Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Catholics Next Door: Adventures in Imperfect Living

The Catholics Next Door: Adventures in Imperfect Living is a wonderfully candid, intimate, honest, and, at times, hilarious look at a Catholic couple’s efforts to live out their vocations as children of God, spouses, and parents of five in ways that uphold their faith and desire to glorify God. 
The foreword by Fr. Roderick Vonhögen, CEO, Star Quest Production Network paints a great picture of life with the Willits starting with the scene the first time he met them in person.  I’ll give you a hint, it was on the front porch of their home and it involved lightsabers.  
Greg and Jennifer Willits don’t claim to have things all figured out—not in any area of their lives—but they do know that putting God first and their marriage second are the two essential ingredients to make them good parents and good people. 
Through their experience as a married couple raising children while keeping the faith, they are credible sources for entertaining stories and essential guidelines for growing closer to the Lord and drawing others nearer to Him.  This dynamic duo hosts the radio program The Catholics Next Door and have founded New Evangelizers, Rosary Army, and That Catholic Show, among other apostolates.   
It works really well in this book to have Greg and Jennifer go back and forth writing views from their own perspectives regarding everything from learning about the Catholic faith to living it out in all areas of their lives. 
This couple doesn’t hold back.  They are vulnerable and humble enough to share their major mishaps and current struggles in their faith journey which are likely to reassure and inspire others who are fairly certain the neighbors (and maybe even their family) think they’ve lost their minds. 
They even give some great suggestions and guides for using and monitoring media in your household so that parents and their children are seeing, listening to, and entertained by media that upholds the Catholic faith and wholesome values. I really love that they included this section and talked about how getting on the right track meant that Greg and Jennifer needed to go through their music, movies, and podcast collections first and clean out things that erode faith and family values. 
This couple does a great job discussing the trials and triumphs of committing to put God first, and how that can be done by an imperfect people still in need of growth, transformation, and most of all a heaping helping of grace.
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The CatholicsNext Door. The Catholic Company is a great resource for tools to help you participate in the Year of Faith, including Year of Faith bible studies and exclusive Year of Faith personalized gifts. The Catholic Company also has all your Advent needs in stock, such as Advent calendars and Advent wreaths.
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