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In A People of Hope, religion journalist John Allen, Jr. profiles New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan and shares Dolan's perspective on the present and future of Catholicism. In a time where church-related scandals have garnered strong coverage by the media, Dolan gives students a contrastingly positive view of the Catholic Church, and the over hundred million people around the world, who turn to it for inspiration, for its sacramental life, and for its experience of community and service. Dolan argues that the Church is not just a multinational enterprise, but a family–with all the flaws and dysfunction, but also all the joy and life, of families everywhere. Allen, Jr. shows Dolan's fundamental insights into the core of Catholic identity, and why the Catholic message has continued importance in a modern world.
A People of Hope, is framed by Allen, Jr.'s select interviews with Dolan. From these interviews, the author supplies a basis to predict future trends by exploring where Dolan wants to lead, and how a Church that increasingly holds Dolan's viewpoint will look and feel, as well as the importance of Dolan to the church's future. Through Dolan, Allen, Jr. tells the untold story of the Catholic Church. To that end Allen, Jr. frames his questions in such a way that allows for Dolan to expand on the topic himself as much as possible, and thereby letting Dolan speak for himself. The result, for students, is a book more “with” Dolan than a book “about” him, offering a deeper understanding of Dolan's views. Ultimately, A People of Hope allows students to agree or disagree with Dolan’s outlook, while leaving them better equipped to understand why modern women and men might still believe there’s something worth considering in the Catholic message.