Trust in the church, especially the Roman Catholic Church, has been compromised over the last 15 years. Rev. Richard Malloy, S.J., professor, chaplain, and acting director of Campus Ministry at The University, challenges this issue in his new book “Being on Fire: The Top Ten Essentials of the Catholic Faith.”
The intense media coverage on priests sexually abusing children and youth during the last decade has influenced ordinary people’s minds and views. However, most members of clergy have never acted in an inappropriate manner toward children. Less than 10 percent of priests have engaged in this crude behavior.
Malloy recognizes the effect of these monstrosities on the public’s perspective on the Catholic Church. He wants readers to better understand Catholicism through his book.
“It’s the essence of Catholicism,” Malloy said. “So the [book’s] themes I would say are the central realities of the Catholic faith: sacraments, relationships, justice [and] Jesus.”
College students are very busy people, so it can be hard for them to find time to think critically about deep questions. Questions do not necessarily have to pertain to religion or spirituality, but students often hear about “setting the world on fire.” St. Ignatius preached this motto, yet the interpretation of that phrase is subjective based on who is peaking.
Malloy believes “being on fire” plays an important role in Catholicism.
“Being on fire with the love and transformative power of the Holy Spirit–that’s what Catholicism is about,” Malloy said.
Malloy wants his book to be a positive influence for anyone of any faith and age. He sees the book as a tool in the right direction to looking inside oneself and looking outside yourself.
“I hope [the readers] find in the book a credible conversation about what Catholicism is and how it could be a part of their lives,” Malloy said.
The book is comprised of 10 chapters. Prior to writing the book, Malloy had just a page discussing 10 major elements of Catholicism.
The editor of his previous book asked to see it. After the editor reviewed it and requested that those ideas be expanded into a book, Malloy spent all summer writing it.
Malloy is thrilled with the book’s popularity and happy to talk about it with anyone. He can be found for discussion in the Campus Ministry office during the week.
By Michael Mazzuca