February Book

Book: What Jesus Saw From the Cross by. Fr. Sertillange.
Author/Playwright Women’s Month (March): D.  Boswell.
What Jesus Saw from the Cross

In Gethsemane,
Jesus begged His disciples
to “watch one hour”
with Him.

Another Lent begins next week.
Before it ends, will you finally manage
to watch one hour with Jesus,
and in that hour, to grow closer to Him in prayer…
as He yearns for you to do?

If you’re not confident, you should
consider this remarkable book,
written in Jerusalem in the 1920s
by a Dominican priest who lived there.

This Lent, it will make it easy for you
to watch not just one hour with Jesus,
but many.

“By means of this book,”
said Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta,
“we enter right into the Heart of Jesus and discover
how precious we are to Him and how much
He longs for our love in return.”


The late John Cardinal O’Connor
called this book “beautiful, devotional, and insightful.”


Fr. Benedict Groeschel
proclaimed it “a powerful aid to meditation.”


Dr. Alice von Hildebran says,
“This book should be in the hands of every single Christian.”

That’s because its author,
Rev. A.D. Sertillanges (1863-1948),
wrote with the care of a scholar, the eye of a cinematographer,
and the tenderness of a saint.

In the pages of this book, What Jesus Saw from the Cross,
you’ll be jostled by crowds as you enter Jerusalem with Jesus,
choke on the dust of the narrow streets,
breathe the rich smells of the city at festival time,
and share the Last Supper with the disciples.

You’ll weep in Gethsemane,
witness the kiss of Judas and the lying accusations
made before Herod and Pilate.
You’ll stumble with Jesus through narrow streets,
bumped by pack animals and hawkers selling wares
to the thrill-seeking crowd,
sneering at the Cross Jesus bears.

You’ll weep as soldiers drive home the nails
and tremble as darkness covers the earth
when Jesus dies.

So intense is Fr. Sertillanges’ account of Jesus’ last days
— and so faithful to the Gospel —
that generations of Catholics have used
What Jesus Saw from the Cross
to prepare themselves for Easter.


The late Fr. John Hardon, Servant of God, said that:

“Father Sertillanges’ book immerses us
into every detail, every event, and every emotion
that accompanies the drama
of Christ’s suffering and sacrifice on the cross.
After reading this book, every Christian will experience
the vivid sense of being an eyewitness
to the death of His Lord
and view the Crucifixion as a personal event
that touches his daily life.
This is a book for all times, for all places, and for all people, especially our own age.”


Will your faith grow this Lent,
or will it be another Lent
in which you just
“manage to get by?”

Join Mother Teresa, Cardinal O’Connor,
Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Dr. Alice von Hildebrand,
and countless other good Catholics
who have nourished their faith with
What Jesus Saw from the Cross.


“I am happy to recommend
What Jesus Saw from the Cross.

— Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

What Jesus Saw from the Cross
is the perfect book to take to prayer
during Lent and throughout the year.”

— Lay Witness

“For families seeking spiritual reading,
this book will be a valuable source of inspiration
and of great value to parents
when teaching their children about
the central mystery of our faith.”

— Family Life

“This book deserves the attention
of all serious Christians.”

— The Priest

A. G. Sertillanges

Antonin Gilbert Sertillanges entered the Dominican order in France when he was twenty, was ordained a priest in 1888, and devoted the rest of his life to study and prayer.

A gifted teacher and a prolific scholar, Fr. Sertillanges published many books and over a thousand articles in the areas of philosophy, theology, art, and spirituality.

Fr. Sertillanges was admired for his skill as a preacher, spiritual director, and apologist, and had considerable success explaining the Catholic faith to the young and the unconverted.

No “ivory tower” intellectual, but a passionate son of the Church, Fr. Sertillanges’s works bridge the gap between theology and the Christian experience of ordinary laymen.


Also for Lent

In the book of Thessalonians,
Christ urges us to pray without ceasing,but when we try to do so,
most of us simply
cease without praying.

We’re distracted by troubles,
or duty, or we quit because
it’s late already and we’re tired.

Now there is a remedy
that actually works.


Written nearly a century ago,
and used since then by generations
of grateful Catholics,
this no-nonsense prayer manual
dispels the false notions of prayer
we all have and shows how we can,
in fact, pray without ceasing —
even at times when
exhaustion cripples us and
cares threaten to sweep us away.

Drawing on the experience of dozens
of saints, Fr. Raoul Plus explains
sure ways we can recollect ourselves
before prayer
so that once we begin to pray,
our prayers will be richer
and more productive.

He teaches us how to practice interior
silence habitually, even in the rush
and noise of the world.

And he explains each of the
kinds of prayer
and shows when we should —
and should not —
employ each.


The result?

Even in the midst of busy days,
we’re soon able to pray always
by keeping our wills
united to God
even when our minds
must be directed elsewhere.

In a word, How to Pray Always 
is one of those rare books
that actually fulfills the promise
of its title:
in just over a hundred pages,
it shows us how to love God
and to live prayerfully and constantly
in His loving presence.


How to Pray Always 

144 pages
4.8 Star Rating

Order online now or call

Some of the many saints whose
teachings are found in this book:

St. Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591), St. Anthony (251-356),
St. Augustine (354-430), St. Bernard of Clairvaux
(1090-1153), St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622),
St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), St. Francis Xavier
(1506-1552), St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556),
St. Jerome (c. 342-420), St. John Berchmans (1599-1621),
St. John of the Cross (1542-1591), St. John Vianney
(1786-1859), St. Leonard of Port Maurice (1676-1751),
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690),
St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi (1566-1607),
St. Paul of the Cross (1694-1775), St. Philip Neri
(1515-1595), St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

Raoul Plus, S.J.

Raul Plus, S.J. wrote more than forty books
to help Christians understand
God’s love for the soul.
His works stress the vital role of prayer
in the spiritual life
and show how you can live the truths of the faith.

Silent Films

Many children were introduced to silent films for the first time when the QASFF hosted silent film star Buster Keaton at the end of last year. Next month they will be introduced to the legendary movie director Oscar Micheaux.
In coming months, the QASFF repertoire will continue to include international and silent film collections, and highlight legendary figures who made indelible contributions to media arts. Our QAS children seem to enjoy our media library time. Perhaps some children would consider professional interests in the field?  Peace, Diane

QASBRF/ November 2012

Our Book Reading Fellowship has evolved into another exciting entity!

  • Guest authors and publishers will share their perspective on readership trends.
  • Infusions of plays and operas appear within our 2013 reading selections.
  • Photojournalist, nature, and eco-friendly themed selections will appear next year.
  • Collaborations with other websites are in the works!

Get ready!

Queen of All Saints Film Forum/November/2012

Our QAS School students screened selections from the “Spiritual Cinema Circle Series” films recently.

Arabic language, Arabic Sign Language, Japanese, Portuguese and English language films were recently viewed by upper grade QAS students.

Their response was fantastic! Discussions were lively, genuine (of course), and very enjoyable. Life experiences/understandings cross language barriers. Children are receptive to learning new and different uses of media.

A child’s exposure to thought –provoking media is a positive teaching tool. Additional international film sessions continue this month.

In fact, our QAS school children will experience silent films shortly.

Thank you kids!

Ms. Ward.

QASFF Update and Feedback


International films from the Spiritual Cinema Circle Series were screened during our June Street Fair.  Our audience was delighted with all three selections, namely “Persimmon”(Japanese), “The Scarecrow Girl”(Portuguese) and “Love at First Sight” (English).  These captioned films provoked strong memories, emotions and dialogue.
What a joyful sharing experience!

Our human commonality was evident in these thoughtful, beautifully directed and acted short stories.

Exclusive showings of additional selections from the Spiritual Cinema Circle are scheduled with QAS School students this semester. Their commentary and perspective will be interesting. Exposure to the lives of people in other cultures and environments can remind us of our blessings and help us mature. Anyone at any age can benefit from sobering reminders of our blessings.

Since I am developing our next QASFF viewing, a colleague suggested the film “Le Harve”? Have you seen it? Let me know.

Thank you. Diane.

Empires of the Indus The Story of a River By Alice Albinia

QAS BRF / Winter to Spring

Empires of the Indus The Story of a River By Alice Albinia

The Indus Valley region has held an allure to poets, artists, and politicians for centuries. Alexander the Great would not recognize this area of land today! Ms. Albinia’s route along the Indus River became a daunting and formidable journey that ancient (and present day) traders and cartographers would relish. Although historical markers and village names changed, she completed this quest of immeasurable worth.

There have been many conquerors, and colonizers along the Indus River. The Indus Valley has witnessed cultural blending, political upheavals, social suppressions and the hardships of those disenfranchised. Multilingual and religious pilgrims have walked along her shores. Prejudiced ethnographers and explorers viewed as ‘experts” inspired ethnocentric treaties that caused irreparable damage. Every shore of the mighty Indus River is politically convoluted. The present day damming of the Indus River without regard for the lives it will disrupt is an unfortunate reality.

For now the valley consists of ever-changing lush topography and desert roads. I felt at times completely enraptured by the scenic roads and barren desert; by the personalities of her fellow travelers, by her fatigued moments, by her zeal to continue on in spite of the trepidations the country men and politicians exerted.

We shared Ms. Albinia’s excitement upon seeing Stonehenge reminiscent ruins. Meeting people who have retained their fore-bearer’s language, food, and livelihood in an almost pristine state were wonderful! These moments provided us with “time-warps” into their past. The potential destruction of (unrecognized) archeological treasures is heartbreaking. Perhaps she has served to highlight the urgency needed in order to recover these treasures.

Acknowledging the sacrifices of so many who fought for their land through political and religious differences is neither comfortable nor forgettable. This book has provided a way for us to remember. The Indus River, with her quiet streams, pools and tributaries reach out and ask us to be still and recognize her with reverence.

To her family and friends, our gratitude for praying for Ms. Albinia’s safe return (I would have too if I knew her!) and for bolstering her dream. Her bravery alone was formidable and the humble humanity of those who shared their homes and lives with her was simply beautiful.

DID YOU ENJOY READING “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabelle Wilkerson?

Did “The Last Secret of Fatima” surprise you? Share your thoughts!

In addition to our April, May, June and July selections already listed, the August selection is “Thea’s Song: The Life of (Sister) Thea Bowman” by Charlene Smith. Our September selection is “What is the What” by Dave Eggers and October’s selection is “Unorthodox” by Deborah Feldman. Enjoy!

QAS BRF “Dangerous Memories A Mosaic of Mary in Scripture”

“Dangerous Memories A Mosaic of Mary in Scripture”
By Elizabeth Johnson

The Virgin Mary accepted God’s invitation to serve as the Mother of Jesus Christ.
She navigated within a time and place that designated, because of her gender, limited expectations. Her influence was politically, socially and intellectually subscribed. She was poor, an occasional immigrant and perhaps educationally limited.

Understanding Mary the Mother of Jesus and the cultural mores and attitude of her generation brings us closer to understanding the humbleness of the Holy Family.

The life of Jesus and the dynamics of the Holy Family many feel is mundane and inconsequential to the message of Jesus Christ. Contrarily, the societal backdrop provides more of the reason why women exhibiting courage, and withstanding hardship magnifies their contribution and sacrifice for our faith.

Professor Johnson’s book provides a constructive and realistic, not idealized and cosmetic look at the life Mother Mary probably led. We have all wondered what Mother Mary looked like, her relationship with St Joseph and the other Apostles, and if she had children after Our Lord Jesus. She lived in community, had neighbors, washed kids and clothes, cooked, and cleaned. In this simple setting of living, Mother Mary bore Our Lord Jesus Christ which could not happen without His feminine heritage.

Women provided immeasurable spiritual significance, stability, and force in the growth and nurturance of Christianity despite the Church’s patriarchal stance. Eventually the Church will recognize and mature into acknowledging their unfounded gender bias and actualize the significant and equally beautiful sanctity and grace of women in faith.

Welcome to another season of the QAS Book Reading Fellowship!

Our winter through summer 2012 selections follows:

January: “Empires of the Indus, The Story of a River” by Alice Albinia
February: “ The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson
March: “The Last Secret of Fatima” by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
April: “Kalpa Imperial” By Angélica Gorodischer
May: “ Bastard Out of Carolina “ By Dorothy Allison
June: “Cosmicomics” By Italo Calvino
July: “ Wildseed” By Octavia Butler

Share your thoughts. Feedback is appreciated. Thank you, and please enjoy!
December 2011

Book Reading Fellowship and Film Forum Fall to Winter November 2011

The Best Kept Secret Single Black Fathers” By Roberta Coles

Parenting and respect, along with so many other factors including role expectations and biases surface in this thought provoking book.

Here we have text and case study that exposes how society has a quizzical and sometimes presumptive second look at Black men raising children as the sole parent. If you’re not a “numbers person”, look beyond the statistics (The author readily admits to this small sampling).

Salary differences, gender, cultural differences, the age on onset of the parents/children, and support systems (both public and private) are factors that have an impact upon many single parenting households. However, Black men who fill both parental roles have been relegated as a marginalized subset of racial interest by many sociologists.

Look within the hearts of the men Roberta Coles profiles here, and see the children who have a parent that provides for and loves them completely. As Black men they have reinforced a strength of conviction and family which some of us already knew. This is an educational and enlightening book for some on many levels. A more comprehensive look could possibly invoke positive change and inclusive solutions to pressures, inconsistencies, social stigmas and prejudices single Black men who also parent experience in this society.

White Apples and the Taste of Stone” has an accompanying CD of Donald Hall reading his selected poems covering the span of 1946-2006.

“Shrubs Burnt Away” and the “Letters Without Addresses” Section is I think quite poignant and my favorite portion of this book. (Although the books’ title is a poem regarding his father which has an interesting beckoning power on Mr. Hall.)

As usual with poetry I find something new with each reading that somehow calls to me something slightly differently than the initial read through.

Gifting Selection

I enjoy giving books, film, and music as gifts throughout year, but especially during the holidays. I’ll provide periodic suggestions of some of my favorites you might wish to consider.

“Sacred Bond Black Men and their Mothers” by Keith Michael Brown is a wonderful gift book in my opinion. You’re sure to recognize some influential men and their Moms in this compilation of over-sized photos and narratives (e.g. Malik Yoba, David A. Paterson, and Dr. Benjamin Carson).

Peace, Diane


Hello and welcome to the premiere of BOOKSNFILM@qasrcc.org.

We hope to engage your commentary on selections highlighted within the Book Reading Fellowship (BRF) and Film Forum (FF) of Queen of All Saints (QAS) Roman Catholic Church.

QAS is located in Fort Greene/ Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
Our website address is www.qasrcc.org. Partake in QAS’s 100th Anniversary celebrations advertised in the bulletin, and get to know the QAS parish by joining us at mass. Consider attending our Fellowship Sundays and ask about our ministries. All are welcome.

In conjunction with our second street fair, visitors had an opportunity to enjoy the documentary video-film “Priest” directed by QAS parishioner Tudor Pavelescu.  One can view this film (and his other productions) on www.vimeo.com/tudorpavelescu.

Tudor attended the street fair and was available for visitors’ questions. In between multiple airings, I had an opportunity to ask Tudor this pointed question “What motivated you to make this video?” He replied, “ To know more about the vocation to the priesthood.”

Good query I thought. Truly, what constitutes a calling? How could one devote their lives so completely to this vocation?
I am not going to be your spoiler, so view the video! Key words include:
House of Discernment
Inner paradoxes
Personal testimonials
Bringing the peace of Christ to others

Maybe “Priest” will provide you with some insight by the testimonials offered by various priests at different levels of their training and inner development. They are supportive of each other, but less patient with themselves. (Fr. Cox is wonderful! Okay, he’s QAS raised and we are proud.)

“Priest” provides a fifteen-minute window into a portion of the internal and external journeys of men on their path to priesthood. “Priest’ is a video that benefits from multiple viewings in order to capture all of its nuances.

What constitutes a calling? Why would someone want to because a priest?  Decide for yourself if that question is answered in Tudor’s video.

Refer to QAS’s website for notices of projected monthly book readings and periodic film forum screenings.

*Soon QAS will introduce our “Heritage & Culture site. We hope to share various interests through stories (e. g, childhood memories), homage to our ancestors and their way of life, songs, dance productions, art, food (recipes?) and more!

Join in!
As Betty Davis (or Mae West?)  said,  “ …we’re in for a bumpy ride.”