Stella Maris Book Club: Sisters to the Saints

Recently I went to an evening of reflection at our old parish.  It was a lovely evening, hosted by a group of lovely women, and I am so grateful for their dedication to the women of that parish.  The one thing that made me kind of sad, though, was that the evening was based on a book by a non-Catholic.  It’s not that I think there isn’t wisdom to be found in other denominations, far from it.  It’s just that there is so much to be gleaned from within our faith.  The feminine genius, as Pope Saint John Paul II put it, is a profoundly rich and deep aspect of our heritage as Catholics.

I sat down to compile a list of applicable books to recommend to these women for future retreats, and I realized then that my repertoire of Catholic female writers is sorely lacking.  In an entirely self-serving move, I’ve created a book club that will hopefully nurture my interest in this area.  And I’m opening it up to you.

Stella Maris Book Club

A little bit about the title:

(I admit it now: it’s a working title, and I reserve the right to change it.  But here’s the explanation anyway.)

Stella Maris means “star of the sea.”  It’s one of the titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  I especially love this title of hers because it indicates her guidance.  Mary is not the destination, but the guiding light, leading us across dark and treacherous waters to our home port, Jesus Christ.  I also really really love the sea, so there’s that too.  Sisters to the Saints is an idea I got from our first book selection.  (More on that below.)  Basically, I think the more we can relate to and glean from the women who’ve gone before us, our saintly sisters in Christ, the better our understanding of the faith of today.

Participate at 1 or all levels:

No pressure:

The last thing I want this book club to be is a terrible burden.  Join in when you can.  Read only the fiction, or the non-fiction, or the titles that interest you.  If you only read half the book, or less, or more, join us anyway.  This club is meant to be supportive, not stressful.


Read the book!  Join the Stella Maris Book Club Facebook group.  Come back here the last week of the month to join in the discussion.  I’ll probably create a link-up for any bloggers who want to participate, but I want to stress that anyone and everyone, blogger or no, is welcome to join in the discussion.


As much as I love reading a good book and hashing it out online, do you know what I love more?  Talking, in real life.  Drinking coffee and/or wine with friends.  Laughing and having a good time with women in my very own home or at a local coffee shop.

May I be so bold as to make a suggestion?  Invite a friend or two and make your own local book club.  Make a plan to get together at the end of the month to have your very own, in-real-life Stella Maris Book Club meeting.  If all of your female friends are far away, as the case may be, perhaps consider a Google Hangout or Skype session.  Whatever your situation, I hope that joining will give you a connection to other women, and to your own faith.

Book selection:

For our first book, I’ve chosen My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir* by Colleen Carrol Campbell.  The book has an average of 5 stars from 185 reviews, and came recommended by lots of different women.  The Amazon blurb says:

In My Sisters the Saints, author Colleen Carroll Campbell blends her personal narrative of spiritual seeking, trials, stumbles, and breakthroughs with the stories of six women saints who profoundly changed her life: Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, Faustina of Poland, Edith Stein of Germany, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Mary of Nazareth. Drawing upon the rich writings and examples of these extraordinary women, the author reveals Christianity’s liberating power for women and the relevance of the saints to the lives of contemporary Christians.

I aim to finish this book by the last week of September and host a book club meeting then.  (Hey local friends!  Consider this your invitation!)  I’ll also put up a post here so we can chat about it.

Around the middle of the month we’ll start choosing our next book.  Thanks to my highly (un)paid consultants {cough Jessica cough Cari cough} we’re going to give fiction a try in October.  You can make suggestions here or over on the Facebook group.

So, what are you waiting for?  Let’s do what women have been doing for time immemorial: supporting each other, laughing with each other, enlightening each other, worshiping with each other.  Let’s get to reading!

Linking up with Jessica @ Housewifespice for What We’re Reading Wednesday.

*That’s an affiliate link up there, where I get a few cents if you purchase through me, and it doesn’t cost you anything extra.


  1. What a great idea!
    Thanks so much for doing this. I might even try getting some friends together too 🙂
    Martha recently posted…7QT: Still Reflecting on Edel EditionMy Profile

  2. This is such a great idea. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do the reading myself, but I will definitely follow along!
    Catherine recently posted…Boys, School, & ReadingMy Profile

  3. This is wonderful- I’m excited to read along with you. 🙂
    Abbey @ Surviving Our Blessings recently posted…Surviving Mass with Little Ones: Our Top Ten TipsMy Profile

  4. I’m in!

  5. This is a great idea! I am interested in what books you dig up, and I think I’ll be looking at this one Soon!
    brooke recently posted…some pretty in your life.My Profile

  6. I was wondering where your old parish is?? This sounds like a great program!


  1. […] online friend Rosie posted a link to this book club and they are starting with My Sisters the Saints which I already have and want to read. Join […]

  2. […] all you clubbers out there!  How’s the book coming?  I’m a little over halfway done and plan to finish it this weekend.  Of course, I did just […]