Colleen Carroll Campbell Home
What they want for Christmas: NRO symposium

National Review Online
November 23, 2012
By Colleen Carroll Campbell

After a contentious election season — with, for conservatives, a dispiriting outcome — here are my picks for Christmas books that can connect us with an eternal perspective this holiday season:

Saint Teresa of Avila, by Marcelle Auclair. My father gave me this book when I was a college student not terribly interested in the lives of the saints or in a deeper literary exploration of my Catholic faith. Auclair’s gripping biography of Teresa of Avila changed that.

The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, Volumes 12and 3, translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D., and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. There’s no substitute for reading the feisty, engaging Carmelite reformer and mystic in her own words, and this collection is a perfect way to encounter Teresa in all her holy boldness.

Therese, by Dorothy Day. This was another pivotal book in my spiritual journey. If we consider only the surfaces of their life stories, the bohemian Day and the bourgeois Thérèse of Lisieux may seem an unlikely match, but both share an appreciation of hidden grace and a belief in the power of little souls to change the world.

Story of a Soul, by Thérèse of Lisieux, translated by John Clarke, O.C.D. Thérèse’s signature work, written under obedience before her death at age 24, became a worldwide bestseller and helped make this cloistered Carmelite nun a doctor of the Catholic Church and one of the most beloved saints in history. Read it at least twice; profound truths are hidden beneath the surface of Thérèse’s florid prose.

Essays on Woman, volume 2 of The Collected Works of Edith Stein, translated by Freda Mary Oben. Many are familiar with Blessed Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and his call for a “new feminism,” but few know about the deep resonance between his writings and those of Edith, a saint whom he canonized. The insights of this Catholic philosopher and Auschwitz martyr are as relevant to women today as ever.

— Colleen Carroll Campbell is an author, journalist, television host of EWTN’sFaith & Culture, and former speechwriter to President George W. Bush. Her newest book is My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir.

Colleen Carroll Campbell
  • Colleen Carroll Campbell is an author, print and broadcast journalist and former presidential speechwriter. Her books include her critically acclaimed journalistic study, The New Faithful, and her award-winning spiritual memoir, My Sisters the Saints, which has been published in Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and as an audiobook. Colleen's journalism credits include contributions to the New York Times, Washington Post, Christianity Today, First Things and America, and appearances on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, ABC News, PBS and NPR. She has served as executive producer and anchor of EWTN News Nightly with Colleen Carroll Campbell, a television newscast airing worldwide on EWTN, the world’s largest religious media network, and as creator and host of EWTN’s Faith & Culture television and radio interview show. In 2013, she anchored EWTN’s live television coverage of the historic election and installation of Pope Francis in Rome. A former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and editorial writer and op-ed columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Colleen is the recipient of two honorary doctorates and numerous other awards for her work. She serves as a religious liberty consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and speaks to audiences across North America and Europe. Colleen lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband and four children, whom she homeschools. Her website is

    Click here to find out more about Colleen Carroll Campbell