WASHINGTON (December 1, 2005)—Pope John Paul II to Benedict XVI: An Inside Look at the End of an Era, the Beginning of a New One, and the Future of the Church, a book that recounts the papal transition in April 2005, has been released by Sheed & Ward publishers.
The 212-page volume was edited by Sister Mary Ann Walsh, RSM, deputy director for media relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Department of Communications. It includes material produced by the Washington-based Catholic News Service, the world's leading religion wire service, and photographs by Nancy Wiechec, CNS photo editor.
It also includes reminiscences by seven of the papal electors: Cardinal Edward Egan of New York, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit, Cardinal William H. Keeler of Baltimore, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington and Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia.
"The experience of last April was a momentous one for the entire church, indeed, the entire world," said Sister Walsh. "Catholic News Service did a spectacular job covering the events. The book brings last April to life once again as people look back on the great and historic moments of 2005."
There are several unique aspects to From Pope John Paul II to Benedict XVI. This is the only work to include commentary on the papal consistory experience from seven of the 115 electors who participated in the conclave that elected Benedict XVI. The book is enhanced by graphics which put the election into perspective. Chapters note the mood surrounding the death of John Paul and the election of his successor, the reasons for Benedict's choices in his coat of arms and an appraisal of the challenges the pope faces at the start of the 21st century.
A review in Publishers Weekly said the book "imparts a rare glimpse into the transition of papal authority to Benedict XVI after the death of John Paul II.
"Selecting the best journalistic pieces from Catholic News Service's coverage of the papal electionů the book nimbly transitions through highlights from the life of John Paul II, details regarding his funeral, and the world's celebratory but sad reaction to his death. After segments on the papal conclave and the intricate process of electing a new pope, the text turns to Benedict. The essay on his primary challenges is compelling." Publishers Weekly described the book as "a critical resource."
Sheed and Ward, part of the Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, reported that the book is on sale in both the United States and England. It is available in bookstores and through the Web, particularly on Amazon.com. While originally slated for a January release, the book is already in bookstores. List price is $21.95.
Sister Walsh is also editor of the award-winning book Pope John Paul II: A Light for the World, which marked the 25th anniversary of the papacy of John Paul II. Published in 2003 by Sheed & Ward, the book, which is filled with vibrant color pictures, gained renewed popularity in April when the world's attention was focused on Vatican City.
Editors: Review copies are available by contacting Jenni Brewer at firstname.lastname@example.org.