One Ordinary Sunday


by Paula Huston;

One Ordinary Sunday
Publication date: 2016-03-11
Number of pages: 256
ISBN: 9781594715952

In One Ordinary Sunday the popular, award-winning writer Paula Huston draws on her spiritual wisdom and her talent as a novelist to provide both a moment-by-moment record of her experience of one particular Mass on one particular Sunday in her home parish in California and a theologically and historically rich exploration of the origin and meaning of the liturgy.

For Catholics, the Mass is the “source and summit of the Christian life,” as the documents of the Church put it. Yet many Catholics might confess to not understanding in any depth what goes on in an “ordinary” celebration of the Eucharist. In perhaps her most compelling and original book to date, novelist and spiritual writer Paula Huston guides us through a Mass on the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time at her home parish in Arroyo Grande, California. Huston’s personal and spiritual reflections offer fresh and often unexpected insights into the profound mystery at the heart of the Catholic faith.

A natural storyteller, Huston deftly illuminates what might seem either mysterious to those unfamiliar with the Mass or overly familiar to those who have lost an appreciation of its mystery. In the Mass “we are healed and restored and spiritually fed,” she writes. “We are handed strong armor against evil. We are unified and made whole as a people and as a Church. We get a little taste of heaven.”

Readers of this book will learn

  • how our confession of sins at the beginning of the Mass differs from the sacrament of Penance;
  • what it means to say that the Mass is a sacrifice;
  • why the prayers of the Mass, especially the Gloria, are full of scriptural allusions;
  • what the purpose of the Eucharistic Prayer is; and
  • what happens at the consecration of bread and wine and how it is the most profound mystery and miracle of the Mass.

One Ordinary Sunday is for all Catholics, especially those who have questions about the basic practices of their faith, who are new to the Church and still somewhat baffled about its rituals of worship, or who have left the Church behind but still feel like part of the family.

Features & Benefits 

  • The author of eight previous books and a professor of creative writing, Paula Huston has been an award-winning novelist, memoirist, and essayist for more than twenty years.
  • Huston’s 2003 book, The Holy Way, was an America magazine monthly book club selection, a Catholic Press Association award-winner, a Catholic Book Club major selection, and a bronze medal-winner from Foreword magazine for Book of the Year in Religion.
  • Huston maintains an active speaking, teaching, and retreat schedule around the country, with a strong presence in California and on the West Coast.

Paula Huston, a National Endowment for the Arts fellow, wrote literary fiction for more than twenty years before shifting her focus to spirituality. She taught writing and literature at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and currently mentors graduate students in creative nonfiction for Seattle Pacific University’s MFA in Creative Writing program.

Her first nonfiction project was Signatures of Grace, for which she served as coeditor and contributor; it earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Her book The Holy Way, which garnered another PW starred review, was a Catholic Press Association award-winner, a Catholic Book Club major selection, and a ForeWord Magazine bronze medalist for Book of the Year in Religion. Huston’s other spiritual nonfiction includes By Way of Grace, Forgiveness, Simplifying the Soul, and A Season of Mystery. A Camaldolese Benedictine Oblate, Huston is married, has four children and four grandchildren, and lives on the central California coast.

Printed version available
$22.95

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