NEW: ICONS AS RESISTANCE – CHALLENGING THE NEW ICONOCLASM IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

ICONS AS RESISTANCE Front Cover GoodHope and Life Press (HLP) is pleased to announce the release of the book Icons as Resistance: Challenging the New Iconoclasm in the Catholic Church by Maltese-American author and HLP founder Marcelle Bartolo-Abela. This book documents a series of engaging conversations about the role that icons have in the Church at large and the role they can play at present in the Roman Catholic Church itself. These conversations were held between the author and a group of traditional Catholics earlier this year.

The Western Catholic Church is fast losing her centuries-old sense of the uncreated beauty of God, as manifested through the created beauty of sacred art, by buying into postmodern minimalism for new churches. This loss is occurring despite the Church’s longstanding tradition as Patroness of the Arts and the 1999 call of Saint John Paul II for the urgent need to return to “epiphanies of beauty” in Catholic churches worldwide. In the meantime, icons and iconographic frescos that populate Orthodox churches remain much sought after by believers and non-believers alike for their timeless beauty and inescapable sense of the transcendent. Will the People of God be able to resist the new iconoclasm characterized by facelessness in the Western Church through the triumphant and hidden power of icons?

Icons as Resistance: Challenging the New Iconoclasm in the Catholic Church is available in ebook edition only from Amazon and directly from the publishers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marcelle Bartolo-Abela is a Maltese-American consultant on the interface of multiculturalism, psychology, spirituality, and the political sphere. A first-generation immigrant to America, she served as a mental health clinician in hospital, community, private practice settings in the Northeast US and Malta. She has lectured on psychology and psychotherapy to psychiatry residents and graduate students in the US, UK, and Malta. She also served as consultant to faculty and program managers on the combined provision of multicultural psychology and spirituality services. In addition, Bartolo-Abela has provided advocacy and consultation on the issues of free speech rights in relation to criminalization discourses in the legislative agenda First Malta Then the World.

Bartolo-Abela is the author of nine books on the Catholic Faith and spirituality including Deification of Man in Christianity, The Icon of the Divine Heart of God the Father, and Who Are You? What is Your Faith? America’s 21st Century Alt-Right and Catholic Social Doctrine. This last book has received support from Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. Bartolo-Abela holds a Master of Science in Psychology from Springfield College, the Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methodologies in the Social Sciences from Middlesex University, and the Certificate in Catholic Social Doctrine for Professionals from The Catholic University of America. Bartolo-Abela is a mid-level apprentice in Russian-Byzantine iconography. Her icons can be found in churches and private collections in the US, Italy, and Malta.

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NEW: ICONS AS RESISTANCE – CHALLENGING THE NEW ICONOCLASM IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

NEWS: Hope and Life Press welcomes Filipino-American psychologist B. J. Gonzalvo

bjgonzalvo headshotHope and Life Press (HLP) is proud to welcome B. J. Gonzalvo, Ph.D., a Catholic Filipino-American organizational psychologist and veteran. Gonzalvo comes on board with his book Leadership Development Training With the Saints, which is scheduled to be released by HLP in early 2018, in paperback and ebook editions.

Gonzalvo is currently the manager of a human capital analytics program with a large HR agency and has experience serving various organizations including government, military and nonprofit. Gonzalvo served in the US Navy as a logistics specialist and in the Air Force Reserves as a psychology technician. In the late 1990s, he was deployed to Southwest Asia as part of Operation Northern Watch. He was also a research fellow at the United States (US) Department of Defense in Arlington, Virginia.

Giving back to the communities that have supported him throughout the years means a lot to Gonzalvo.  He volunteers as a management consultant at 501 Commons, a nonprofit organization that helps to boost the capacity of other nonprofits, and has researched leadership for them and analyzed a volunteer engagement study. Gonzalvo also volunteers for various Filipino organizations and events, in particular those held by the Filipino American National Historical Society, as his racial and ethnic heritage is a source of pride and gives him a sense of belonging.

The Catholic Faith and music are two of Gonzalvo’s most closely-held passions. These lead him to also volunteer as a musician for the Couples for Christ community and other church groups. In addition, he serves as a catechist at his local parish.

​Gonzalvo was born and raised in Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines. He moved to Seattle, WA, with his parents and younger brother when he was 15 years old. Gonzalvo spent a total of six agonizing years in high school (three years in the Philippines, three years in the US) and “don’t ask me why!”  He then graduated one semester early from Mount Rainier High School, Des Moines, WA.

With little-to-no specific direction in life and zero savings for college tuition despite working 50 hours a week at McDonalds and Taco Bell, the military because Gonzalvo’s number one career option, especially since he already had two uncles who were also in the military. He travelled to several places and met many interesting people. More importantly, he learned discipline and gained an amazing work experience that allowed him to concurrently serve in the US and earn his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington, the Master’s, and his Ph.D., in Psychology from Walden University.

Gonzalvo is the author of Lessons in Leadership From the Saints: Called to Holiness, Called to Lead (Westbow Press). He is alos a member of the American Psychological Association. Gonzalvo contributes to Northwest Catholic and writes regularly for Mind & Spirit Magazine, which integrates psychology and the Catholic Faith. His latest book Leadership Development Training With the Saints (Hope & Life Press) will be released early next year. He is also working on another book titled Varieties of Filipino American Catholic Experience. Gonzalvo lives with his wife and two children outside of Seattle, WA, and considers himself blessed to be able to do many fun things, including his most favored activity of spending time with his growing family.

NEWS: Hope and Life Press welcomes Filipino-American psychologist B. J. Gonzalvo

NEW RELEASE: A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium by award-winning Catholic editorialist Angelo Stagnaro

Modern Sinners Guide FRONT COVER

First book to make over 70 sins, including the Vatican’s new 7 deadly sins and 10 delicts, understandable to modern audiences with practical advice about sin.

Hope and Life Press is pleased to announce the release of the book A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium by the National Catholic Register’s award-winning editorialist Angelo Stagnaro. The book has been granted the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York. A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium makes sin understandable to modern audiences and gives practical advice on how to identify and avoid sin in one’s life, deal with temptation, and how to evangelize others who may be unaware of sin’s enormity and its grave nature. Presenting chapters on the foundations of Christianity, the nature of sin, the pursuit of holiness, the Ten Commandments, the seven deadly sins and new deadly sins, the sins against the Holy Spirit, ultimate sins, the unforgiveable sin, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, this book provides an in-depth look on more than 70 sins from a theological and spiritual perspective, together with the consequences of sins and remedies for them. The book uniquely addresses the ten delicts and the new seven deadly social sins promulgated in 2008 by the Vatican. It also has sections on Purgatory, Hell, Divine forgiveness, indulgences, the nature of good and evil, and the Christian spiritual quest.

A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium is suitable for several audiences including RCIA catechumens, catechists, homilists, apologists, canonists, people interested in exploring different forms of Christian spirituality, those interested in comparative religions and spiritual traditions, and Christians interested in developing their own spiritual life. The book, which consists of over 450 pages at size 7″ by 10″, is available in paperback edition from Amazon, Hope and Life Press, major book outlets, and can be found at the Vatican libraries including the Gregoriana, the Angelorum, and the Pontifical North American College. The book is also available in ebook edition directly from the publishers.

EARLY REVIEWS

“In an age such as ours, this book is a clarion call for the truth. A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium by Angelo Stagnaro takes its inspiration from an important and extremely potent spiritual work by Venerable Louis of Granada. We need not a sinner’s guide to happiness and fulfillment, but a guide to sin: its definitions, types, causes, and remedies. One cannot be healed by a doctor until the disease is admitted and this book can serve as a diagnostic manual. One might think the book grim, but this is far from it. Stagnaro, a Third Order Franciscan and prolific writer, is just the person to guide others through the types of sin, their remedies and the Sacrament of Confession. By his own admission, he is an expert in sinning, but also repentance. Only Christ’s light can cast out the darkness of our sins. Only His forgiveness in confession can scrape the scales from our eyes and renew our hearts. Then we shall see anew, see the world as it truly is, and be fully alive” – John Meinert, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Theology, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University.

“Angelo Stagnaro has taken on a hugely ambitious task in A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium, yet the breadth of undertaking makes sense as it is a modern understanding and reworking of Venerable Louis of Granada’s original guide. Stagnaro has followed in formidable footsteps and does so admirably. The book’s length should cause no anxiety. It is not a cover-to- cover read, but a true guidebook, a valuable directory of sin: what sin is, what kinds of sins there are, how they are manifested, and how we can work to avoid them. Despite the guilt-inducing subject matter, A Modern Sinner’s Guide is an engaging and even enjoyable read as Stagnaro writes with compassion, humility and refreshing flashes of humor. The book is timely. In an age that has forgotten that sin is an objective thing, ‘living without values is a sure ticket to self-destruction,’ as Stagnaro says. There are also thought-provoking discussions about some of our modern age’s most contentious and problematic issues” – Maria McFadden Maffucci, Editor, Human Life Review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

angelo-stagnaro

Angelo Stagnaro is an award-winning journalist with the UN, newspapers and international wire services in the United States of America (US), Europe and Australia. He is the Catholic News Service’s chief correspondent in New York City, the principal liaison for the Holy See, and an editorialist for the National Catholic Register. His major articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Catholic Herald, National Catholic Reporter, America Magazine, and The Tablet among others. Stagnaro is the author of several books on Catholic spirituality including How to Pray the Dominican Way, The Pro-Life Apologetics Manual, The Christian Book of the Dead, and The Catechist’s Magic Kit. A professional stage mentalist and one of the world’s experts on cold reading, he is also the author of eight seminal works on stage magic and cold reading that have been translated into multiple languages. Stagnaro graduated from SUNY-Albany and Kansai Gaikokugo Daigaku with specializations in the Ethnology of Religion, Comparative Asian Religions and Physical Anthropology. He also pursued theological studies at the University of Notre Dame. Stagnaro is a professed member of the Secular Franciscans and has served as RCIA catechist in New York and Singapore.

NEW RELEASE: A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium by award-winning Catholic editorialist Angelo Stagnaro

OUT SOON: The Pro-Life Apologetics Manual by Angelo Stagnaro

OUT SOON: The Pro-Life Apologetics Manual by Angelo Stagnaro

NEW: JUDGING ANGELS by Illinois death penalty defense expert Timothy Capps

​​​​​​​​​Nude AngelHope and Life Press is proud to announce the release of the psychological thriller Judging Angels by top Illinois death penalty defense attorney Timothy Capps, Esq. The novel is the first book in the Catholic fiction series The Rubricatae Chronicles. 

Christmas Eve finds renowned, but now disgraced, defense lawyer George Able paying a final visit to his two children, Brian and Sandy. It is a final visit of a different sort to his estranged wife and her lover: George has a .38 in his coat pocket. Later that night, he finds himself on a deserted highway in deep dark country with missing bullets and missing time. It looks like a Christmas Miracle, especially when he meets a beautiful redhead who offers him a second chance. But the seemingly naive Red Morgan proves to be a troubling mix of love, lethality and, possibly, lunacy.

When George’s daughter is kidnapped by a man who might be associated with Morgan, the Able family and the criminal justice system are faced with a threat they are not equipped to handle. As a rescue attempt snowballs into a crime spree from the top of Illinois to its tip, a family must put aside its problems even as moral compromises undermine their good intentions. And while Red Morgan is too useful to send away, her dream of a white Vegas wedding with George faces one obstacle…

Judging Angels draws on police procedural, urban fantasy, and heroic quest to provide the reader with an original Catholic psychological thriller that blends genres and provides more twists and tension than a murder trial. Timothy Capps, a recognized death penalty defense expert, tells this exciting, yet thoughtful, tale with the relish of a seasoned lawyer’s closing argument. And just as trials must probe the motives of defendants, the reader will discover that the real story is on the inside: ordinary people tempted to do the worst things for the best reasons. Judging Angels ​is available in paperback and ebook editions from Amazon, directly from the publishers Hope and Life Press, and major booksellers.

EARLY REVIEWS

“Criminal justice elements in Judging Angels are expertly handled by a highly respected death penalty lawyer. But then Capps blends genres and gleefully pushes the reader down the rabbit hole of an original, frightening, yet darkly humorous fantasy . . . Do not miss it” – Richard Leo, Ph.D., J.D., Professor of Law and Psychology, University of San Francisco.

“Criminal jury trials are full of twists and turns and unexpected predicaments, and Author/Attorney Capps brings that same sense of the unforeseen and unknowable to his novel . . . Just like the packed trial gallery awaiting a verdict, you will be guessing and anticipating what is written on the final page” – Terence Green, Esq., former State’s Attorney and long-time criminal defense lawyer.

“Marvelous, in a style unlike anything else I have read, entertaining and thought-provoking. Capps draws on multiple genres to create something new that defies easy labeling” – Frank Magill, Esq., Telecommunications Attorney (ret.).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

capps_timothy_photoTimothy Capps, Esq., started his career as an Arabic linguist with the US Army where he received crypto training and held top secret clearance. He served with the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division, doing voice intercept and radio direction finding. Capps then graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Law and became a US Navy JAG lawyer. He received the NYC Bar Association’s Committee on Military Justice Award for Trial Advocacy. He was called “a young lion in the courtroom” and awarded the Navy Achievement Medal. In 1990, Capps transferred to Sigonella, Sicily, and had two missions to the Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, for which he was awarded the Southwest Asia Service Medal.

Capps then became a public defender. He also served as prosecutor in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. Capps set up his criminal defense practice based on the cornerstones of character, competence, communication and compassion, becoming well-known for handling death penalty cases with innovation and tenacity. The Illinois Supreme Court invited him to serve on the committee that approved lawyers to serve as defense counsel in capital cases. Some of Capps’s high-profile cases were covered in Life Magazine, the Oprah Winfrey Show, Nancy Grace, and on CNN.

After People v. Pontious, the only case in which expert testimony on false confession was used successfully in Illinois, Capps became a recognized expert on false confessions. He was hired by the State to train death penalty defense teams. He was also given the Richard Cunningham Award for “distinguished service as a death penalty defense advocate who, in the course of performing high quality representation, has demonstrated extraordinary and tenacious commitment to the capital client’s cause and whose continuing dedication and tireless advocacy is an inspiration to all defenders in the continuing struggle for fairness and justice in Illinois capital cases.”

In 2011, the abolition of executions bill passed the Illinois legislature, but the Governor deliberated over signing it into law. Capps wrote a widely circulated Letter to the Editor, arguing against the death penalty from his experience as both prosecutor and defense counsel. To the extent his letter was influential, however, Capps put himself out of a job. His professional legacy includes a perfect record on death penalty cases, a not-guilty verdict by jury where evidence included a videotaped confession, and the development of original tactics still used in murder cases today.

NEW: JUDGING ANGELS by Illinois death penalty defense expert Timothy Capps

COMING SOON: Ten Rules of Life – An Exploration of Nguyen Van Thuan’s Life Philosophy by Angelo Stagnaro

COMING SOON: Ten Rules of Life – An Exploration of Nguyen Van Thuan’s Life Philosophy by Angelo Stagnaro

NEWS: Hope and Life Press Welcomes Award-Winning Italian-American Journalist Angelo Stagnaro

angelo-stagnaroHope and Life Press is proud to welcome on board the Catholic journalist, author, and stage mentalist Angelo Eramus Stagnaro, with his latest book A Modern Guide for Sinners in the Third Millennium set to be released in paperback and ebook editions later this year. Suitable for catechumens, catechists, homilists, apologists, canonists, people interested in exploring different forms of Christian spirituality, and Christians interested in developing their spiritual life, this book is intended to elucidate the concept of sin for readers who may have forgotten its meaning and it is the first in which the seven social sins as promulgated by the Vatican in 2008 are addressed. The book has been granted the Nihil Obstat/Imprimatur by the Archdiocese of New York.

Stagnaro is a news correspondent with the United Nations, newspapers, and international wire services in the United States of America (US), Europe, and Australia. He is the principal liaison between the Consulate of the Holy See in New York City (NYC) and the Catholic News Service in Washington, D.C., as well as the Service’s chief correspondent in the City. Stagnaro is a regular contributor to the National Catholic Register and his major articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Catholic Herald, National Catholic Reporter, America Magazine, US Catholic Magazine, and The Tablet among others.

Stagnaro is the author of four books on the Catholic faith titled The Catechist’s Magic Kit, The Christian Book of the Dead, How to Pray the Dominican Way, and A Lenten Cookbook for Catholics. These books have been granted the Nihil Obstat/Imprimatur by the Diocese of Brooklyn. A professional stage mentalist and one of the world’s experts in cold reading, he is also the author of eight books on stage magic/cold reading, all of which are seminal works that have been translated into French, German, and Spanish. Stagnaro has lectured in more than 70 cities across North America, Europe, and Asia. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Smoke and Mirrors. He is also Guildmaster of the Catholic Magicians’ Guild, President of the Society of Concerned American Magicians, and Chairman of the Occult Investigation Committee of the Society of American Magicians.

Stagnaro was awarded the 2008 Catholic Press Association Award for Best News Writing for National Event with his coverage of Benedict XVI’s US papal trip. His article The Monastic Ways of the Wise Little Bee was included in the National Catholic Reporter‘s compilation Best Catholic Spirituality Writing 2013. He is also a professed member of the Secular Franciscans and has served as Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults catechist in NYC and Singapore.

NEWS: Hope and Life Press Welcomes Award-Winning Italian-American Journalist Angelo Stagnaro

OUT FOR CHRISTMAS: The Beast, the Prophets and the Victory

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JUST OUT: Help for Suffering Humanity – Mary, Help of Christians by Brian Kiczek of New Jersey

Mary Help of Christians Front Cover FINAL v3Hope and Life Press is pleased to announce the release of the devotional book Help for Suffering Humanity: Mary, Help of Christians by Brian Kiczek, D.C., which contains numerous stories about the miraculous interventions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, in the lives of individuals, families, peoples, towns, cities, and nations, throughout history up to the present day, under the title Auxilium Christianorum as invoked by the saints John Chrysostom and John Bosco; crowned by Leo XIII, solemnly instituted by Pius VII, and more recently invoked for persecuted Chinese Christians by Benedict XVI. The particular aspect of Mary as help of Christians in times of war, both physical and spiritual warfare, is highlighted. Powerful prayers to Mary, help of Christians are given for the reader to use, together with guidance about the key of humility for obtaining help. Inspirational narratives about the unparalleled wonder and importance of the Mass, the healing power of the sacraments of confession and communion, and the efficacious prayer of the rosary as weapon are included. Help for Suffering Humanity: Mary, Help of Christians is available in paperback and ebook editions from Amazon, the publishers Hope and Life Press, and other booksellers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian GOOD USE THISBrian Kiczek, D.C., is a chiropractor, husband, and father of three, who reverted back to the Catholic faith after 10 years of atheism, followed by New Age beliefs, then Bible believer. He is a United States Navy veteran of the Persian Gulf War, during which he served as an operations specialist aboard the USS Normandy. This and other life experiences, including serving as security officer in Manhattan during 9/11 and after at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York, together with working in various chiropractic offices treating multiple conditions, have served to inspire Kiczek to come up with ways to integrate prayer and work, to help others in both a physical and a spiritual manner. His research dissertation addressed the Effects of prayer and religiosity on health and longevity. Kiczek presently works in the disadvantaged area of Passaic County, New Jersey, helping to heal wounded backs.

Kiczek has been educated in the Catholic schools of Red Bank, New Jersey and graduated cum laude from Rutgers University. He holds a doctorate in chiropractic from the University of Bridgeport. He is active in evangelization with the parish of his church, in particular as a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine teacher for many years. He also co-founded a children’s rosary group in the said parish. Kiczek is popularly known as the Rosary Doctor for his tireless work in spreading the message of the rosary to anyone open to hear it. He believes that the prodigal sons and daughters of the world are going to return to God and to the Church in droves, as the famine that is spreading across the globe increases through financial crises, wars, and disasters. Having lived through what it means to be a prodigal son,Kiczek feels great care and compassion for all who may be away from God, and works without cease to heal both physical and spiritual ills. He strives to repay the Lord, Jesus Christ, for having been merciful to him, in particular through the power and the love of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

EARLY REVIEWS

– There is a reason Mary is known as the help of Christians. In this book, Brian Kiczek details numerous stories of her miraculous intervention throughout history. Reading the book will allow you to see not only what Mary has done in the lives of others, but also to better appreciate what she can do in your own life. Highly recommended – Gary Zimak, radio host, speaker, and author of Listen to the Blessed Mother.

– In 1862, Bosco told one of his Salesian priests, “Our Lady wants us to honor her with the title Help of Christians. The times are so sad that we need the holy Virgin to help us preserve and defend the Christian faith.” In his book, Kiczek masterfully illustrates our Lady’s intervention throughout history. Every Catholic should have this book on the family bookshelf – James J. Gambino, Salesian Cooperator.

– Have you ever wondered about the inner life and spirituality of the Blessed Mother of God? Brian Kiczek, using the insights of the great mystics of the Church, has given us a superb reflection on those thoughts which Mary pondered in her heart – Reverend James Tucker, Parochial vicar, Epiphany Parish, New Jersey.

– Kiczek presents a simple-to-understand approach to Marian theology and supports the case for devotion to the Blessed Mother through Scripture, historical events, and the wisdom of the saints…I recommend this book to anyone with a love for the Blessed Mother, or who is seeking to attain a basic understanding of Marian devotion. Truly, as society calls out in its suffering, now is the time for Christians to plead for the intercession of Mary as help of Christians, as she approaches her Son on our behalf – James A. Toups, author of The Storm: A Time of Mercy, Choices and Hope; speaker, entrepreneur.

JUST OUT: Help for Suffering Humanity – Mary, Help of Christians by Brian Kiczek of New Jersey