I hope everyone had a blessed and wonderful Easter! The celebrations for the Catholic church continue. As I’m sure most of you are aware, on Sunday, April 27th, two of the most influential popes of the last century, or indeed during modern times were canonized: St. Pope John XXIII and St. Pope John Paul II.

I’m sure in the upcoming months, books will pop up on the shelves about this historic event. Conservative estimates put the crowds descending on Rome at 3 million people. If you do not like crowds, this would be the time to go to Poland, although everything might be closed there. It was a joyous celebration, and definitely one that will be talked about.

Although we cannot have any books on this event yet, the Salzmann Library definitely has plenty of books on the two individuals being canonized.

There are many, many books about, and by, Pope John Paul II, most of them excellent reads. George Weigel’s “Witness to Hope” is probably the best known, but he also did a follow-up book regarding Pope John Paul’s last years, “The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II: The victory of freedom, the last years, the legacy.” Peggy Noonan, among others, has also written biographies. Pope Benedict wrote, “John Paul II: My beloved predecessor.” Pope John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” is an excellent read for his and the church’s view on, well, the body. Christopher West has written excellent companion pieces including “The Theology of the Body for Beginners” as a way of introducing the reader to the topic and helping them get started. Any of Pope John Paul II’s encyclicals are excellent reads. There is much to choose from.

With Pope John XXIII, it is sometimes hard to distinguish the literature between him and Vatican II, as they are so closely linked. However, his autobiographical “Journal of a Soul” is a must read if you want to learn more about the man behind Vatican II. A newer book by Greg Tobin, “The Good Pope: The making of a saint and the remaking of the Church: The story of John XXIII and Vatican II” is an excellent read. But as I said, even this book has Vatican II in the title. So if you are looking for books about Pope John XXIII, do not forget to look at the books delving into Vatican II, many of them will also have stories and information about the “Good Pope.”

Salzmann Library also has several DVD’s on both Popes John Paul II and Pope John XXIII, so we hope you come in and learn more about these wonderful, and saintly, men.

As always, if you have any ideas and comments for things I could change, please let me know. If you have any books that you have read or have read the books I mention, please leave a comment. We here at Salzmann also want to know what people are reading. Comments are always appreciated – anything I can do to make this better I will strive my best to accomplish.

Here is some basic information about the library:
Our standard hours are Tuesdays, Thursdays, 12 to 8 p.m.; Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Our address is 3257 S. Lake Drive, St. Francis, WI 53235, right next to Henni Hall, due west of the South Parking Lot.
The library’s phone number is (414) 747-6479. If you would like to contact me through email, it is mschrauth@sfs.edu.
There is free Wi-Fi available.
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