Bishop of Springfield William Byrne beats Pope Francis for Christian Book Prize
The Very Reverend William Byrne was unable to meet Pope Francis during his papal visit to Washington in 2015, although Byrne was then a pastor in the Archdiocese of Washington and served as a television commentator for the visit.
But Byrne could be on the papal radar this month.
His book, “5 things with Father Bill: hope, humor and help for the soul”, Published in October by Loyola Press, tied with“ The Outsider ”by Christopher Lamb, as gold medalist in the Catholic category of the seventh edition Book of Enlightenment Rewards.
Second place honors went to “On Love” by the 84-year-old pontiff, who is a prolific writer and author, as well as a member of the Jesuit Order.
“When I learned that my book had received the gold medal and that Pope Francis had received the money, I was worried that it would reject a rivalry like the Red Sox and the Yankees,” Byrne said when asked him to get ahead of the Pope.
“I thought I was ordering big foam fingers that said ‘5 things with Fr. Bill,’ but then I remembered what Saint Paul wrote: ‘If one part is honored, each part rejoices. ‘… So the Pope and I are just rejoicing together.
Loyola Press, which was founded by a Jesuit and who also published the Pope’s Book, described “On Love” as part of a “Theological Virtues Series Kit” which includes three books each containing a “Collection of Wisdom drawn from the writings and homilies of Pope Francis, as well as sources of Scripture, to explore the theological virtues of hope, faith and love for the modern Christian.
He describes Byrne’s book as “a practical and engaging guide to embracing happiness.”
“5 Things With Father Bill” features a striker from actress Roma Downey from “Touched by an Angel.” It consists of a series of reflections originally published in the Catholic Standard, the archdiocesan newspaper in Washington. It was recorded by Byrne on YouTube as well.
Byrne has previously said that people seem to respond to his format which takes a topic and breaks it down into five takeaways.
“Each is self-sufficient and each is easy to digest,” Byrne said. “They take people on a little theological journey. I believe God shows Himself in all things, so if we can begin to train people on how to see God in the hunches of the day, whether it’s from your dog or from your walk, then we’ve come a long way to help people understand.
Byrne’s Daily Reflections on Lent, “Spiritual Shorts,” are available on YouTube from diocesan site.
Book of Enlightenment Rewards concentrates on “Books on Christian Belief and Personal Development” and open entry to these books written in English and for the North American market. The judgment is described as “based on the content, design and quality of the production, with an emphasis on innovation and creative ways of expressing a Christian worldview”.
The judges are said to include experts in the fields of education, clergy, book production, and book sales, with up to five medalists per category that include Bible study, parenting, and book sales. mutual aid, and a portion of the current entrance fee donated to Habitat for Humanity. .