Synopses & Reviews
As a fourth grader at Holy Cross Grammar School, Matt Weber asked his religion teacher why St. Francis was often pictured with holes in his hands and feet. She responded that those holes were known as the stigmata and that they reflected the wounds Jesus received during his crucifixion. "And how did he get them?" the curious Weber asked. "He got them because he was a good Catholic," was the reply. And so that night, Weber recounts, he did a little more sinning than usual—just to be certain he wouldn’t receive the stigmata!
In Fearing the Stigmata, twenty-something Matt Weber—a Harvard graduate, television producer, and certified rosary-bead carrier—employs his sharp wit, earnest candor, and gift for great storytelling to illustrate for young adult Catholics both the real challenges and the immense joys of publicly living out the Catholic faith. The fact that Weber has discovered a way to have a deep, ever-growing faith life that also manages to be culturally relevant will offer hope to many currently disengaged Catholics in the 18-to-35 age range.
From smuggling ice-cream sundaes into cloistered convents to telling jokes to an outdoor statue of Mary at a busy intersection in Boston, Fearing the Stigmata amusingly but honestly explores the tension this layman experiences between wanting to be holy yet “fearing being made holey,” and wanting to be good yet not wanting the cost to be too high. Indeed, Weber attends Mass every Sunday morning; but the temptation is there, he admits, to sneak out early so he won’t miss kickoff!
"The Catholic Church faces many obstacles in reaching out to 21st-century young adults. Weber, a 20-something Harvard graduate and producer at CatholicTV, wants to lend a hand by evangelizing his peers and helping them navigate their way in a church that can be quite intimidating. While very committed to his faith, the author takes a humorous and slightly irreverent approach to Catholicism. The writing is strongest when the author is explaining how he discovers God in his daily life, through the ordinary, mundane, and even frustrating moments. This is no small favor that he offers to those in his generation; many of them have not been taught about faith, prayer, or spirituality. The numerous pop culture references will help ease skeptical young adults into the faith-inspired stories. (Sept.)"
-- Publishers Weekly
"What readers will most appreciate is Weber’s unabashed honesty. As do many of us today — not just twenty-somethings — he struggles with, in his words, 'the overall challenge of trying to be a good Catholic. . . . The real problem lies in knowing what voices to listen to.' And a Weber take-away? 'Be a good Catholic in whatever way you can.'"
-- Bob Zyskowski, Catholic Hotdish
"As a mom, and one who’s busy raising young adult men, I’d love to meet Matt Weber’s mother. She must have done something pretty spectacular to raise a son who’s not only an excellent writer, but also witty, insightful, polite and a pretty awesome evangelist with a dash of great personality. I don’t really need to say much more about Fearing the Stigmata
except to say, “Go buy it… now!” Actually, while you’re at it, buy two or three copies because this is one you’ll want to share."
--Lisa Hendy, CatholicMom.com
"In Fearing the Stigmata
, Weber’s young-adult perspective is relevant to any age, but especially so to a world too anxious to shed what is perceived to be the confines of Catholicism. For him, his faith does not confine but instead gives life shape and meaning. (Weber) comes across as just a regular guy with experiences seen through a religious and comedic lens.Matt’s life snippets are precisely what Catholicism is about, allowing our faith to color our lives. By the end of the book, Matt pronounces: 'Fear not the stigmata. Be a good Catholic in whatever way you can, and take this charge with adventuresome spirit.'"
--Patti Maguire Armstrong, The Integrated Catholic Life
"Fearing the Stigmata
is his charmingly earnest and witty take on living as a Catholic young adult in the modern world."
-- Nancy Piccione, The Catholic Post
"In a devourable 160 pages, Weber, a 20-something Harvard University grad student and host of CatholicTV’s “A Word with Weber,” uses life anecdotes to relay simple messages of faith. Weber writes succinctly and with a relatable spirit, allowing his quirky sense of humor to permeate the pages for a fun, thoughtful read."
-- Gretchen R. Crowe, Arlington Catholic Herald
"Quirky and introspective, Matt Weber’s genuine personality shines in this inspirational narrative. Mirth in the writing accompanies Weber’s ability to divulge his entire thought-process to the reader. His self-confidence is contagious, and his funny experiences as a 20-something Catholic prove to be laugh-out-loud worthy. This book isn’t necessarily meant to give any answers. Mostly it asks questions that allow the reader to take a step back and really think about the topic."
-- Isabel Hernandez, Portland Book Review
“Matt Weber is the voice of a new generation of Catholics.”
- CBS News
In sickness and in health . . .
At age 29, Matt Weber was newly married to Nell, the girl of his dreams. They had bought their first house, adopted a dog, and looked forward to a blissful first year together. But shortly after his honeymoon, Matt s recurring, severe stomach troubles send him to the emergency room and after a five-hour, life-saving surgery in which a third of his stomach is removed, Matt and Nell s plans for their new life are dramatically altered.
Forced to undergo a lengthy and painful recovery, Matt finds that his relationships with God, himself, and his wife are forever changed. Operating on Faith is the gutsy story of a happy-go-lucky Catholic guy whose life was literally burst apart then stitched back together with faith in the God he d always known, the sweet and inexhaustible love of his wife, and healthy if sometimes irreverent doses of humor.
For everyone who s ever had plans and expectations upset by life s events, Operating on Faith proves just how necessary love, faith, and a little grit are in facing major challenges and emerging on the other side.
The true story of how a faithful God, a selfless wife, and a sense of humor carried a newly married man through the most difficult year of his life.
About the Author
Matt Weber is a Harvard-educated humorist, called “the voice of a new generation of Catholics” by CBS News. He is the host of the CatholicTV
show “The Lens with Matt Weber” as well as a national speaker and author of the bestselling Loyola Press book Fearing the Stigmata
. In his day job, Weber is Director of Digital Communications Strategy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He and his wife live in West Medford, Massachusetts.