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 “Resource of the Year” will be named from among the first-place finishers of the 16 categories.
“Three trends stand out among this year’s finalists; 1) the number of titles that focus on women—doctors of the Church (Biography), letter of Catholic women (Inspirational), Sr. Thea Bowman (Distinguished Mass Setting), women of the New Testament (Scripture); 2) resources for parents, and 3) titles that pick up on themes in public discourse (Catholic discordance, Real Presence, racism, and President Joe Biden),” commented ACP’s executive director Therese Brown.
“Since the modifications to the Excellence in Publishing Awards that saw the categories expanded to include music submissions, this is the first year that all 16 categories will be judged,” she also noted. “This truly reflects the diversity of Catholic content that is produced by our member publishers.”
The 98 finalists represent 14 different publishers. Over 52% of the finalists come from 3 publishers—OSV (20), Ascension (18), and OCP (13). OSV's 20 titles make up 20.4% of the total finalists.
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:
A Fiery Heart: The Radical Love of Saint Francis of Assisi (Felice Accrocca, OSV); Black Catholics on the Road to Sainthood (Michael R. Heinlein, OSV); Carlo Acutis: The First Millennial Saint (Nicola Gori, OSV); Elwood: The Story of a Catholic World War II Hero (Sister Lucia Treanor, FSE, OSV); Mary Lou Williams (Deanna Witkowski, Liturgical Press); Saint Dominic's Way of Life: A Path to Knowing and Loving God (Patrick Mary Briscoe, OP, and Jacob Bertrand Janczyk, OP, OSV); Signs of Hope: Thomas Merton's Letters of Peace, Race, and Ecology (Gordon Oyer, Orbis Books); Women of Hope: Doctors for the Church (Terry Polakovic, OSV).
Children’s Books: Picture Books
10 Hidden Heroes (Mark K. Shriver, Loyola Press); Pray and Think Imaginative Rosary Book (Author & Illustrator Candace Camling, Ascension); Riding on a Donkey (Bethan James, Illustrated by Kristzina Kallai Nagy, Ascension); The Curious Story of Jonah (Author Bob Hartman, Illustrated by Honor Ayres, Ascension); The Light on Christmas Morning (Susan Joy Bellavance, OSV); The Night the Saints Saved Christmas (Gracie Jagla, Illustrated by Michael Corsini, OSV).
Children’s Books: Young Readers
Carlo Acutis: God's Computer Genius (Ellen Labrecque, Pauline Books & Media); Gospels for Young Catholics (David Mead and Mark Zimmerman, editors, Pflaum Publishing Group); Meredith's Gift (Joellyn Cicciarelli, Loyola Press); The Great Adventure Kids Catholic Bible Chronicles (Author Amy Welborn, Illustrator Michael LaVoy, Ascension).
Children’s Books: Teens
A Catholic Guide to Narnia (Ascension); Connected: Catholic Social Teaching for this Generation (Colin and Aimee MacIver, Presented by Fr. Josh Johnson and Mari Pablo with Special Guests, Ascension); GPS: God's Plan in Scripture (Emily Cavins, Lisa Bromschwig, Regina Neville, and Linda Wandrei, Ascension); The Fire of Eden (Antony Barone Kolenc, Loyola Press); Way | Truth | Life, New Testament (NABRA) (OSV); Blessed Chiara Badano: Her Secrets to Happiness (Geraldine Guadagno (text) and Loretta Rauschuber (Illustration), New City Press).
A White Catholic's Guide to Racism and Privilege (Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M., Ave Maria Press); Catholic Discordance (Massimo Borghesi, Liturgical Press); Our Not-Quite-Holy Family: A Practical Guide for Catholic Parents (Mark Hart and Melanie Hart, Ave Maria Press); Parenting Your Kids with Grace: Birth to Age 10 (Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak, OSV); Parenting Your Teens and Tweens with Grace: Ages 11-18 (Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak, OSV); St. Dymphna’s Playbook: A Catholic Guide to Finding Mental and Emotional Well-Being (Tommy Tighe, Ave Maria Press); The Hermits of Big Sur (Paula Huston, Liturgical Press); What Christ Suffered: A Doctor's Journey Through the Passion (Thomas McGovern, MD, OSV).
A Place to Belong: Letters from Catholic Women (Edited by Corynne Staresinic, Pauline Books & Media); Awakening at Lourdes: How an Unanswered Prayer Healed Our Family and Restored Our Faith (Christy Wilkens, Ave Maria Press); Finding Sanctuary: How the Wild Work of Peace Restored the Heart of a Sandy Hook Mother (Jennifer Hubbard, Ave Maria Press); Habits for Holiness: Small Steps for Making Big Spiritual Progress (Fr. Mark-Mary Ames, CFR, Ascension); Pray for Us: 75 Saints Who Sinned, Suffered, and Struggled on Their Way to Holiness (Meg Hunter-Kilmer, Ave Maria Press); Simple Mercies: How the Works for Mercy Bring Peace and Fulfillment (Lara C. Patangan, OSV).
Music: Distinguished Catholic Composer of the Year
Come, Praise the Lord A Collection of James Quinn Hymns; Music by Paul Inwood (Paul Inwood, OCP); Let the Peoples Praise You (Karen Schneider Kirner, Liturgical Press); Love As Never Before (Sarah Hart, OCP); The Sound of Victory with the Mass of St. Kilian (Curtis Stephan, OCP).
Music: Distinguished Mass Setting
Mass for Sister Thea Bowman (Aaron Mathews, GIA Publications, Inc.); Mass of St. Kilian (Curtis Stephan, OCP); Missa de Lumine (Adapted and Arranged by Kathleen Demny; Based on Conditor Alme Siderum by Carol Browning, GIA Publications, Inc.)
Music: Song of the Year
Amid the Storm
(Kevin Keil, Kate Bluett, OCP
); As the Farmer Waits
(Bob Hurd, John T Kyler, OCP
); Blessed Are You
(Sarah Hart, OCP
); Come, All You Thirsty
(Kathleen Basi, OCP
); Litany of Humility
(Thomas Muglia, OCP
); Pan del Cielo
(Iván Díaz, Kairy Marquez, OCP
); Prepare Me
(Philippa Daffern, OCP
); Shout Praise, Shout Praise, O Israel
(Justin Wedgewood, Genevieve Glen, OSB, OCP
Every Day with Saint Joseph (Mary Amore, OSV); How to Pray: A Practical Guide to the Spiritual Life (David Torkington, OSV); In St. Joseph's Footsteps: 30 Days of Meditations (Fr. Mark Toups, Ascension); Model of Faith: Reflecting on the Litany of Saint Joseph (Leonard J. DeLorenzo, OSV); Saint Joseph Prayer Book (Written, compiled, and edited by Mary Mark Wickenhiser, FSP, Pauline Books & Media); The Curious Catholic: It's Personal - Cultivating Your Relationship with God (Fr. Mike Schmitz, Ascension).
Resources for Liturgy
A Biblical Walk Through the Mass, Revised Edition (Dr. Edward Sri, Ascension); Gather: Fourth Edition (with readings) (Kate Williams, Senior Managing Editor, GIA Publications, Inc.); Lectionary Psalms (As found in Gather - Fourth Edition) (Kate Williams, Senior Managing Editor, GIA Publications, Inc.); Pocket Guide to the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Fr. Mike Schmitz and Fr. Josh Johnson, Ascension); Preaching as Paying Attention (Edward Foley, OFM Cap, Liturgy Training Publications); Unite Our Hearts: Hymn Texts by Women (Various authors, OCP).
Resources for Ministry
A Biblical Walk Through the Mass, Revised Edition (Dr. Edward Sri, Ascension); Connected: Catholic Social Teaching for this Generation (Colin and Aimee MacIver, presented by Fr. Josh Johnson and Mari Pablo with Special Guests, Ascension); Foundations for Discipleship (FOCUS, OSV); Guide for Lectors and Readers (Michael Cameron, Corinna Laughlin, Virginia Meagher, Paul Turner, Liturgy Training Publications); Our Life of Service: The Handbook for Catholic Deacons (Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, Ave Maria Press); Turn to the Lord: Forming Disciples for Lifelong Conversion (Leonard J. DeLorenzo, Liturgical Press).
Angels in the Bible (George M. Smiga with Little Rock Scripture Study Staff, Liturgical Press); Answering God's Call (Barbara Lee, Loyola Press); At His Feet: Drawng Close to Christ with the Women of the New Testament (Derya Little, OSV); Encountering the Lord in the Gospel of Mark: A 30-Day At-Home Retreat (Leo Zanchettin, The Word Among Us); Ponder: Contemplative Bible Study for Year C (Mahri Leonard-Fleckman, Liturgical Press); The Great Adventure Kids Catholic Bible Chronicles (Author Amy Welborn, Illustrator Michael LaVoy, Ascension); The Life of Jesus Christ: Understanding the Story of the Gospels (Russell Shaw, OSV); Threshold Bible Study: The Questions Jesus Asks (Stephen J. Binz, Twenty-Third Publications); Thus Says the Lord: The Prophets in the Liturgy (Richard J. Clifford, SJ, Liturgy Training Publications); What Does the Bible Say About Strangers, Migrants and Refugees? (vănThanh Nguyễn, S.V.D, New City Press).
Guia del Facilitador: El Matrimonio en el Senor (Leisa Anslinger, Corinna Laughlin, Danielle A. Noe, Michael Ruzicki, Liturgy Training Publications); Oración y Espiritualidad: Una guía para hablar con Dios y amar como Jesús (Andrés Arango, Ave Maria Press); Pertenecer: el Bautismo en la familia de Dios (Fr. Mike Schmitz with Colin and Aimee MacIver, Ascension); Preparar corazones y mentes (Joe Paprocki, Loyola Press).
Diverse yet United: Communicating Truth in Charity (Pope Francis, Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, OSV); Habits for Holiness: Small Steps for Making Big Spiritual Progress (Fr. Mark-Mary Ames, CFR, Ascension); I Am With You (Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Loyola Press); Memento Mori: An Advent Companion on the Last Things (Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP, Pauline Books & Media); Ronald Rolheiser: Essential Spiritual Writings (Ronald Rolheiser; edited by Alicia von Stamwitz, Orbis Books); Whisper: Finding God in the Everyday (Danielle Bean, Ascension).
Christian Tradition in Global Perspective (Roger P. Schroeder, Orbis Books); Desire, Darkness, and Hope (Edited by Laurie Cassidy and M. Shawn Copeland, Liturgical Press); Joe Biden and Catholicism in the United States (Massimo Faggioli, Twenty-Third Publications); Real Presence: What Does It Mean and Why Does It Matter? (Timothy P. O'Malley, Ave Maria Press); Revelation in the Vernacular (Jean-Pierre Ruiz, Orbis Books); The Art of Indigenous Inculturation: Grace on the Edge of Genius (Antonio D. Sison, Orbis Books); The Cosmic Vision of Teilhard de Chardin (John F. Haught, Orbis Books).
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.
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” recognizes the best Catholic setting for the acclamations for the Mass. “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.