Book club is in session. The first meeting of the new OC Catholic Book Club took place at Christ Cathedral’s Freed Theater recently—where all were invited to learn and discuss the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI, just over a week after his 90th birthday.

“How can we take what we discuss here back to our communities, families, and parishes? That’s the goal of this inaugural book club session,” said theologian Dr. Pia de Solenni in her opening remarks. “It’s a way to develop the intellectual life of the diocese, here together. It’s a time to really enter into the book world.”

That night, the inaugural book discussed was “Father Benedict: The Spiritual and Intellectual Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI.”

The author, James Day, is operations manager of EWTN Studios at the Tower of Hope. Day’s aim in his debut work is to bring people to the understanding and knowledge of the former Pope—who admitted to wanting to be called “Father Benedict” after his resignation in 2013—and his devotion to the faith, to knowing the face of Jesus Christ

“The book is intense, because Joseph Ratzinger is intense…he challenges you as an intellect to become better than you are,” Day told the audience at the Freed Theater. “So if you’re up for the transformation of intellect; it will transform you as he transformed me.”

Moderated by Dr. de Solenni, the panelists included Katie Dawson, director of Parish Faith Formation in the Diocese of Orange; radio personality (and former Catholic Answers Live host) Patrick Coffin; and Fr. Robert Spitzer, head of the Magis Institute.

The next book in the book club meeting will feature “When Women Pray: Eleven Catholic Women on the Power of Prayer,” by Kathleen Beckman.

Each quarter, members of the OC Catholic Book Club will receive a faith-themed book that has been read, reviewed and hand selected by Bishop Kevin Vann and Dr. de Solenni.

With this inaugural meeting, the Diocese of Orange hopes to form theological, formative and inspiring readings to help support parishioners’ journeys of faith, and their overall relationship with Christ.

Each quarter, there will also be an opportunity to meet the author and discuss the book in a forum setting—cultivating a real “book club” community, where all are welcome to discuss findings and share stories.

Membership costs $80, and includes the quarterly books and panel-style open forum at Christ Cathedral.

Full story at Orange County Catholic