Friday, December 02, 2016

Nouvelle loi en France

Un message pro-vie pour nos confrêres francophones qui ne peuvent plus exprimer ces messages de vie sur les sites francais à cause d'une nouvelle loi:

Je vous en prie, aujourd'hui choisissez ma vie!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Review: Angels and Saints: A Biblical Guide to Friendship with God's Holy Ones

Angels and Saints: A Biblical Guide to Friendship with God's Holy Ones Angels and Saints: A Biblical Guide to Friendship with God's Holy Ones by Scott Hahn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Like many of Scott Hahn's books, this one, too reads like a convert's guide for other converts to the Catholic Church. This book happens to focus on the Magisterium's historical teaching on angels and saints. As a cradle Catholic I wasn't particularly enlightened nor enthused by the odd choice of saints that make up the better part of this small book.

The Catholic Church has been around for over 2000 years, and we probably celebrate a dozen or so saints every day of the year so, other than out of some personal attraction to one saint or another, it seems difficult to understand Hahn's featuring of these saints.

Still, if you know nothing about the Catholic Church's position on saints and angels (and you actually want to learn what the Church teaches) this is probably not a bad place to start your research.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I'm pleased to announce the Fine Form Press release of my new commercial fiction novel - after 10 years of re-writes...

Love and Death by JT Therrien
I truly enjoyed enjoyed working on this story. Love and Death is a study in contrasts. There's Jane Crispin, an older woman, spa owner and new-ager, who does something foolish after learning that she has a terminal disease: she steps out of her van one morning and kisses the handsome, younger construction worker holding a yield sign. What harm can that impulsive act do, right?

When Chase tracks her down and shows up at the spa the next day, Jane begins to realize that The Kiss started something she might not live long enough to finish!

I hope you enjoy reading this novel. It is one of my oldest and most cherished love stories. It has some wickedly entertaining characters and the setting is Seal Beach, California. Keep a tissue or two by your side, my editor advises. She's right. It's a bit of tear-jerker.

Love and Death is available (or will soon be) from all e-book retailers, including: Amazon,Smashwords, B & N, itunes or your favorite e-book retailer. My middle grade children's fiction is also available in print on and at Amazon.

For those who want to try before buying, I currently have four short works available for free atall retailers except Amazon (they won't let me...)

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and for reading my fiction. I'm grateful for any comments and reviews!

~ JT Therrien~

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Psalm 52 and the American Election

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, I make no claim to the ownership of this image. 

I don't have a dog in the fight that is the upcoming U.S. presidential election, Deo Gratias, but this psalm expresses my opinion:

Psalm 52
Against a calumniator
If anyone would boast, let him boast in the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:31).

Why do you boast of your wickedness,
you champion of evil,
planning ruin all day long,
your tongue like a sharpened razor,
you master of deceit?

You love evil more than good,
lies more than truth.
You love the destructive word,
you tongue of deceit.

For this God will destroy you
and remove you for ever.
He will snatch you from your tent and uproot you
from the land of the living.

The just shall see and fear.
They shall laugh and say:
“So this is the man who refused
to take God as a stronghold,
but trusted in the greatness of his wealth
and grew powerful by his crimes.”

But I am like a growing olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the goodness of God
for ever and ever.

I will thank you for evermore;
for this is your doing.
I will proclaim that your name is good,
in the presence of your friends.

Praying for my American friends and neighbors. May their choice for a political leader bring them, and all of us in North America, closer to God.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Rest in Peace, Fr. Hamel

Père Jacques Hamel, martyred by Daesh on July 26, 2016
Father Jacques Hamel, 84, martyred by Daesh in Rouen France on July 26, 2016
while celebrating Holy Mass.
Requiescat in Pace.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Summer Reading

So, you finally finished Pope Francis' 250 page Apostolic Exhortation: Amoris Laetitia and you've been looking for something else to read. Possibly some Catholic-themed fiction?

I have just the thing(s).

Teresa's Garden by JT Therrien
If you like a good bargain, there's Teresa's Garden, my free novella about a fictional encounter between a group of children and the famous Mother Teresa. This story is quite timely, since the Catholic Church will canonize her this fall. All ebook retailers except Amazon have it for free. Kindle readers can get a .mobi file from my Smashwords page.

Many of my other works, such as my newly-released novel Her Father's Sins, mention Catholicism or Catholic theology to some degree, but the following works are explicitly Catholic-themed:
  • Teresa's Garden (Mother Teresa fictional short story - middle grade) - FREE
  • Down By Contact (NFL football-themed romance novella)
  • The Wedding Scheme (humor, contemporary romance novel)
  • St. Nicholas (Middle grade Christmas-themed short story)
  • Sprainter (young adult, dystopian, art-themed, sci-fi novella)

As you can see, there's quite a variety of genres and subject matter available. I know there's something there for everyone's tastes!

I hope readers will take advantage of the free deals (I currently have four free short stories/novellas). If you do, and you've enjoyed the story, please let others know by sharing a review. I thank you in advance for taking the time to help me promote my work.

My Summer So Far
I am currently finishing edits on yet another nine-years-in-the-making novel, which I hope Fine Form Press will release within a couple of months. I am also considering the next installment in my Shadow the black Lab series and I'm thinking about the fourth Dr. Farkas story in my paranormal romance series. I also have two young adult Catholic-themed novels planned for next year.

I also hope to have time this summer to read a few of the books on my ever-growing to-be-read list. There are new novels by Chris Bohjalian, Anita Shreve, Margret Atwood, Lawrence Hill and Julian Barnes, among others. So many others... :-)

That's it for me.
Have a safe, happy summer!


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Her Father's Sins: a new novel

I'm pleased to announce the Fine Form Press release of my latest romance novel: Her Father's Sins.

Her Father's Sins by JT Therrien
This romance novel took nine years to write, from the first words to release. It spent six of those years dormant in my computer, waiting for me to return to it and finish it. I lost count of the number of times I changed the point-of-view over the years.

Thanks to my wife's input at the early stages of the novel, I believe that this story is one of my better efforts.

Lillian LaChance (nee Armstrong), Gabriel Peterson and Raymond Eckert are three of my most interesting characters. The setting is Toronto Canada, Geneva Switzerland and Muhajeria Sudan and the story spans three generations of the Armstrong family.

Her Father's Sins is a tale of contrasts: there is poverty (homelessness) vs affluence; small business vs Big Pharma; North American technological amenities vs Sudanese simplicity; the warmth of family life vs the cold isolation of family loss; the gift of mental health vs the trappings of mental illness; and many other contrasts.

Her Father's Sins Blurb

While recovering from a family tragedy, Lillian inherits her father's multinational pharmaceutical corporation, along with the responsibility for his successful, but unscrupulous, business practices. Needing to right past wrongs, Lillian ignores family loyalties as she schemes to gain the trust and friendship of Gabriel Peterson, a man who lost everything after his battle with William Armstrong.

I hope readers will enjoy my latest contemporary romance novel.

Her Father's Sins can be obtained from all e-book retailers, including: Amazon, Smashwords, B & N, itunes or your favorite e-book retailer. My middle grade children's fiction is also available in print on and at Amazon.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and for reading my fiction.

~ JT Therrien~

Monday, June 06, 2016

Review: Indian Horse

Indian Horse Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I guess Richard Wagamese likes stereotypes. In Indian Horse he has the drunken Native American, the cleric sexual predators for which the Catholic Church is (apparently) best known, the sadistic nuns who enable the priests' sexual abuse and, last but not least, the White Man who, like a territorial dog that knows no limits, thinks that everything he sees, thinks or does belongs to him and not to Others - especially when it comes to protecting the sacred game of hockey.

Forget looking for deep insights into the human condition in Iron Horse. Forget anything beyond blaming your parents (or some authoritative element of society that stands in for your parents) for screwing up your life and being the cause of your problems. If you're unsuccessful, it's someone else's fault - literally, the Universe's in this case - since you have to accept a pagan ideology to understand this story.

The story itself is well-written and it is a joy to read a solid tale about hockey. Wagamese captures the game of hockey as I remember playing it in Pee Wee and Bantam. The language is not flowery, nor is it stripped down minimalism. The imagery is well-grounded in the senses and Wagamese brings the game to life. But his reliance on stereotypes shows how insecure he is in his story-telling skills. Instead of giving the reader a truly unique and memorable character, we're left thinking of this as the drunken Indian hockey player novel.

Of course, the scenes and disclosures of sexual abuse are difficult to read. As a practicing Catholic I cannot condone any abuse - clergy or otherwise. Sexual predators need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law - regardless whether they wear a religious collar or not.

Before buying into Wagamese's depiction of (mostly northern) residential schools where decades of the sexual abuse took place (a fact I do not dispute), I would have liked some historical information. I would have appreciated at least a mention of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2008-2015) and their findings and recommendations; the fact that among a list of many organizations, the Catholic Church apologized for the abuses caused by their clergy or the people in their employment. How the residential schools came to be, etc., but we have none of that deeper analysis. That would presumably take away from the stereotypical Good Guy vs Bad Guy story line.

Sadly, we're left with the uneasy feeling that Wagamese used the whole troubling, traumatic setting of the residential schools in Iron Horse only for dramatic effect. Does it work? You bet! Does it make for good literature? Nope.

It's a story that is chock-full of stereotypes (hence it has a readily-accessible, universal appeal) and it would be a good made-for-tv movie with all of the dramatic elements that include Ojibwa mysticism, drinking, fighting, scandalous sexual abuse, the Catholic Church and, yes, even Canada's true religion: hockey.

Regardless of what Canada Reads says, should you read this novel? It can't hurt you, but it certainly won't inspire you beyond the covers.

View all my reviews

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Review: Jesus the Bridegroom: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

Jesus the Bridegroom: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told Jesus the Bridegroom: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Brant Pitre
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my favorite book by Catholic theologian Brant Pitre. In this latest hermeneutical work, Pitre explores the historical, cultural and biblical roots of the idea of Jesus defining Himself as the Bridegroom of the Church and, by extension, since we all participate in Christ's Mystical Body, of all the Faithful.

Every Catholic priest must familiarize himself with this important, significant catechesis and teach it from the pulpit.

View all my reviews

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Review: The Name of God is Mercy

The Name of God is Mercy The Name of God is Mercy by Pope Francis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading yet another book by Pope Francis. I especially found it rewarding to learn a bit more about what influenced the Pope's views on the virtue of mercy. Following a format used in publishing some of his previous books, a Vatican journalist submitted a list of questions to Pope Francis and he answered them at his leisure. So, (thankfully) no off-the-cuff comments from the Pontiff in this missive. Anyone familiar with the Pope's views on mercy, especially as they relate to the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, will find his personal answers heartwarming and full of practical advice.

Unfortunately, this book was released before the publication of Pope Francis' latest apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, so there is no discussion of any of the controversies contained in that text.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning why the Pope (and the Catholic Church) believes that God's mercy is such a necessity for people (believers and non-believers alike) navigating our secular modern world.

View all my reviews

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Taking Down the Body From the Cross - Meditation

Taking Down Christ's Body from the Cross is the sixth prayer meditation in the Devotion to Mary's Sorrows.

Michelangelo's Pieta, image from Wikipedia
Whenever I think of Michelangelo's or anyone else's rendition of the Pieta, Mary cradling Jesus' lifeless body is always juxtaposed in my mind with Mary cradling the infant Jesus. This brings great comfort, in one sense, since it completes Jesus' ministry on Earth, which began with his incarnation, with the mystery of the marriage of divinity and humanity, which then led to His birth.

Besides a mother's loss, what did Mary feel when she held the body of Our Savior? Did she recall the angel's encounter thirty-three years before? Did she think of her quiet assent, her humble and faith-based ave, her assent to God's request? Did she consider all those times when the Holy Family had to flee from dangerous threats to her son? Did she wonder why the Innocents had to be murdered, when ultimately, Jesus still met his death in such an ugly, humiliating way? Did she recall that bitter-sweet event so long ago, at the presentation of Our Lord in the temple, when Simeon praised the baby Jesus and then warned our Blessed Mother that her heart would be pierced by sorrow?

As she holds his corpse, the weight of his flesh straining her arms, did she wonder how Jesus could be the Savior of the world when he couldn't, or wouldn't, save himself?

Was her faith in God tested, after seeing her Son brutally tortured for two days?

No, probably not. Mary had faith in God. And she was the most tested of God's earthly creatures, and for that she deserved to be crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Book Review - Pray for Me

Pray for Me: The Life and Spiritual Vision of Pope Francis, First Pope from the AmericasPray for Me: The Life and Spiritual Vision of Pope Francis, First Pope from the Americas by Robert Moynihan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an interesting book that explores Pope Francis' childhood influences, adult religious influences and some of his thoughts on a variety of topics affecting the Church. Moynihan also goes out of his way to show the theological continuity between Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.

Although I would not classify this book as "must read" for Catholics, it is an important book that helps to explain the sources of Pope Francis' more popular/controversial comments and actions which at first might appear to go against Church doctrine or tradition.

View all my reviews

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Book Review: Five Loaves & Two Fish

Five Loaves & Two FishFive Loaves & Two Fish by Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A truly amazing and inspiring book.

For anyone feeling overwhelmed over the assaults on our Faith, this collection of prayers and autobiographical reflections by persecuted Vietnamese Catholic Bishop Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan will lift your spirits and open your heart to discipleship.

View all my reviews

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Review: A Decent Ride

A Decent Ride A Decent Ride by Irvine Welsh
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My first impression upon finishing this book: It ain't no Shakespeare.

Of course, I don't mean the language. Welsh has a unique voice, and that's why I've always enjoyed his novels. What disappointed me about A Decent Ride was that there was no moral arc to the story.

Juice Terry suffers through the torments of Job (sort of) and, surviving these travails, he learns nothing. This is unfortunate, since there seemed to be so much room for personal growth. I am willing to give Welsh the benefit of the doubt, since I respect him as a skilled craftsman of fiction, and accept that Juice Terry is meant to be irascible, but that is small comfort for the two weeks I spent reading this story.

View all my reviews

Monday, January 18, 2016

Author Showcase: Matt Fradd

Catholic Apologist Matt Fradd
My author showcase features Matt Fradd. He is the co-author (with his wife Cameron) of the newly released Restored: True Stories of Love and Trust after Porn. His previous books include Delivered - True Stories of Men and Women Who Turned from Porn to Purity and Bought with a Price: Every Man's Duty to Protect Himself and His Family from a Pornographic Culture (introduction to text by Bishop Loverde).

A bit about Matt Fradd from his website: "I'm a Catholic apologist and speaker. That means I specialize in defending the Catholic faith: the existence of God; the historicity of Jesus; the truth claims of the Catholic Church. I hope to do it in a relatable way that will help you learn the faith and defend it with charity and confidence."

It is in this faith-filled context that Mr. Fradd explores the detrimental aspects of pornography on people's lives and also its disastrous effects on once-solid marriages.

If pornography has its hooks in you or someone in your family, if you think you are addicted - or you suspect someone you love might be, or if you want to understand more about this pervasive subject in our culture, Mr. Fradd's books and videos are for you. You can find links to Matt Fradd's books and videos on his website and at all major media retailers.

Matt Fradd's links:

I implore you to check him out. Today.
You won't regret it!

~ JT ~

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