Theologian publishes new book on life of Jesus

by Michael O. Garvey

“A God of Incredible Surprises: Jesus of Galilee,” by University of Notre Dame theologian Rev. Virgilio Elizondo has been published by Rowman&Littlefield Publishers, Inc.p. Father Elizondo’s book combines personal stories, theological observations and an analysis of the Gospel narratives. John Cavadini, chair of Notre Dame’s theology department, praises it as “a book where scholarly and pastoral insight into the biblical text are one and the same. The very best theology seamlessly provides the reader with intellectual and spiritual profit and Father Elizondo’s book delivers admirably on both.”p. Father Elizondo, who received Notre Dame’s highest honor, the Laetare Medal, in 1997, has served as a visiting professor in the Department of Theology and the Institute for Latino Studies since 2000.p. A native of San Antonio, Texas, where his Mexican immigrant parents owned a grocery store, he has spent most of his life there and served for many years as pastor of San Fernando Cathedral. The Sunday Spanish Mass at which he presided became famous throughout Latin America when it was televised and carried via satellite from the cathedral to more than 1 million households.p. Father Elizondo became prominent as an advocate for underpaid and exploited Mexican-American laborers in his archdiocese during the early 1970s, and as an increasingly self-conscious Mexican-American community began to assert itself politically and culturally, he established the Mexican-American Cultural Center at Assumption Seminary.p. The well-traveled Father Elizondo speaks seven languages and has written 12 books, including “The Future is Mestizo,” “Galilean Journey,” and “The Human Quest.”p. His last book, “San Fernando Cathedral: Soul of the City,” was written with Timothy Matovina, associate professor of theology and director of Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism.

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