|LTP: Promoting a richer prayer life
By Michelle Martin
The Catholic book publishing industry has benefited from an increased demand for spirituality books and a growing desire for better prayer lives among individual Catholics, said John Thomas, director of Liturgy Training Publications.
In an interview before the Religious Booksellers Trade Exhibit in St. Charles, Ill., May 28-30, Thomas said the general boom in the market for spirituality or religiously-themed books has crossed over into the specifically Catholic segment of the population and people want materials that will help them establish a richer prayer life.
Its a good time, but its a challenging time, he said. Youre trying to reach people where they are, and after Sept. 11 and now with the clerical sexual abuse scandals, theres a lot of anxiety out there.
Add to that the search for meaning and consolation stirred by current events, and Catholic publishers are finding more demand from individuals than theyve seen in the past.
Since Sept. 11 and the ongoing war, there has been an increased demand for peace issues, some justice issues and general spirituality, Thomas said. People are more focused on creating a sense of prayer in their lives.
One way Liturgy Training Publications has responded is with Grant Us Peace, a $2 pamphlet revised from an out-of-print version, offering morning, evening and seasonal prayers for peace.
Thomas came to Liturgy Training Publications last year, following a stint at Paulist Press, and has about 12 years experience in the field of Catholic publishing.
Liturgy Training Publications, an agency of the Archdiocese of Chicago, offers everything from the weekday lectionary for Catholic churches to workbooks for lectors to a small book of traditional Catholic prayers.
Its kind of our mission to help people with their prayer life before they go to church, while theyre at church and after they go to church, said Thomas. We really provide a host of resources for parishes, households and individuals.
On the individual side, books about combining spirituality and work, often an issue for people living in a career-driven world, seem to be hot right now, Thomas said.
A lot of Catholic publishers are hoping to bring more of the richness of our 2,000 year-old-tradition to places like Barnes & Noble and Borders, Thomas said.
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