Catholic Answers Press

Light and Leaven: The Challenge of the Laity in the Twenty-First Century

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Bishop Joseph Strickland is one of the Church’s boldest and most courageous leaders. His outspoken support of orthodox faith and morals, the sanctity of unborn life, and reforming Catholic institutions have made him a hero even to Catholics outside his little East Texas diocese.

In Light and Leaven he offers a forthright perspective on the state of the Church and the world today and calls on the lay faithful to meet its challenges unflinchingly. We must not shrink from the culture, he says, but be a light to it; we must not retreat from the world but leaven it with grace and truth.

In his direct and conversational manner, Bishop Strickland touches on a wide range of topics, including Church renewal in a time of scandal, the central importance of the Eucharist, how to build strong marriages, the need for prayer and silence in a noisy and distracted age, and the battle between good and evil in which all Christians are engaged. He will inspire and edify you with his wise insights, pastoral common sense, and evident love for souls.

"Whether it’s the 100,000 Catholics who live in East Texas or the broader Catholic faithful who follow him on Twitter, or those who can now read his bold perspectives in Light and Leaven, one thing is for sure, Bishop Strickland is unlike any Bishop we have seen in decades.  Readers of Light and Leaven will quickly learn that there has likely never been a Bishop, since probably Bishop Fulton Sheen, who speaks so plainly on matters of faith and morals. This East Texas farm boy has gifted to the Catholic laity around the world what they have lacked for nearly a decade – a shepherd.   Every Catholic should read Light and Leaven to discover that despite the disappointment we have experienced in our Church, there is a light that remains and will not be overcome."   - Lisa Wheeler, President, Carmel Communications, Co-producer, Unplanned

"Many are depressed about what they see in the Church today. Many are discouraged and confused about what the Catholic Church teaches. We see a worldliness and secularism that's gripped society and the inside of our beloved Catholic Church, Light and Leaven is a clarion call to bishops, priests, religious and laity alike to truly live the Gospel, to be counter cultural in the way we deposit the faith and witness what we profess. For the Church to be truly powerful, not as the world is powerful, but in and through Christ's Divine Power present in the Sacraments, Bishop Strickland reminds us of the power source: the Holy Eucharist and the sacramental life of the Church. Alexis Walkenstein, co-producer Unplanned, evangelist and editor of Fulton J. Sheen

 In Light and Leaven, Bishop Joseph Strickland speaks the truth plainly, but in a positive and encouraging way that will touch your heart. It's a quick and accessible read that will inspire you to stay focused on the Eucharist, dive deep into prayer, and do all that you can to bring about a much-needed renewal in the Church today.- Danielle Bean, Author and Speaker

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Additional Information

Bishop Joseph Strickland
Hardcover, 176 pages
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10 Reviews

  • 5
    Light and Leaven

    Posted by Pat Lyddane on Apr 16th 2021

    Outstanding book. Well written. Easy to read. Tells us about the ways of the world and the ways of Jesus. We are challenged to understand the problems of the Catholic Church and the world. May we always follow Jesus for our salvation.

  • 5
    Light and Leaven

    Posted by Karen Simkins on Feb 16th 2021

    Bishop Strickland articulated every single issue on all our minds, fairly and equitably, but didn't pull any punches. His take on the roles of clergy and laity going forward is right on.

  • 5
    Raising the bar for Catholics

    Posted by Dorothy McDevitt on Feb 15th 2021

    I feel like I had a long lunch conversation with Bishop Strickland. He kindly but firmly with a few lolz leaves you informed & feeling like you have a new best friend.

  • 5
    An excellent book! It was refreshing to hear such plain truth from one of our sherperds.

    Posted by Unknown on Feb 13th 2021

    I’m glad I made this purchase.

  • 5
    Bishop Joseph E. Strickland's book: Light and Leaven - The Challenge of the Laity in the Twenty-First Century

    Posted by Mark Cascia on Jan 5th 2021

    With the scandals and abuses of the clergy in the American Catholic Church so dominant in the secular media, it is so refreshing to read the thoughts and reflections of a Catholic bishop who upholds and actively preaches the traditional beliefs of the Catholic Church. Bishop Joseph Strickland is one of the boldest and most orthodox leaders in the American Catholic Church who unflinchingly defends the sanctity of unborn life, the sanctity of marriage between man and woman, and the timeless value of orthodox faith and morals. This first book of Bishop Strickland is a gem, and I hope he inspires others in the clergy to follow his path.

  • 5
    Light and Leaven

    Posted by Helen Webb on Dec 16th 2020

    I love this book. I am blessed to have him as my Bishop. A very Godly man!

  • 5
    Light & Leaven

    Posted by Brian Lardy on Dec 15th 2020

    This is a fantastic read

  • 5
    Light and Leaven

    Posted by Cecilia J. Hall on Dec 14th 2020

    Excellent straight forward language dealing with issues in today's Catholic Church.

  • 5
    Light and Leaven

    Posted by Stacy on Dec 10th 2020

    I very much enjoyed this book. It's form is more of an essay which made it easy to read a topic, think about it, then pick back up again. I can think of many people in my life that I hope will read the book!

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