WASHINGTON (January 25, 2002) -- The Prayer for Peace prayer card, which sold more than 765,000 copies in
the final three weeks of 2001, was the best seller of the year for USCCB Publishing, the official publisher of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Christ, the sacraments, penitential practices, and Catholic social teaching all figured prominently among best selling books, cards and brochures from USCCB Publishing last year.
The Prayer for Peace prayer card, approximately the size of a post card, features Pope John Paul II's Prayer for Peace to Mary, the Light of Hope on one side and, on the other, four separate pictures of art works depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary, in color.
According to figures compiled by USCCB Publishing, the 10 best sellers of 2001 were:
|1) Prayer for Peace (Prayer Card)||765,600|
|2) Celebrate Christ's Coming: Advent 2001 (English)||340,578|
|3) A Prayer for Life (Prayer Card)||301,100|
|4) Preparing for Pentecost 2001||300,807|
|5) A People of Life (brochure)||256,100|
|6)The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist||152,176|
|7) Penitential Practices for Today's Catholics||114,966|
|8) Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (Fourth Edition)||96,055|
|9) Celebrate Christ's coming: Advent 2001 (Spanish)||78,832|
|10) Excerpts from Sharing Catholic Social Teaching||77,123|
Five of the top ten were repeats from 2000: Celebrate Christ's Coming/English (number 1 in 2000); Preparing for Pentecost (3); Excerpts from Sharing Catholic Social Teaching (5); Celebrate Christ's Coming/Spanish (6); Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (8).
Three of the top five made their appearance in December: Prayer for Peace, on December 7, and A Prayer for Life and A People of Life on December 18.
A People of Life is a summary brochure to the U.S. Bishops' Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities. It highlights the comprehensive four-part plan that includes education, care and services, advocacy and prayer as part of a national strategy to restore respect and legal protection for every human life. A discussion on Roe v. Wade, the death penalty, and euthanasia are featured in the brochure, intended for diocesan and parish distribution.
A Prayer for Life is a companion piece to the Pastoral Plan, and focuses on God's immense wisdom and love for human life. It is intended primarily for distribution at Masses, rallies, and other events.
"These end-of-year sales figures demonstrate the need for practical resources that can help deepen the daily faith lives of Catholics," noted Paul Henderson, executive director of USCCB Publishing. "The bishops have continued to respond to that need, especially with their most recent statements and publications."