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Catholic Review of: Prodigal Daughters

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This item received 5 stars overall. (09/03/2009)

Orthodoxy: Completely orthodox.
Reading Level: Intermediate

 Tiber RiverBy Tiber River (CO) - See all my reviews


Seventeen Women Tell Their Stories

Evaluator Comments

In A Nutshell

In Prodigal Daughters, seventeen women recount the events that led them away from the Catholic Church and those that led them home again. Each contributor tells a unique story of her spiritual growth with hopes to reach others of God's prodigal children and help to guide these lost souls home. Beautifully written and profoundly significant, these timely essays disclose the empty promises of feminism, substance abuse, sexual liberation, academic skepticism, and the New Age. Furthermore, Prodigal Daughters eloquently manifests the long-suffering benevolence of our Heavenly Father, and the extraordinary love with which He calls each of His children to Himself. At the dawn of a new springtime in the Church, these powerful essays provide a stumbling block to the obstinate, a beacon to the wandering, and hope to those awaiting the return of a lost loved one.  


All seventeen contributors to Prodigal Daughters are part of the Baby Boom generation and thus their stories are told against the background of cultural revolution and widespread misinterpretation of the Second Vatican Council. Many contributors name disintegration of Catholic culture and education, as well as poorly reformed liturgies, among the leading causes for leaving the Church or having delayed their return. Though these women are all from the same generation, they represent a great variety of educational, cultural, and professional backgrounds.

Several contributors weren't properly catechized in the faith they loved as children and so abandoned it in later years. Among these, five say that the work of theology professor Dr. Scott Hahn was influential in their return to the Catholic Church, and one essay mentions the influence of EWTN's Mother Angelica.

Also named among the reasons for conversion is the Catholic Church's firm and consistent stance on the sanctity of human life. Three of the contributors to Prodigal Daughters found their way home through the pro-life movement. Others credit parents and grandparents with constant prayers. Two contributors mention the role their children played as they rediscovered the faith of their childhood. Two others give credit to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and a third sees the hand of St. Joseph in her avoidance of schism. 


Prodigal Daughters
is comprised of seventeen autobiographical essays and contains a beautifully written and inspiring introduction and conclusion by editor Donna Steichen. The many stories are all well written and engaging.  

Evaluator Comments

Prodigal Daughters is a wonderful book to give a lapsed Catholic, but it is much more than an apologetics tool. It is a book that reminds us of the value of our own souls and the depth of our Father's love for us. Each of the seventeen essays is a love story that exemplifies how God the Father tirelessly seeks greater union with every one of His children. In the face of such unfathomable love, Prodigal Daughters shows us that entry into the Catholic Church is just a first step in the wonderful journey home. I recommend this beautiful book.  

Companion Titles

Welcome Home, Victor Claveau (Ignatius Press) 

You can purchase this book here.

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