Top 5 Reasons to Love “Hope Sings, So Beautiful” in Its First Year

Just over a year ago, Hope Sings, So Beautiful was published by Liturgical Press, and the website you are now reading was launched. Whether you’ve read the book or you are an occasional or regular visitor to the blog and website, please let me know what you think. How are we doing? What could we do better? Most of all: How could we get the book into more people’s hands?

Here are my “Top 5” positive things to report since the book’s publication.

5. I’ve been invited to speak and warmly received by numerous churches, pastoral organizations, reading groups and small prayer communities both locally and nationally. Favorite organizational title so far: “The Elephants in the Living Room,” Detroit, MI. (For a chronicle of events see “Speaking” under “About the Author” page.)

4. The book has been critically well-received in a wide range of scholarly and pastoral journals as well as online reviews and personal blogs. (See “About the Book” page for links.) National Catholic Reporter says Pramuk is a theologian with the writing style of a mystical novelist and the concerns of a social ethicist,and Theological Studies calls Hope Sings “a breath of fresh air” and “one of the finest” among among attempts by white Catholics to address racism as a theological problem. From the other side, another reason to love (or hate) it: one commenter panned my recent blog post on reparations as a perfect demonstration of the soft racism peddled daily by white liberals such as yourself.” My posts on the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin trial probably elicited the strongest vitriol to date.

3. I’m aware of at least 5 professors at universities around the country who have used Hope Sings  in their undergraduate courses, and have also heard from appreciative participants in about a dozen book clubs and parish reading groups. (For example, this women’s book club at a Newman Center in Missouri.) The book could work very well with upper level high school social justice courses as well.

2. The Catholic Press Association at its annual meeting last weekend awarded Hope Sings, So Beautiful with its “Third Prize” for best books of 2013 in the category of “Social Teaching.” (Go here for all awards and scroll down to listing B20.)


And finally (cue Merton bongo drum roll please), the number 1 reason to help spread the word about Hope Sings:

1. My mom really loves the book.

(Wild applause)


OK, so what are my “Top 5 Present and Future Hopes” for the book and website?

5. To continue to cultivate a community of talented, diverse, and thoughtful bloggers

4. To get the book into the hands of author Sue Monk Kidd. (Seriously, can anyone help me with this?)

3. And Bill Moyers

2. And Oprah (predictable, but why not?)



And finally, above all (cue Merton bongos)

1. To keep on keepin’ on, with courage and grace, “building conversations and relationships across the color line.”



Please join us in the conversation via your comments, your prayers, or by recommending the book to others. And remember, your feedback moving forward is most welcome.

My thanks to Liturgical Press for their support of this site, and to my wonderful fellow bloggers, also cherished friends, whose bios and posts are linked in the sidebar.

Christopher Pramuk / June 2014


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