The Apostles and Me!

Twelve, Well Really Fifteen Ordinary Men and One Extraordinary Lady

Christian - Living
140 Pages
Reviewed on 03/25/2019
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Author Biography

Deacon Wally Calabrese was born and raised in Michigan. In August 1987 he entered boot camp for the United States Marine Corps. He retired from the Marine Corps as a Gunnery Sergeant in August 2007. During his time in the Marine Corps, he met and fell in love with his future bride, Amy. They married in April 1992 and they were blessed with two daughters. Their daughters are grown and married and have children of their own.

Throughout his marriage and with his wife’s prayers and example, his faith continued to grow. He earned a MA in Pastoral Theology, and discerned a vocation as a deacon in the Catholic Church and was ordained June 26, 2010.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

In his bold and insightful book, The Apostles and Me! Twelve, Well Really Fifteen Ordinary Men and One Extraordinary Woman, Deacon Wally Calabrese takes a closer look at the lives of the apostles of Jesus including Luke, Paul, and Mary. In this book, the messages, words, and experiences of each apostle are considered carefully and the lessons that can be gleaned from them are brought out and linked to our lives today. The author highlights their strengths and relates their weaknesses to his own. He reveals their imperfections and their zeal to live for Christ. The Apostles and Me! is written from the Catholic faith’s point of view and includes writing from other historical writers who have influenced Catholicism.

Deacon Wally Calabrese’s The Apostles and Me! is unique in the sense that it shows Christians how they can relate to the choices and failures of the apostles but still learn from the apostles’ eternal dedication to Jesus. It also includes lessons from other key figures with regard to the growth of the early Church. For Paul, the author notes his misguided devotion to the law and, later, his conversion and commitment to spreading the Gospel. In the case of Jesus’ mother Mary, her willingness to be used as a vessel for God and her role as the mother of the Messiah appear in the book. Another great aspect of this book is that it is written in an unapologetic, conversational tone as the author highlights the teachings of the Bible. Definitely a unique and illuminating read.

K.C. Finn

The Apostles and Me! Twelve, Well Really Fifteen Ordinary Men and One Extraordinary Woman is a work of Christian exploration, discovery and comparisons to modern life penned by author Deacon Wally Calabrese. In a text written for the daily lives of practising Catholics, Calabrese asks his readers to consider the deeper history of the Apostles, as well as Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and explains how getting to know them as real people can help readers in their own modern personal lives. In this short but involved discussion of human nature, the author also uses his own personal experiences to show how his relationship to the Apostles and to Christ deepened over time.

Deacon Wally Calabrese does a great job of setting up the selection of Apostles (fifteen, in his case), and organizing his introductions to each of them in turn in a way that readers will find both interesting and accessible. The narrative celebrates each one for their deeds in the time of Christ that make them ‘superheroes’ in our author’s eyes, as well as digging down into the real people that they were and the small good deeds which they did every day. On the subject of personal struggle, Calabrese is very effective and honest about his own troubles, offering many examples of times when reference to the Apostles gave him comfort and brought him nearer to them. Overall, The Apostles and Me! Twelve, Well Really Fifteen Ordinary Men and One Extraordinary Woman is a well-written and honest devotional which asks good questions and gives comforting answers.

Romuald Dzemo

The Apostles and Me! Twelve, Well Really Fifteen Ordinary Men and One Extraordinary Woman by Deacon Wally Calabrese is a beautiful, inspirational book that explores the humanity of the people who were close to Jesus, the people we call the Apostles. The author demonstrates with exceptional clarity that these men were in many ways like him — ordinary, flawed, and filled with their bundle of sin. But then there are the very people called to extraordinary glory. Each chapter explores the link between the author and each of the Apostles, including the mother of Jesus, Mary.

In awe and wonderment, Deacon Wally Calabrese exclaims: “It’s rather frightening when I think about it. I’m more like these men than I think I want to admit. If I recognize that these ordinary men were called by Jesus to an extraordinary glory, it means that if I am like these men, I too am called to this extraordinary glory!” It is interesting to rediscover these men and this woman, personalities that we look up to with a lot of esteem. But what was it that made them different from the others? It was grace, the fact that Jesus looked at them and just loved them the way they were.

In exploring the humanity of the Apostles and the part it played in their vocation as followers of Jesus, readers begin to see a lot of similarities with them. The Apostles and Me! Twelve, Well Really Fifteen Ordinary Men and One Extraordinary Woman is a book filled with love and hope, and a message that reassures readers and Christians of their discipleship, of their being called, in spite of their vulnerability and weaknesses. Written in a voice that is compelling, a style that is popular, and a narrative that evokes the Scriptures.

Fr. Bill Upah

After reading “The Apostles and Me” I felt that I had a new and deeper understanding of the Apostles and those closest to Jesus. It made those written about real and relatable. Through Deacon Wally Calabrese personal knowledge, prayer and experiences I was brought into a fuller awareness of how, as disciples of Christ, we all have very similar experiences. The Apostles are there for us. They show us the way. They are guides for us to a relationship with Our Lord. While reading “The Apostles and Me” I realized that more and more.