ACP Announces Finalists for 2019 “Excellence in Publishing Awards”

Posted By: Therese Brown ACP Member News ,

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BALTIMORE, MD — The Association of Catholic Publishers (ACP) is pleased to announce the finalists for the Excellence in Publishing Awards. The goal of these awards is to recognize the best in Catholic publishing.

Awards will be given for books falling into 16 categories: Biography, Children’s Books: Young Readers, Children’s Books: Picture Books, Children’s Books: Teens, General Interest, Inspirational, Music: Distinguished Catholic Composer of the Year, Music: Distinguished Mass Setting, Music: Song of the Year, Prayer, Resources for Liturgy, Resources for Ministry, Scripture, Spanish, Spirituality, and Theology. A “Book of the Year” will be named from among the first-place finishers of the 16 categories.

“Saints as role models continue to be strongly represented in these finalists—for both adults and children,” noted Therese Brown, ACP’s executive director, “plus issues of healing like grieving, the end of a marriage, and unexpected tragedy. The new categories in music and the splitting of the Children’s category increased the level of participation from the publishers also.”

Among the 74 finalists, 29 of were produced by two publishers, Ave Maria Press (14) and Liturgical Press (15) or 39% of the finalists. Almost half of the finalists were submitted by eight publishers.

Each category was judged by a three-person panel, which reviewed and evaluated the entries, reducing the number of finalists to 6-9 titles, all of which will move on to the final round of judging. First, second, and third place winners will be announced in June.

The finalists by category are:


Augustus Tolton (Liturgical Press); Paul Farmer (Liturgical Press); Raymond E. Brown and the Catholic Biblical Renewal (Paulist Press)

Children’s Books: Young Readers

John Vianney: Saint for Holy Orders (Liguori Publications); Louis and Zelie Martin: Saints for Matrimony (Liguori Publications); Loyola Kids Book of Catholic Signs & Symbols (Loyola Press); Padre Pio: Saint for Reconciliation (Liguori Publications); Teresa of Avila: Saint for the Eucharist (Liguori Publications)

Children’s Books: Picture Books

Mary, Mother of Jesus (Pauline Books and Media); Saintly Rhymes for Modern Times (Our Sunday Visitor); Shhh...God Is in the Silence (Loyola Press); Staircase for the Sisters: A Story of Prayer and Saint Joseph (Pauline Books and Media)

Children’s Books: Teens

Breakthrough (Ave Maria Press); Follow (Ave Maria Press); Go Bravely (Ave Maria Press)

General Interest

Broken and Blessed (Ascension Press); Grieving Together (Our Sunday Visitor); In Praise of the Useless Life (Ave Maria Press); Made for This (Our Sunday Visitor); The Grace of Enough (Ave Maria Press); The Scandal of Redemption: When God Liberates the Poor, Saves Sinners, and Heals Nations (Plough Publishing); Unworried (Our Sunday Visitor); What I Am Living For (Ave Maria Press); Winter of the Heart (Ave Maria Press)


Gratefulness (Ave Maria Press); I Believe in You: Wisdom from Community with Persons with Disabilities on Believing in Ourselves and the Other (New City Press); Plan of Life: Habits to Help You Grow Closer to God (Pauline Books and Media); Saints on Sunday (Liturgical Press); Sharing the Wisdom of Time (Loyola Press); Soul Seeing (Orbis Books)

Music: Distinguished Catholic Composer of the Year

Alan J. Hommerding (World Library Publications); The Collegeville Psalter (Liturgical Press)

Music: Distinguished Mass Setting

Mass of St. Matthias (World Library Publications); Mass of the Evangelists (Liturgical Press)

Music: Song of the Year

Rise Again (World Library Publications); Show Us Your Face (World Library Publications); Struggler (Ascension Press)


An Invitation to Love (Loyola Press); Anchors for the Soul (Ave Maria Press); Come Lord Jesus (Clear Faith Publishing); Live Lent! - Year C (RENEW International); Rejoice: Advent Meditations with Mary (Ascension Press); To Dare the Our Father (Liturgical Press)    

Resources for Liturgy

Excerpts from the Roman Missal (World Library Publications); From No to Yes (Clear Faith Publishing); God's Good Earth (Liturgical Press); Living Liturgy: Spirituality, Celebration, and Catechesis for Sundays and Solemnities Year C (2019) (Liturgical Press)

Resources for Ministry

Quick Catholic Lessons with Fr. Mike (Ascension Press); Salt and Light: Church, Disability, and the Blessing of Welcome to All (Twenty-Third Publications); The Church Rocks! A History of the Catholic Church for Kids and their Parents and Teachers (Pauline Books and Media); The Parish Emergency Kit: Responding with Compassion When Tragedy Strikes (Twenty-Third Publications); What Matters Most (Ave Maria Press)


God With Us (Loyola Press); O Lord, Open My Lips, The Psalms in the Liturgy (Liturgy Training Publications); Proverbs (Liturgical Press); Psalm Basics for Catholics (Ave Maria Press); The Gospel According to Luke, Part One (Liturgical Press); The Paulist Biblical Commentary (Paulist Press); Threshold Bible Study Series -- Peacemaking and Non-Violence (Twenty-Third Publications); Threshold Bible Study Series -- Salvation for All: Romans (Twenty-Third Publications)


La Iglesia (Ave Maria Press); Misal Romano: Tercera edición: Edición para el Altar (Liturgical Press) 


Boundless Compassion (Ave Maria Press); Richard Rohr: Essential Teachings on Love (Orbis Books); Seasons of Grace: A Spiritual Companion to the Liturgical Year (Paulist Press); Surrender to Christ for Mission (Liturgical Press); The Climate of Monastic Prayer (Liturgical Press); The Soul's Slow Ripening (Ave Maria Press)


Creation and the Cross (Orbis Books); Is This All There Is? (Liturgical Press); Life and Love (Our Sunday Visitor); Marriage Annulments Under Pope Francis (Liguori Publications); Revolutionary Saint (Orbis Books); Stumbling in Holiness (Liturgical Press);

A brief explanation of each category follows. 

Books in the “Biography” category must be about Catholics whose work has made a valuable contribution to the Church and the world on a local level or a universal level. “Children’s Books” are divided into three categories focusing on picture books for young children who are learning to read, young readers up to age 11, and teens aged 12-18 about the Catholic faith, the Church, or Catholicism.

Books in the “General Interest” category include Church history, collections of essays by theologians or important Catholic thinkers. The “Inspirational” book category focuses on devotional, spiritual, and meditation books and books on saints, holy people, and stories related to people living their faith.

Submissions in the music categories highlight specifically Catholic aspects of music in faith. The “Song of the Year” honors liturgical compositions that address a specified theme; this year it is social justice. “Distinguished Mass Setting” honors complete settings published in the last three years and intended for use in Roman Catholic liturgy. “Distinguished Catholic Music Composer of the Year” honors outstanding artistic achievement in composition for liturgy, worship, or personal prayer.

“Prayer” is books centered on formal or informal prayer.  “Resources for Liturgy” covers any book that serves as a formation and preparation tools in parish or school ministry for sacrament preparation, liturgy, and worship. Examples include liturgical ministry guidebooks, lector training resources, and sacramental preparation. “Resources for Ministry” includes any book that is not part of a ministry program that serves as a faith formation tool in parish ministry for sacrament preparation, catechesis (other than basal programs), adult faith formation, and for use in enrichment programs.

The category of “Scripture” includes books about Scripture, whether scholarly treatments of particular books or collections of books of the Bible. Bibles are excluded from this category. “Spanish” includes books from any awards category (inspiration, biography, prayer and spirituality, etc.) originally published in Spanish for the U.S. market.

“Spirituality” books are largely narrative in form and structured along a specific theme. “Theology” includes books on the topic of Catholic theology, whether scholarly monographs or more popular treatments of theological aspects of Catholic teaching on, for example, the sacraments, the nature of the Church.

The Association of Catholic Publishers (ACP) is a membership organization of Catholic publishers, those who provide services to Catholic publishers, and individuals who work with Catholic publishers. The ACP provides opportunities for members to further the Catholic publishing industry, promote Catholic publishing and reading, and engage those they interact with, including retailers, pastoral leaders, individual customers, and staff.