Review: Reiser’s Ramblings by Fr. Bernard Reiser
Publisher: Reiser Relief Inc.
Age recommendation: Teen, young adult, adult
Reiser’s Ramblings is a collection of columns by Father Bernard Reiser. The columns were written during his time as a priest of Epiphany Parish in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. The book contains six sections. Each section contains a specific theme. Examples are the wonder of God’s creation, counting our blessings, God’s grace at work within us, and our place in God’s world. A section is also devoted to telling his early life story with his family on their farm.
When I started reading Reiser’s Ramblings, I half-expected it to be filled with Catholic theology and since I’m not a Catholic, I was slightly apprehensive about it. I was pleasantly surprised to find otherwise about the book. As I read, I couldn’t help but think how similar the columns are to devotional aid materials such as Our Daily Bread (the well-known devotional study book). Many of the columns contain godly principals we are often taught and reminded again and again.
I loved the humor in the columns and frequently found myself smiling as I read the funnier stories. The stories was something that struck me most when I read the book. Of course, it isn’t all stories. It also touches on lessons/matters such as blessings, prayer, gratitude, God’s grace, and dozens of other topics. These lessons are written in such a simple manner and easy style that anyone can read and understand them.
Another thing that struck me most about Reiser’s Ramblings was the beautiful language. I quote an example here.
Spring is always a very exciting time of the year, a time when all nature breaks forth with extraordinary exuberance. The cold loses its grip on the wonders of nature and the melting snow pack transforms into rivulets of water running here, there and everywhere. With the softening earth, pockets of green emerge from the dark graves of once-frozen soil. The early flowers of spring push through the crust with enthusiasm to capture the bright rays of a warm spring sun or to delight in the pleasant showers that typically come in April.
About the author
Father Bernard Reiser was born in 1924. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1949 and in 1964, pioneered Epiphany Parish in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. The parish, which is located on 70 acres of farmland, grew to become one of the largest Catholic communities in the state. In 1996, he traveled to Haiti and what he saw caused him to establish Reiser Relief Inc., a nonprofit relief organization for Haiti. He has since retired from serving the Epiphany Parish but remains the chairman of Reiser Relief. All profits from the sale of Reiser’s Ramblings goes to Haitian relief efforts. The book is a USA Book News Best Book Award finalist. Visit the Reiser Relief website at www.reiserrelief.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”