The Lay Centre recently hosted a small dinner event to celebrate the publication of Living Christian Joy Daily: Everyone’s Call – Essays from Rome by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana. The small volume was edited by Profs. Donna Orsuto and Michael Canaris. They asked a number of pastoral and academic figures around Rome to contribute presentations for a Vincent Pallotti Institute lecture series on the topic of joy. This book then gathered these pieces into an accessible text hoping to help readers contemplate the difference between shifting and fleeting moments of satisfaction on the one hand, and theological joy, where one can profoundly experience the sacred amidst the many monotonies, trials, and difficulties of life, on the other.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, graciously agreed to write an opening Preface, in which he asserts that “the seven reflections [included in the book] serve as a constellation lighting up the sad darkness that often grips contemporary society.”
Contributing authors Fr. Felix Koerner, S.J., and Fr. Martin Coffey, C.P. joined Donna, Mike, and some other guests to toast the book’s release. Much of the discussion revolved around the striking cover design which was taken from a detail of the mosaic in the neighboring Basilica of San Clemente. The peacock was intentionally chosen to commemorate both a traditional symbol of Resurrected joy in Christian iconography, and the unofficial emblem of the Lay Centre which has adorned their publicity materials and letterhead at various stages throughout the years.
If you’re interested in the book for your parish, please click here.