Here is a book of serious scholarship you can trust with sensible language you can understand and enjoy. When the Church Was Young: Voices of the Early Church Fathers, by Marcellino D'Ambrosio (Servant Books, 2014) contains the story of our ancient roots, with early Christian themes that have become Catholic tradition, spectacular conversions, agreements and disagreements between saints who defended truth with passion, the origin of Greek and Latin terms, and what all this means for us today.


When I began reading Marcellino D’Ambrosio’s new book on the Fathers of the Church I immediately turned to the chapter on Augustine since I am writing a book for young adults on Augustine. Just a few words into the text I found myself celebrating D’Ambrosio’s gift as an “illustrator of words” and a trusted scholar. The story that I thought I knew so well was brought to life yet again.

I could have guessed I would like this book. I already have the author’s blog, a great catechetical resource, bookmarked for reference.

Sarah Reinhard describes this book as “Gripping, compelling, and fast-moving.” As an introductory study on the Fathers of the Church, it surely is. With biographical sketches of early Christians and a brief history of early Christianity there is enough to keep everyone's interest.

I recommend it for young adults to adults of all ages. You can read one of the twenty-six stories a day if you find the discipline to read just one chapter at a time. This is a great gift book for newly ordained deacons and priests, Religious pronouncing vows or celebrating a jubilee, the newly married beginning a Catholic library, a gift for the parish library, your family library, or your Christian friend who is curious about the Catholic Church. This story of when the Church was young will reinvigorate your faith as well.

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Copyright 2014, Sr. Margaret Kerry, fsp