Archives For Poverty
Today, May 18, is the feast day of St. Felix of Cantalice, the first Capuchin friar to be named a saint.
Felix of Cantalice, O.F.M. Cap., was born on 18 May 1515 to peasant parents in Cantalice, Italy, in the central Italian region of Lazio. Canonized by Pope Clement XI in 1712, he was the first Capuchin friar to be named a saint.
The Power of Proximity:
Moving Beyond Awareness to Action
Michelle Ferrigno Warren
Paperback: IVP Books, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Kevin Book-Satterlee
Michelle Ferrigno Warren may have been an unlikely choice as a community activist. In her book, which reads like a memoir, Ferrigno Warren notes her white-privileged, middle-class, conservative evangelical upbringing. She was a timid girl, it seems, perhaps before moving into proximity of the urban poor. Her voice and conviction in her book, The Power of Proximity: Moving Beyond Awareness to Action, is powerful, in a humble sort of way. This book is a quick read, touching on critical, timely subjects subjects, drawing from the lessons of her own story.
Today (September 27) is the Feast of St. Vincent DePaul…
Here is his story:
(Adapted from The Catholic Encyclopedia)
“Charity is the cement which binds communities to God
and persons to one another ”
– St. Vincent DePaul
Born at Pouy, Gascony, France, in 1580 (though some authorities have said 1576); Vincent died at Paris, 27 September, 1660. Born of a peasant family, he made his humanities studies at Dax with the Cordeliers, and his theological studies, interrupted by a short stay at Saragossa, were made at Toulouse where he graduated in theology. Ordained in 1600 he remained at Toulouse or in its vicinity acting as tutor while continuing his own studies. Brought to Marseilles for an inheritance, he was returning by sea in 1605 when Turkish pirates captured him and took him to Tunis. He was sold as a slave, but escaped in 1607 with his master, a renegade whom he converted.
A Feature Review of
Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor
Paperback: Eerdmans, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]
Reviewed by Joseph Johnson
Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. declared in his famous speech “A Time to Break Silence” that, “True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” I think these words, challenging as they are, express the conviction that undergirds the efforts of Liz Theoharis in her timely new book, Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor. Her contention is that Matthew 26:11, one of the most influential passages on poverty in Scripture, has often been twisted out of context in order to give red-lettered justification for viewing poverty as inevitable and pitting Jesus in opposition to the poor (13, 97). In her eyes, these conclusions have obviously damaging consequences.
A Review of
The Great Chasm: How to Stop Our Wealth from Separating Us from the Poor and God.
People read books for various reasons. Maybe you read romance novels to be “swept away to a distant land.” Or maybe you enjoy a book that is set in the mountains and is wet with beautiful imagery of mountain peaks, blue skies and crisp clean air. Still others may enjoy stories with happy endings because they like to imagine themselves in the heroine’s role (wouldn’t everyone love to be Tom Cruise at the end of the movie Jerry Maguire). And still others read books hoping to find answers to life’s big questions.
There is a good chance that you will not be fond of the message contained in Derek Engdahl’s The Great Chasm. There’s an even better chance that you will not enjoy some of the imagery he uses to describe the slums of Manila, Haiti or Mexico. And many of you won’t be thrilled to read about servant living and/or the importance of giving up things we don’t need. And many readers will finish Engdahl’s book with a nagging pain in their side, as they acknowledge their own failure to have compassion for those in need.
A Feature Review of
Poverty and Profit
in the American City
Hardback: Crown Books, 2016
Buy: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Kristin Williams
When the housing market was as close to the bottom as it would get, my husband was offered a perfect job in another state. Our only hesitation came when we looked around the small town we would be leaving and saw many homes for sale or standing empty and very little movement in the market. Thinking we could wait until the market rebounded, we decided try renting our house for a while. Today, nearly 8 years later, we are still renting our house out and still learning exactly what that means.
It was from the perspective of a landlord that I picked up Matthew Desmond’s devastating new book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Desmond, a Harvard sociologist and recipient of a MacArthur Grant, combines personal insight gained during years living in inner city Milwaukee and data collected as part of his Milwaukee Area Renters Study to create an eye opening portrait of poverty and racial inequality. These problems are not unique to Milwaukee, they can be found in every large American city.
Upholding the Vision: Serving the Poor in Training and Beyond
Foreword by John Perkins
Paperback: 3rd Edition, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]
Reviewed by C. Christopher Smith
The Hebrew prophets described the flourishing that God intends for creation as shalom, which we could today translate as health in the deepest and most holistic sense. And nowhere is the lack of shalom more evident today than some of the most broken and economically-deprived places. We would do well to work toward to health and shalom of these places. Indeed, the Christian Community Health Fellowship (CCHF) has been working toward this end for almost 40 years, and they have just released the third edition of their helpful book Upholding the Vision, which articulates why working for the health of our poorer neighbors is vital, Kingdom work.
A Review of
Under the Sour Sun: Hunger Through The Eyes Of a Child
Elmer Hernán Rodríguez Campos
Reviewed by Tim Hoiland
I’m sure you know the line: “They have so little, but they’re so happy!” How many times have you heard a variation of that? How many times have you said it yourself?
The truth is, for those of us who live on more than $2 a day – that is, for everyone who reads the Englewood Review of Books – it is decidedly difficult to talk about poverty without the conversation quickly devolving into cliché.