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Gate of Heaven

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By Sr. Catherine Goddard Clark, M.I.C.M.

For those who have enjoyed Sister Catherine Clarke’s, Our Glorious Popes, an historical tribute to some of the more valiant Popes who graced the Chair of Peter over the centuries, this work, Gate of Heaven, is an equally worthy production from the pen of an historian gifted in the art of scholarly composition. Although this work abounds in numerous highlights drawn from ecclesiastical history and papal teaching its theme is more a song of gratitude to Our Savior Jesus Christ and to His Blessed Mother for so plentiful a redemption. The author exudes both her own joy in living the sacramental life within the Catholic Church, the one ark of salvation, and her holy indignation over the fact that liberal Catholic clergymen in the United States were teaching that one’s personal sincerity of conscience was an acceptable substitute for the one and only means of salvation given in, through, with and by Christ. Strong in her defense of Father Leonard Feeney, who championed the Catholic doctrine of "no salvation outside the Church," Sister Catherine demolishes all the ambiguous subterfuges that in her day (and far moreso today) were undermining the doctrinal clarity that in centuries past left no doubt as to the whereabouts of the only way of salvation. Anyone who truly loves the Faith and has Catholic zeal for souls would do well to give serious attention to this timely work, alarming as it is devotional.

Softcover, 156 pages

Click here to purchase Gate of Heaven as an Ebook

Picked this up used in a parish book store. Inspiring, brimming with love for the Church, and for the Deposit of Faith we have received from Jesus Christ and the Apostles. For Clarke, the Faith is not some groaning burden, as it often sounds like with liberal theologians, or jaded and pessimistic pew-sitters weathering an ecclesiastical storm. She speaks lovingly and beautifully about Catholicism, love of Our Lord and Our Lady, and especially of the Bread of Life. By the way, I have read Father Feeney’s essays under that title, and personally find this more appealing. Clarke cites authoritative sources without ever losing her impassioned tone.

Hard to believe Gate of Heaven was written in 1951. They way she describes what will happen to the Church with weakened teaching of the essential dogma, Outside the Church there is No Salvation, reads like a history of the Vatican II post-conciliar era with today’s hindsight. The issues are the same, and as before, the salvation of many souls is at stake.
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