!...

A warm Arizona welcome to four young men who are in formation for the Congregation of Holy Cross to be priests or brothers. They are staying with Fr. Andrew, Fr. Brian and me in our rectories here at SJV and working at Andre House for the summer. They are really zealous and solid guys who have come here to listen to God’s will in their lives, meet the people who inhabit our corner of the Kingdom of God and, especially at Andre House, help with our Holy Cross ministry. They will be attending weekend Masses and various SJV events over the summer and we’ll have the chance to get to know Bro. Roctim Rozario, C.S.C., Mr. James Welch, Mr. Josh Shutter, and Mr. Paul Gates.

Summer camp is officially underway, as are many summer vacation trips. Everyone be safe, drink lots of water, apply (and re-apply) sunscreen, read the Bible and say the Rosary. We’re going to have a great summer and remember that the family that prays together stays together.

See you at Church,

Fr. David