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Religion and Spirituality

The True Saint Nicholas by William J. Bennett

True Saint NicholasIf you've ever been asked, "Who is Saint Nicholas?"...

If you've ever wondered if he is just a commercial invention...

If you've ever thought there is no such person...

You may be surprised to know the true Saint Nicholas.

You'll never again think of Santa Claus in quite the same way.

Take a Load Off!


Start the New Year off without excess mental baggage...consider forgiveness! Scientists have proven bitterness and guilt wreaks havoc on our bodies and minds. Dr. Fred Luskin has written Forgive for good the results of the Forgiveness Project, one of the largest and most important studies on forgiveness ever conducted. It shows that learning how to forgive improves our emotional and physical well-being.

Today in Religious History, November 24th

  • 1703 — In Philadelphia, German-born pastor and hymnwriter Justus Falckner, 31, became the first Lutheran clergyman to be ordained in America
  • 1713 — Birth of Father Junipero Serra, Spanish missionary to western America. From 1769, he established 9 of the first 21 Franciscan missions founded along the Pacific coast, and baptized some 6,000 Indians before his death in 1784. For more on him, see Serra Junipero in our catalog
  • 1838 — Canadian Sulpician missionary Franois Blanchet, 43, first arrived in the Oregon Territory. A native of Quebec, he spent 45 years planting churches in the American Northwest, and is remembered today as the "Apostle of Oregon."
  • 1880 — In Montgomery, AL, more than 150 delegates from Baptist churches in 11 states met to form the Baptist Foreign Missions Convention of the United States.

Enjoy a stress free Christmas!

Beat Ebenezer Scrooge (your budget) and The Grinch (the economy) at their own game! Have a fun, festive and fancy Christmas Holiday without spending a lot of cabootle! Plan now and make your holiday season spectacular and stress-free. Everything you need is here to help stimulate your creativity; we have books ranging from 300 Ways to make the best Christmas ever to Christmas comfort and joy : 501 crafts, decorating and food ideas to make your holiday unforgettable. Be the envy of your friends and family and spend pennies for presents by checking out websites like http://simplemom.net/ and http://www.allfreecrafts.com/ for the frugal conscious!

Friends, Authors & Others program

Phone registration is underway for Canton author, Charles Steele, to discuss his newest book, "Discovering God in Science." Did the Big Bang create the universe? Did life start by chance, all without a cause? Does God exist? Many scientists are putting forth the God Hypothesis as an alternate theory to the origin of the universe. If you are interested in a cutting-edge debate about science and religion, then Discovering God in Science is a must-read. Join new author Charles E. Steele as he offers insight into this ongoing debate on Thursday, November 19th at 7:00PM in the library Community Room.

Haunted Michigan

Don't you just love chasing after the spirits? For website links to information on haunted houses in Westland, Wayne, Canton, Plymouth, Ann Arbor, Detroit and other areas, see this Haunted Houses website. For an alphabetical city list of haunted sites in Michigan that explains why each is haunted, see Shadowlands Haunted Places Index. Check out the parapsychology section of our library for researching spooky phenomena. Have fun ghostbusting this Halloween!

Relic of New Saint to be Displayed in Detroit

Portrait of St. DamienThe relic of a new saint will be displayed October 13-14 at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit. St. Damian of Molokai in Hawaii will be canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11th. For information on the times of display and church services see the Archdiocese of Detroit news article. For information on this saint or his relic, see the Frequently Asked Questions: The Relic of Saint Damien of Molokai news article.

The Lost Symbol

Dan Brown's new thriller The Lost Symbol deals with symbology or the study of symbols with which the hero and heroine have to decipher secret signs of occult orders. To complement this exciting novel, here are related books in our library that deal with hidden messages and meanings in religious art, life and the subconscious.

The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo's Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican

The Occult in Art

1000 Symbols: What Shapes Mean in Art and Myth

The Evolution of God

A book receiving some really good press lately is The Evolution of God by Robert Wright. The author follows the history of religion from polytheism to monolatry (worship of one god among many) to monotheism, focusing primarily on the evolving vision of God in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Qur'an, ending with a discussion of religion's place in human evolution. Focusing mostly on scriptures, he avoids the more philosophical territory covered in Karen Armstrong's History of God and The Great Transformation. Here is a website with excerpts from the book chapters as well as a video with the author talking about his purpose in writing this book.

Ramadan Moon

Looking for stories to share with your family during this Ramadan season? Check out Ramadan Moon by Na'ima B. Robert for a colorful description of this Islamic holiday from a child's perspective. Try Magid Fasts for Ramadan for a story about an eight-year-old boy who decides to fast even though his family thinks he is too young. Will Magid make it to Eid ul-Fitr?

Ramadan Books

According to Wikipedia, Ramadan is

...the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, sexual conduct, smoking, and indulging in anything that is in excess or ill-natured; from dawn until sunset. Fasting is meant to teach the Muslim patience, modesty and spirituality.

The Islamic calendar is lunar, whereas the Gregorian calendar is solar, so the beginning of Ramadan varies in date on the international calendar of record, while not varying on the Islamic calendar. This year, Ramadan begins on August 21st in the Eastern Hemisphere and on the 22nd in the Western Hemisphere. However, since practicing Muslims celebrate Holidays beginning in the evening of the previous day, Ramadan effectively begins at sundown tonight. For more information about Ramadan, take a look at these titles: Likewise, read and watch President Barack Obama's best wishes to the Muslim community at the White House website.
We also have materials about Islam and Islam -- Customs and Practices.

Cashless: The New Economic Program?

Cashless cover pictureIs it possible to imagine a world where cash is no longer accepted and Smart Cards and credit cards are used for everything, including vending machines? Where direct deposit is not only requested but mandated? Why is this scenario not only likely, but less expensive for the government, and actually lucrative in the long run?

Everyday Herbs in Spiritual Life

by Michael J. Caduto

Herbs have been essential to spiritual beliefs and practices throughout time and history. From Christian Scripture to Hindu observances, Jewish ritual to early Islamic literature, Native American traditions to Buddhist symbolism, plants are seen as a blessing from God and a way to remain in harmony with Spirit. Everyday Herbs in Spiritual Life is a hands-on guide to incorporating herbs into our spiritual life.

Michael J. Caduto is a renowned author, ecologist, educator and storyteller who has written and coauthored sixteen books, including "Native American Gardening", the "Keepers of the Earth" series, and "In the Beginning: The Story of Genesis and Earth Activities for Children."

New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement 2009

We have purchased a new 2009 supplement to the New Catholic Encyclopedia that focuses on the theme of science and the church. This is searchable separately through the online catalog or along with other resources in our Religion Virtual Collection Database. From Contraception to Creationism, Eugenics to Exorcism, find the historical facts as well as the Catholic position on these important issues.

Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover

We're looking for some special people to become part of the library catalog. Are you a religious leader in the Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Jewish faiths? Are you a vegetarian, a policeman, an atheist, a gay/lesbian person, a U.S. military veteran, a rock recording artist, a published author or any other interesting or unusual person? If so, we want you.

The Canton Public Library is starting a Living Books program where patrons can check out "living books" (that would be YOU) for 30 minutes of face-to-face, one-on-one conversation. These interviews are intended to answer questions for the curious, satisfy special interests and beliefs and learn from others' experiences. With dialogue comes understanding - with understanding comes tolerance.

Angels, Demons, and the Illuminati

The soon-to-be featured film "Angels and Demons" portrays a fictional global struggle between the Catholic Church and a secret sinister society known as the Illuminati. But what exactly was the Illuminati in history or contemporary time? What are some theories of the dark agendas of these global organizations? Books that cover this group and/or topic and others similar to them are:
Circle of Intrigue: the Hidden Inner Circle of the Global Illuminati Conspiracy
Rule by Secrecy: the Hidden History that Connects the Trilateral Comission, the Freemasons and the Great Pyramids

Mother Teresa by Maya Gold

Mother Teresa (August 26, 1910 – September 5, 1997), born Agnesë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, was an Albanian Roman Catholic nun with Indian citizenship. Although she was born in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia today, Mother Teresa's family came from Shkoder, Albania her father was active in national politics and her mother was a devout Catholic. Mother Teresa has been quoted as saying: "By blood I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun.

Easter Reads

In "Evidence for the Resurrection",  bestselling author Josh McDowell and his son, Sean examine the gospel and 2000 years of Christian history, concluding that Christ conquered death in clear, concise and accessible chapters.