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James Martin, SJ

In the Company of Jesus (People of God)
Narrated by: Max Belz
Length: 5 hrs and 10 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Fr. James Martin, SJ, is one of the most recognized Catholic priests in the United States. His book My Life with the Saints introduced hundreds of thousands of listeners and readers to many saintly heroes. More recently, Building a Bridge called the Catholic Church to more respect and compassion for the LGBT community - and made Martin not only a friend to LGBT people but a lightning rod for some "traditionalist" Roman Catholics. His articulate and winsome personality has endeared him to millions inside and outside the Church. Now it is time to tell the story of his own life, to explore the experiences that made him the person he is today. 

And there's no better narrator for the story than Jon M. Sweeney, an award-winning and highly accomplished writer in his own right. In James Martin, SJ: In the Company of Jesus, Sweeney probes Martin's early life, his experiences as a corporate executive, his call to religious life, his ministry and spirituality, his feelings about both the adoration and the criticism he receives from so many, and much more. Listeners will come away with a much better understanding of one of today's most interesting and influential Catholics. 

Jon M. Sweeney is an independent scholar and one of religion's most respected writers. His books include When Saint Francis Saved the Church; The Enthusiast: How the Best Friend of Francis of Assisi Almost Destroyed What He Started; The Complete Francis of Assisi; and The Pope Who Quit: A True Medieval Tale of Mystery, Death, and Salvation. He edited A Course in Christian Mysticism by Thomas Merton, published by Liturgical Press. Sweeney writes regularly for America and The Tablet, and is publisher and editor-in-chief at Paraclete Press. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

Visit PeopleofGodBooks.org to explore more of the books in this engaging series. You'll find author interviews, videos, reading group materials, and more!

©2020 Liturgical Press (P)2020 Liturgical Press

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 16-02-2020

Inspiring

Excellent story about the making of a Jesuit priest. I want to read more about Father Martin.

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  • Fr. Edward Looney, STB, Mdiv
  • 08-02-2020

Biographies help us understand

I’m a firm believer that biographies help us understand people whom we agree with or even disagree with. They help us to see the person behind the personality. Such is the case with Sweeney’s biography of Fr. Martin, loves and dislikes across many subsections of Catholicism. I appreciated insights gained and respect Fr Martin more, despite some differing opinions I may have.

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  • KeystoneDad
  • 05-02-2020

A Wonderful Introduction to the Martin Canon

For those of us who only met Father Jim Martin though the publication of Building a Bridge, Jon Sweeney’s concise autobiography is a wonderful gateway to Father Martin’s many other books and writings. Much like the Thomas Merton biopic that just happened to be on television late one night in the apartment of Jimmy Martin, the burned-out GE Capital executive, this James Martin, SJ, audio-biography, that just happened to be in my Facebook feed, is just what I needed at this very moment in my spiritual life. Father Martin’s background both explains and illuminates his common-sense approach to the most complex theological concepts. His upbringing in a less-than-devout family (he attended public schools in the 1960s an area that even today has multiple Catholic school systems) inspires those of us who feel like we’ve fallen short in our faith. If he can do it, then so can we!

More importantly, Sweeney maps out how Father Martin’s journey through the Ivy League and the HR department grounded him in a way that emerges in the simple authenticity of his writing. Father Martin’s writing style is further informed by the delays and challenges in his Jesuit formation. This books lays out how Father Martin was actually formed by this process, instead of simply jumping through hoops to get to ordination. Indeed, his entire ministry at America Magazine turns out to have been the by-product of year-long delay in his theology studies.

Again, for a Building a Bridge fan, I was surprised at how late in the book Sweeney approached the topic of LGBT Catholics. But this is because Father Martin wrote so many books before Bridge, and Sweeney covers the genesis of most of the major works.

The only drawback of this book, which is surely no fault of Sweeney’s, but rather of the format of this series, it its brevity. Indeed, because Father Martin has been such a prolific author, this drawback acts instead as a powerful invitation to Martin canon. I desperately want to hear more about that night with the Merton biography on television, so I will read In Good Company. I want to know more details about the refugees in East Africa, so I will read This is Our Exile. And I long for a more present spiritual life, so I will dive into The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.

If you can’t have James Martin, SJ, as your spiritual advisor, then let his biography lead you to his writings. I am grateful to Jon Sweeney for opening the gate down what I hope will be a fruitful path.

I am ordering In Good Company as I finish this review. . .