My Sisters, The Saints – by Colleen Carroll Campebell (BOOK REVIEW)
Colleen Carroll Campbell is definitely a working Catholic mom! Her newest book, My Sisters The Saints reveals Colleen as a strong, vulnerable, and capable leader, following a familiar journey of faith – those of many of us women, and in particular, those of 6 beautiful female Saints.
Colleen writes in a way that weaves the stories of six power-house female saints – St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Faustina of Poland, St. Theresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Our Blessed Mother Mary – with her life, as she walks her own journey of faith. It is a beautiful story of women walking on a journey, struggling with their sins and frailty, and determining to follow the way of the Lord.
What I like most about this book is that it isn’t clean…In other words, faith is complex…it doesn’t come in nice clean packages. Colleen answers a big question for women of faith: Yes, the Christian walk is a walk of suffering…but it is redemptive, beautiful, and unifying in the body of Christ.
For Catholic women who work, who struggle with bringing faith into the work place, and with living an integrated life, THIS IS A BOOK FOR YOU! Colleen provides an example of how to integrate your life in the work place, standing on your convictions, and braving the world of leadership in a very feminine way. It is Colleen’s feminine genius that gives her an edge in her work…what she brings to relationships, to her work products, and to her work ethic. I LOVED THAT ABOUT COLLEEN! She normalizes what women struggle with in the work place, and gives it voice, right along with walking her daily journey in her personal life.
Along with Collen’s story, she provides a detailed account of the six beautiful women of faith…Our sisters – these amazing saints. She reminds us they are with us now! I LOVED learning about these women saints, even though I knew something about each one of them. Colleen made them come ALIVE to me! And what a joy that is to remember not just with your head, but with your heart, that these women are ALIVE and praying for us in Heaven! I was visualizing them praying for Colleen as she wrote the beautiful words that became her story. What an incredible experience that must have been for Colleen!
One of the most vulnerable aspects of the book was Colleen’s relationship with her father who was dying of Alzheimer’s Disease. I cried my eyes out each time Colleen described with tender care this relationship, and how he returned to a childlike faith. She reminds us that we must have the faith of a child as we grow in all of our spiritual maturity. This gives us hope that the simple stuff matters the most. We must simply place our faith in a God who loves us, is merciful, and never forsakes us. Colleen’s father believed this whole-heartedly, and he passes this on to Colleen. What are we passing on to our own children? This was my main pondering question as I read these sections.
I give this book a 5 out of 5! Way to GEAUX, Colleen! Thank you for writing your memoir, for being vulnerable with us, and for giving us 6 beautiful women to study even closer. This was a joy to read! (and on my Nook!)
Next book review: Breaking Away by Helen Alvare