Father Keller’s Candles

Fr. James Keller, the Maryknoll priest who founded the Christophers in 1945, believed each of us should use the talents God gave us to shine a light in the world. In its 75th year, the organization’s motto remains, “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

The annual Christopher Awards, which recognize writers and other media artists whose works “affirm the highest values of the human spirit,” are usually presented in New York every spring. This year’s ceremony has been tentatively postponed to October — but the book winners were announced on April 15. We can wholeheartedly recommend the adult titles, listed here.

Grace Will Lead Us Home: The Charleston Church Massacre and the Hard, Inspiring Journey to Forgiveness by Jennifer Berry Hawes It’s been five years since a racist gunman murdered 12 members of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Hawes, a Pulitzer-winning journalist, examines the community’s struggle toward healing. (St. Martin’s Press).

No Surrender: A Father, a Son, and an Extraordinary Act of Heroism That Continues to Live on Today by Christopher Edmonds with Douglas Century  |  An American pastor uncovers the true story of his father’s courageous and compassionate actions in a Nazi POW camp.  (Harper Collins)

The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life by David Brooks  |  The New York Times columnist reflects on the personal transformation of people who turn away from the pursuit of individual achievement and seek a more meaningful life in their community. (Penguin Random House)

What is a Girl Worth? My Story of Breaking the Silence and Exposing the Truth about Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics by Rachael Denhollander  |  One of hundreds of female athletes sexually assaulted by the USA Gymnastics team doctor recounts her fight for justice. (Tyndale)

When Life Gives You Pears: The Healing Power of Family, Faith and Funny People by Jeannie Gaffigan  |  The comedy writer, mother of five and wife of comic Jim Gaffigan recounts her battle with brain cancer, the removal of a pear-sized tumor and the lessons it taught her and her family. (Grand Central Publishing)