Marriage, Family and the Church
A Boat with New Nets                  

                                                                                 Pia Matthews

Inspired by the author's experience as a peritus (expert adviser and consultant) at the 2015 Synod on the Family, this book traces the ongoing story of marriage, family and the Church in light of Pope Francis' assertion that 'families are one of the most important nets for the mission of Peter and of the Church.' Without ignoring the difficulties of marriage and family life, Pia Matthews shows how through the ages the Church has constantly accompanied couples in their vocation to marriage, a vocation to holiness and to evangelisation. This accompaniment is marked by the vision of the Church, ready to rescue those who struggle. The story of marriage touches on major themes-from the spiritual life of grace to the history of moral theology and the development of tradition; it begins with Jesus, follows Jesus and ends with Jesus. Marriage matters because it says something significant about us as human beings, about us as Christians in the world, and about us in relationship with God and his Church.

978 085244 974 5                   

504 pages          


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Pope John Paul II and the Apparently ‘Non-acting’ Person

Pia Matthews

Drawing on Pope John Paul's extensive theological and ethical writings this important book explores the status of people with profound intellectual disabilities who some regard simply as 'non-acting'. This book demonstrates that all human beings, whatever their situations or capacities, are acting persons made in the image of God and that all principles whether from Catholic Social Teaching or from Pope John Paul's Theology of the Body apply to every human being as much as to any other.

The book also considers liberation theologies of disability and the Pope's reflections on suffering as well as the controversial area of the provision of hydration and nutrition for one most profoundly disabled person, the person in persistent vegetative state. In addition it reflects on spirituality in the life of the profoundly disabled based on Karol Wojtyła's thesis on St John of the Cross. As the title of the book explains, the profoundly disabled are only apparently non-acting: no one can discount the possibility of an inner spiritual life and alongside all human beings the profoundly disabled have spiritual needs, are called to a life of holiness and are asked to cooperate in that calling as far as they are able. Moreover, all have a part to play in God's plan of salvation for all are 'workers in God's vineyard'.

978 085244 805 2  

316 Pages   




Dr Pia Matthews

Called God’s Wild Flowers, the book draws attention to people who often feel on the margins because of disability and because of the apparent focus on human perfection. The lives of disabled saints demonstrate in action Saint Thérèse of Lisieux’s vision that there is rich variety in God's garden where wild flowers, violets and lilies take their place alongside roses.

The book brings together theological reflection on disability with stories of 141 saints and blessed with disabilities ranging from physical disability to mental frailty, depression and learning difficulties. That there are many saints who were disabled should not be a surprise since people with disabilities are no different from other people and they are just as likely to be on the path to holiness. Indeed the book challenges those who think that the road to sainthood is to do with human perfection whether it be physical, mental or cognitive, rather than being the person that God wants each one of us to be, whatever our situation or condition.

This is really a beautiful book that reveals so many beautiful people (lay people, priests, religious) who loved and lived Jesus and were a light for their time. These stories can call many of us to open our hearts to the One who loves us.

Jean Vanier

978 085244 881 6        240 pages                £12.99 Pb

978 178182 039 1                                         £25.00 Hb