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“Shivanandan fully succeeds in showing in this book that the Holy Family cannot be termed only the great exception to the life of the family, nor, indeed, only as a model for us to imitate.  Rather, the Holy Family is the source from which springs the life of all Christian families; the Holy Family is the horizon for understanding in its depth the call to love of every man and woman, and the fact that every personal vocation passes in one way or another by the family.”

Preface by José Granados

DCJM Vice President, Pontificio Istituto Teologico Giovanni Paolo II per le Scienze del Matrimonio e della Famiglia. Roma

“A unique and important book in the current crisis of family life.  The author argues that the Holy Family, with a special emphasis on Joseph’s chastity and Mary’s bodily nursing of Jesus, is not the “ontological exception,” but the interior model of family life.  This beautiful theological and philosophical work will lead the reader to transformation and greater devotion to the Holy Family as icon of the family.” 

-Pravin Thevathasan, MB BS, MRCPsych, Editor, Catholic Medical Quarterly 

“Mary Shivanandan’s new book, The Holy Family: Model Not Exception is a magnificent synthesis of papal writings, history, and rich theological commentary destined to deepen and enrich the reader’s understanding of the Holy Family. With eloquence, clarity, and depth, Professor Shivanandan shows why the Holy Family is not an exception, but the true model for every family.  An authoritative, fascinating work – highly recommended!”

-Mary Rice Hasson, Director of the Catholic Women's Forum, Ethics and Public Policy Center. 

“Prof Mary Shivanandan, as one of the foremost experts on the thought of Saint John Paul II, brings an impressive set of skills and experience to the project of establishing a theology of the family.  Shivanandan’s extensive philosophical and theological background, in addition to her experience teaching and advocating for methods of natural family planning, enables her to advance, on both a theoretical and practical level, how the family is a key element in the economy of salvation precisely in its inner directedness towards creating a communion of persons.

-Janet Smith, Fr. Michael J McGivney Chair of Life Ethics, Sacred Heart Major Seminary

“Dr. Shivanandan has produced a marvelous book: a blend of comprehensive scholarship, rich theological reflection on the Holy Family, and wonderful teaching on the importance of the family as a communion of persons and school of Christian love.  It’s a superb resource with enduring value -- and thus not to be missed.”

-Charles J. Chaput. O.F.M. Cap, Archbishop of Philadelpia

“In this time of troubled marriages and beleaguered families, a renewed focus on the Holy Family, and what it teaches us, can act as a bracing support. Dr. Mary Shivanandan’s new book, The Holy Family, Model Not Exception, provides just such a support. The mystery of our redemption is particularly lived out in the Holy Family, according to Shivanandan and, therefore, it is a guide for all families called to God’s redeeming love. Her book is rich in well-developed teachings that are valuable for strengthening marriage and family life.”

-Kathleen Curran Sweeney, Homiletic & Pastoral Review

Read Kathleen's full review at the Homiletic & Pastoral Review website

“This book, following St John Paul II and his interpreters, shows a better way that both affirms women's legitimate desires to be honoured as human persons first and, at the same time, calls for a true appreciation of masculine gifts.”

-Tim Matthews, Catholic Family News

Read Matthew's full review at the CF News website

"The communion of love between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the source from which love in the human family springs, according to contemporary Catholic Theology. The Holy Family, from the Middle Ages in Europe,was considered the earthly Trinity, but because there was no conjugal intercourse it was considered the exception. In this book, Mary Shivanandan argues that Christ is the model for all human love in His conforming to the Father's will. The Holy Family, with Christ at the center is, therefore, the model for all baptized human families.
The spousal relation, while giving different roles to man and woman, must always respect, especially, the personhood of the woman. Similarly, motherhood and fatherhood have distinct gifts and tasks. The bodily nursing of the infant by the mother in imitation of Mary, is particularly emphasized. The importance of the child is stressed since our destiny is to be adopted children of the Father."

-Michael P. Duricy, MA, STL. University of Dayton

Read Micheal Duricy's full review at the University of Dayton website

** It is imperative that anyone who wishes to adopt natural family planning (NFP) learn from a qualified instructor.  Please consult the NFP links on this website.**

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