Weekly Book Discussion Group


The weekly book discussion group has been meeting for more than 18 years, and generally reads 4 or 5 books a year. We meet weekly on Thursday at 7:15pm to discuss and debate current, timely books on contemporary Catholic topics. Dr. Tony Tambasco, a theologian and biblical scholar at Georgetown University, leads the discussions. All are welcome!

Tthe Holy Trinity Book Discussion Group is currently meeting virtually via Zoom on Thursdays from 7:15pm to 8:45pm.  For more information and Zoom particulars, please contact Bob Stewart grobertstewart1@mac.com

Click to see details of this years' book selections:
Books for Discussion 2022-23


Next Book for Discussion

We will start discussion of Damian Costello's Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism (Orbis Books) on January 12, 2023

Damian Costello, Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism (Orbis Books, 2005), 193 pp., $30 paperback.
Damian Costello has taken post-colonial studies to new and exciting heights with his book, Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism. Costello's work examines the life and thought of Black Elk situating this great American Indian figure within his complex cultural, religious, and historical context. Many previous studies on Black Elk see him simply as a paradigmatic American Indian religious leader. Unlike these one-sided studies, Costello takes a more nuanced look at Black Elk's life, employing a much broader view based on cutting edge historical and sociological research. Costello demonstrates that Catholicism was essential to Black Elk, permeating every aspect of his life. When scholars ignore or dismiss Black Elk's Catholicism, they are ignoring or dismissing what Black Elk considered to be most important in his life. Costello further shows how the Lakota people embraced Catholicism both as in continuity with their past traditions, as well as using their Catholic Christian faith as a means of resisting the colonial project of the United States. Costello provides a very detailed look into the life of Black Elk and the Lakota, as well as at the point where Christianity meets American Indian cultures. This book has far-reaching implications for understanding the role of Christianity in colonized regions of the world. Costello lucidly demonstrates how colonized peoples have appropriated Christianity, living their new-found Christian faith as a way of life, and thereby utilizing the tools with which Christianity has provided them to resist economically and politically driven colonial projects. In the case of the Lakota, Catholic missionaries played a complex role, at once a part of the colonial project, and at the same time peaceful combatants against colonial subjugation. By learning Lakota language and traditions as well as translating the Bible into Lakota, these missionaries imparted a powerful means of resisting colonial power to the Lakota. As the equivalent of a Catholic deacon, Black Elk the Catholic missionary exemplifies Costello's post-colonial thesis. Costello has shown how, contrary to previous wisdom, some of the colonized become complicit with colonial projects, and at the same time how some of the colonizers empower the colonized to resist colonial pressures. Costello has written a very important work. Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism is extremely well-written; it is entertaining, informative, and provocative. In a field where so much that is written is either banal or so prohibitively academic that non-specialists can find no benefit in reading the books, Costello's book is an oasis in a desert of dry texts. I highly recommend his work to anyone interested in U.S. history, colonialism, American Indian culture and spirituality, Catholicism (especially in the U.S.), post-colonial studies, and of course Black Elk. You will not be disappointed by Costello's work.
Tony taught Damian Costello in graduate studies at St. Michael’s College, Vermont.  Costello is now an expert on Catholic theology and indigenous spirituality.  Tony will be inviting the author to join us in a Zoom session.
The book is available via Amazon…CLICK HERE…could not find it available fromBarnes & Noble and Walmart. Here are some other book vendors to consider—click on links: 15 Online Bookstores—recommend you consider Thrift Books, #5 in the listing of 15 Online Bookstores.
The book is also available from the publisher, Orbis Books.

Past Book:

Thursday, October 13, we will begin discussing Frank J. Butler's Belonging: One Catholic’s Journey (Orbis Books, 2020), 208 pp., $25 paperback, $15.49 kindle.

Please read chapters 1-6 for the first discussion.

Book Vendors: You can find information about purchasing as well as a short review of the books at: AmazonBarnes & Noble, and and Walmart. You may also wish to consider these book vendors — click on links: 15 Online Bookstores—recommend you consider Thrift Books, #5 in the listing of 15 Online Bookstores.

Of course, you can also order the book from the publisher: Orbis Books

Frank Butler has been an eyewitness to ecclesiastical power struggles over church reform for several decades and became a trusted advisor to some of the largest Catholic foundations in the world. His deep faith, reformist instincts, and unique leadership experience provide an honest, critical, and still hope-filled look at his church today. Belonging leaves readers hopeful that connection to a faith community, despite the disillusioning failures of its leadership, can lead to a deepened sense of responsibility and purposeful action.

Frank Butler led an international consortium of private charities for more than three decades. Before that, he served on the senior policy staff of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In his early years, he was a committee staff member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Mr. Butler is a co-founder of SOAR, a foundation helping retired nuns and priests, a board member of the National Catholic Reporter, and has served as an advisor for many national and international charitable organizations. Frank Butlers writings and commentary have appeared in AMERICA, Commonweal, and the NCR and he has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and other news media as an experienced voice in the religious and philanthropic worlds. His most recent book, Belonging, One Catholic's Journey, won a First Prize in the category Spirituality at the 2021 San Francisco Book Festival and Second Prize in the category Memoir at the 2021 Catholic Media Awards.

Frank, a member of our parish, will be facilitating a discussion of his book.

2022-2023 Meeting Schedule

Thursdays, 7:15-8:45pm