Dear Communion of Saints: amusingly apt advice for foolish Christians

Rated 4.75/5 based on 8 reviews
What if "Dear Abby" were a saint? The popular satire and parody website, The Ironic Catholic, takes all the foolish questions we stumbling Christians have offers them to the great Catholic saints, who provide tough-love wisdom, insight, and considerable humor.

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About The Ironic Catholic

Just like G.K. Chesterton, without the insight, depth, humor, or talent.

Oh, more than that? I am a 40-something Catholic systematic theologian and college professor, wife and mother of five, who moonlights as a humorist at The Ironic Catholic website. I love the Church, I love the saints, I love to laugh, and I love to teach. I got to do all four in these books.


Meet the Ironic Catholic
...and St. Francis as they make a pitch for the book.

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Review by: TJ Burdick on July 23, 2012 :
This book was flippin’ hilarious. I caught wind of it a few weeks ago after discovering the Ironic Catholic (a.k.a. Susan Windley-Daoust) and her blog. This piece of work is exactly that, a piece of work. It takes common (and not so common) questions from the Church Militant and taps the shoulder of the Church Triumphant to field them. For every question, one or two canonized Saints responds with a soft shell taco filled with the guacamole of humor, the lettuce of common sense and the meat of undeniable truth. The result is a delicious literary snack for Orthodox Catholics to munch on at any moment of the day.

In one of the questions, the Ironic Catholic herself questions why mothers are unable to bilocate. She argues that such a grace would be very helpful for a mother whose son is dipping his hand in the cookie jar while she bathes her youngest. She interrogates the Communion of Saints as to why this particular grace has only been given to consecrated religious nuns and priests up until this point.

The responder is none other than famed bilocator, St. Padre Pio. He tells her in short discourse that she knows not what she asks, that it is greater to seek Christ first and allow the graces to flow from that love, not the other way around. To keep the mood light, he finishes saying that the mother should put brussel sprouts in the cookie jar. Problem solved.

This book is a quick read for Orthodox Catholics looking for a lighthearted giggle as well as “casual” Catholics who are looking to awkwardly laugh with everyone else around them even though they don’t quite get the jokes. In either case, I found myself laughing out loud on many occasions as I read it, mainly because the Communion of Saints were laughing right along with me.

If you like this book, you might want to try Saint Watching by Phyllis McGinley.
(reviewed 29 days after purchase)
Review by: Allens Brain on April 21, 2011 :
Dear Communion of Saints:

I want to write a review for this really humorous book by a very funny Catholic woman whose blog and facebook comments entertain me on a virtually daily basis. My problem is that I'm a small-P protestant that isn't even certain he's a small-C catholic. Can I do this book justice in a review, or should I just stay out of it?

Sincerely (as can be),
Disembodied Online

I hit SEND, and Heaven's virus-protection and anti-spam programs immediately rejects my knee-mail (gag!). However, they DO forward it to some other, lesser community, and I receive back this message.

Dear Disembodied,

Apparently, you are a Christian in poor standing with any diocese or other ecclesiastial ruling body, and so the Dear Abby-style advice you might have received from "The Communion of Saints" has been re-routed to us, "The Figures Proposed for Canonization and then, Upon Further Review, Suggested for Cannon-ization." We have no nifty acronym, sorry.

It's the holidays, here, and normally we would reject your piddly request altogether. However, since St Espressus of Java and I spoke up for you, I have been allowed to field your question.

Now then, although you don't subscribe to the whole "saint" thing, this didn't get in the way of your enjoyment of the book! And you seemed perfectly happy to venerate Sts Valentine and Patrick earlier this year! Even if you didn't know who many of them were, you could certainly get off your glass-encased gluteas cerebellus* and educate yourself on the lives of these inspiring people in one of the books the Ironic Catholic helpfully listed at the end of D.C.o.S.

And so what if you don't do Mass or Lent? You go to church, and you get the gist of Lent (or you seemed to when you were penitently calling upon God the morning after Mardi Gras.) Besides, much of what's in the book appeals to Christians across the spectrum, like dentistry, Thanksgiving turkeys and the problem of committees! I know you chuckled at the "Just get over it and quit whining" nature of some of the answers.

So, in short: Yes, you should definitely write a review of this book. Your friend, I.C., will appreciate it, and your non-Catholic readers will perhaps be inspired to purchase a copy for themselves, and be amused and blessed. Just make sure that you include links to the print and e-book versions of it!

Disgusted at having been asked to answer such a dumb question,

St Melvin

P.S. Eat more watermelon!
*or "brain-butt"
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Review by: gotesengel on Feb. 14, 2011 :
Super Awesome!!! Makes the saints come to life! A sequel would be amazing
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Review by: Amanda Borenstadt on Oct. 4, 2010 :
This is super clever! It's a fun and informative read. The author is knowledgeable about Catholic teachings and the individual styles of the saints. I hope there will be a sequel! :)
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Mike O'Connor on July 15, 2010 :
Using the Saints as modern day agony aunts is an excellent idea and rich with humorous potential. This is a very well written book, if somewhat shorter than I would have liked. The problems posed are both mundane and very funny and the responses show an obviously detailed knowledge of all things ecclesiastical. A useful and quirky introduction to the Saints.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Review by: Tim Mason on July 14, 2010 :
Is it a sin to substitute carob for chocolate during your Lenten fast? Well, it turns out that it depends who you ask. Sometimes we all need a bit of advice to make the tough calls in life or need a second opinion on matters tangentially related to faith and morals... and whether Hell is consumed with a dry heat or humid heat.

What began as a series of blog posts from the Ironic Catholic is now an E-book, available through both and The book, though relatively short in length at 24 pages, Dear Communion is packed with sage advice, wicked humor and razor sharp insight into the scruples of the more-or-less faithful.

Dear Communion of Saints is humorous and a dead ringer for the various saints "contributing" to this collection of "Dear Abby-esque" litany of questions. Each letter has the feel of authenticity with a very human touch where you learn that some saints do not suffer fools lightly while others are more willing to play along. In the end, all the saints point to the greater lesson that should be learned from questions such as "Why did God create Jellyfish" and my favorite, "I'm Having Problems Cooking This Thanksgiving Day Turkey. Help" answered thoughtfully by Flannery O'Conner (Though not a saint in the canonical sense, being from Atlanta, I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, we southern Catholics have to stick together).

I enjoyed this book quite a bit, being able to pick it up in my spare moments, read a couple of the letters and replies and then when duty called, be it a diaper changing or having to tend to some injury among my son's stuffed animal buddies, put it down without losing the flow. I definitely recommend this book for anyone with a lightly wry twist to their humor. If you have a dog-eared copy of Saints Behaving Badly on your bookshelf, this is for you.
(reviewed 13 days after purchase)
Review by: Megs Bossilla on June 24, 2010 :
I found this book to be very funny and consistent with the saints that I've read. I only wish that it was a little longer. It was very inspiring and I hope that IC writes many many more of these!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Larry Denninger on June 16, 2010 :
Great book! Funny and faithful, IC has a great knack in finding the "voices" of the various saints as they answer "Dear Abby"-like questions with wit and wisdom. Her style and humor would make GK Chesterton crack a smile!
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)

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