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One Heart With Courage Wins Catholic Media Association Award

Teri Rizvi’s One Heart with Courage: Essays and Stories (Braughler Books) has been named one of the best books of the year by the Catholic Media Association.

The collection placed third in the anthology category of CMA’s annual book awards competition. Last month, it also was named a finalist in the nonfiction: inspirational category of the 2022 International Book Awards sponsored by American Book Fest.

Book royalties benefit the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop Endowment Fund, used to keep the biennial event affordable for writers of all experience levels. Rizvi is the founder and director of the workshop at the University of Dayton, where she serves as executive director of strategic communications.

“In her book, One Heart with Courage, Teri Rizvi quotes a priest talking to a gathering of young men, ‘Many times we read in the newspaper all that is bad in our world. We hear less about the grace of God. (The world) needs the eyes of grace and faith to see.’ This quote sums up Rizvi's 60+ short essays that bring the sight of grace and faith to a world in need,” writes reviewer AJ Wagner, a retired judge who co-founded ButterflyPac that advocates to end poverty and hunger.

“Actually, these aren't essays. They're love letters,” he writes.

A journalist and storyteller, Rizvi writes about her marriage, which spans two religions and two cultures in a world that’s too often divided. A number of other essays reflect everyday, often poignant, moments at the University of Dayton, which is sponsored by the Society of Mary (Marianists), a Roman Catholic teaching order.

“The book has a distinct Marianist flavor, with essays about the men of 1903 Trinity (a Marianist student house on campus), the courage of longtime UD administrator Joe Belle who died of a brain tumor, the euphoria of faculty and staff during a trip to Rome for Father William Joseph Chaminade’s beatification, and lessons in faith from longtime UD president Brother Ray Fitz, S.M., and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel,” Rizvi said. 

A quiet faith weaves throughout the writings, which reflect universal themes of friendship, motherhood, shared humanity, courage — and the all-too-often elusive work-life balance. The book’s title takes its name from an observation actor/activist Martin Sheen made when he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Dayton: “Remember this above all. One heart with courage is a majority.”

One Heart with Courage: Essays and Stories, edited by Julie Fanselow and illustrated by Julie Lonneman, is available in paperback, on Kindle and as an audiobook narrated by Sheri Saginor.

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