Book Review & Giveaway: Reclaiming our Roman Catholic Birthright (Kwasniewski) [+WINNERS]

UPDATE: Book giveaway is now closed, with congratulations to Cassandra and Ted, our winners!

Here at WOR, we’ve long been about the work of finding the best one-stop, “hand-off” resources for those wondering about and finding their way into the glories of Catholic Tradition in all its rigor and vigor.

We’re pleased to share a list-topping gem with our readers this week!

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski has hit a deep line drive with his latest, Reclaiming Our Roman Catholic Birthright: The Genius and Timeliness of the Traditional Latin Mass (Angelico Press, 2020), and we are loading this up as our newest top pick on the resource site.

As ever, scholastic clarity meets engaging prose in this tour de force from a man who loves his subject matter. A wide range of issues are addressed in these pages, all intimately connected to the central theme of Catholic worship – and it could scarcely be a more timely treatment.

PROS:

  • Highly readable. Engaging prose, with brief standalone chapters that range from letter form to top ten lists, walk-through topical examinations to riposte articles.
  • Wide target audience. For those who’ve only just heard of the Latin Mass and “traditional Catholicism” to those well versed and looking to explore further, this book cuts ice six ways from Sunday.
  • Wide topical range. In addition to the centrality of the Roman Mass, readers are shown connections to several other topics intimately connected to it (source and the summit, after all): the crisis in the Church, the pro-life cause, Catholic parenting, Vatican II, and more.
  • Helpful extras. True to form, Kwasniewski gives a mini-mountain of digestible footnotes and bibliographic references for those who want to dig deeper. No skimping on scholarship here. Plus a handy Glossary for those very new to the ballgame.
  • Charitable in truth. If there’s one thing Kwasniewski’s writing has never featured, it’s the kind of crass and inflammatory style that can at times characterize the (understandably) impassioned Catholic blogosphere. His latest is no exception: it’s gentle and clear, kind and instructive – a style goes a long way for those who are fresh to the fray, yet pulls no punches on the core message or supporting arguments.

CONS:

  • Popular audience. In addressing this most sacred of subjects, some readers will prefer treatments that never “descend to popular diction,” which is something Kwasniewski does on occasion in these pages (rather proficiently, we might add – a feat nigh miraculous for a scholar). We regard this as one of the book’s strong suits, but some will think otherwise, so it is worth mentioning here.
  • Treads lightly on the Novus Ordo. Some will be disappointed that Kwasniewski doesn’t run screaming “the Novus Ordo is inherently evil!” anywhere in this book. Instead, readers will meet a masterful illustration of the “genius and timeliness” of the TLM (alongside a calm and erudite demonstration of the inescapable poverty of the NO) that cannot help but raise the question for readers: “Should we (dare we?) give anything less than the highest and best to God, to ourselves, our congregations, or our children?”

All things considered, Reclaiming rings bright and clear as an apologia for and exploration of the TLM and all the joys of “thick Catholicism” that flow from it. We’ve been after “that one right book” for years now – the one to give to priests, family, friends and neighbors on the subject, whatever their openness or background – and were very pleased reading Reclaiming. It’s more than serviceable as an intro, plenty clear enough for a full “red pill,” and with enough apparatus to enlighten even Vetus Ordo Veterans. One would be hard pressed to miss the mark in handing this off to anyone!

Now, if only someone could arrange a book-blanket operation such that we end up seeing at least half as many copies of Reclaiming as we do Matthew Kelly titles scattered all over the country… golly, we might just see a massive return to the Faith of our Fathers. Bravo!

Whispers of Restoration Rating: 5/5 


Free Book Giveaway

Win a free copy of Kwasniewski’s Reclaiming Our Roman Catholic Birthright by entering the giveaway here.

We also have an extra copy of Kwasniewski’s Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness (a text we’ve often recommended hitherto), so the second draw will win that one.

Bravo the restoration!

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