By Father John Amsberry, pastor and national youth speaker, Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon
Though geared for Catholic teens and their teachers, the Saint Mary's Press; Essential Bible Dictionary provides wonderful foundational material for any Christians seeking to grow in their faith knowledge through the Scriptures. We know that a house will last only as long as its foundation, and this book offers an eternal foundation in God. Dr. Sheila O'Connell-Roussell has given us a valuable resource to delve into the understanding of the Bible and its ultimate author. May all who read this work be changed and saved by God's love forever.
By Madeline Wyse, sophomore in Dr. Sheila's high school religion class
The Saint Mary's Press; Essential Bible Dictionary acts as a bridge between Sunday school simplicity and full-fledged scholarship. It provides an approachable introduction to the Bible and acts as a launch point for further research. Dr. Sheila has embraced Pope Pius XII's call to scholarship, but she has done more. She has created a path for curious students to enter the biblical world as well.
By Therese Vorndran Nichols, coauthor (with Dr. Sheila O'Connell-Roussell) of Lectionary-Based Gospel Dramas for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany and Lectionary-Based Gospel Dramas for Lent and the Easter Triduum, both published by Saint Mary's Press
Opening the pages of the Saint Mary's Press; Essential Bible Dictionary creates a sudden longing to learn more about the stories and fascinating people of the Bible. This concise, beautifully written dictionary has multifaceted appeal. It will support teachers as they seek to bring sparkle and life to classroom encounters with Bible heroes and themes. It will help students deliver top-notch assignments and glean timeless truths that are so relevant to teen life today. It will inspire homeschooling parents, pastors, RCIA directors, educators, Catholic writers, and lifelong students of our faith heritage. Every parish, school, home, and library will be richer for having this jewel of a resource.
By Patricia Gorman, Religious Studies Department chairperson, Saint Mary's Academy
The Saint Mary's Press; Essential Bible Dictionary is a great resource for the high school Scripture teacher and student. A feature I really appreciate is the expanded information provided for certain entries, such as parables, Ten Commandments, and Old Testament feasts and festivals.
For example, following the "parable" entry is a chart listing all the parables and where they are located in each Gospel. This provides easy access to key information without the need for another resource. I also found the additional material provided for a number of entries very helpful. Many listings contain a detailed description of the character or the geographical site, and some entries provided a mini-history lesson. I think high school students will appreciate the format, the cross-referencing, and the examples of where the word(s) is found in the Bible.