Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are mine alone. Affiliate links are used in this post.
There are times in my life where I would have considered myself more of a “roamin’ Catholic” than a Roman Catholic. Although I might have been better described as a wandering Catholic, or an off-the-range Catholic. But that is a more metaphorical, not physical, description. These days, as I try to be faithful to the Church and her teachings, I often find myself doing more actual roamin’ around, traveling for vacation or to visit family or attend the occasional out-of-town conference. When I visit a new place, I often find myself wondering if there are an interesting Catholic landmarks, churches, or shrines that I should include in my site-seeing (as I did during my recent vacation to Key West). Thomas Craughwell has created a sweet little guidebook for times such as these.
101 Places to Pray Before You Die: A Roamin’ Catholic’s Guide is a listing, state by state, of some of the most interesting and unique Catholic churches, shrines and historical sites in the United States. Craughwell’s goal, as he states in the introduction, “… is to introduce you to the great Catholic sites that you might have overlooked when planning an itinerary.” I imagine it was difficult to narrow the list to 101, but such a number insures that the sites listed are well worth the visit.
My goal here is to introduce you to the great Catholic sites that you might have overlooked when planning an itinerary.
I thoroughly enjoyed flipping through this book, first checking off the places that I have visited, then checking to see if some of my favorite American Catholic sites are included. I was surprised to discover how many sites in places where I frequently travel that I have missed over the years, despite my (over)use the modern road warrior’s essential weapon, the smart phone. It was nice to discover and highlight a number of places to keep in mind for future trips. This little volume has earned a place on my bookshelf, where I can refer to it the next time I plan a trip.