The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), with Sheed & Ward, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, has published Benedict XVI: Essays and Reflections on His Papacy -- "an unprecedented look into the first five years of Benedict’s reign":
Edited by Mercy Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of media relations for the USCCB, it features forewords by King Abdullah II of Jordan and President Shimon Peres of Israel, and articles by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Cardinal Francis George, OMI, USCCB president, and John Thavis, Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Service. ...Source: USCCB Press Release.
Elegantly designed and produced in the style of the USCCB’s award-winning tribute to Benedict’s predecessor, John Paul II: A Light for the World, the new book features more than 100 full-color photographs. Images range from formal public appearances and meetings with world leaders and lay Catholics around the globe, to quiet moments of personal study or contemplation. [...]
Essays by USCCB staff illuminate the pope’s life and work as Pilgrim, Pastor, and Prophet and include topics such as his response to the sex abuse crisis; support of Africa, China, and Latin America; relations with Jews and Muslims; papal travels; liturgical reform; human rights, justice, war and peace, bioethics, the environment, and immigration; and his use of social media.
Personal reflections by friends and church leaders Cardinal Edward Egan, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap., Cardinal Justin Rigali, Sister Eileen McCann, CSJ, Ambassador Johnny Young and many more, provide a glimpse into the warm, human aspect of Benedict, including his sense of humor. The book also includes excerpts from Pope Benedict’s writings and an extensive resource section.
In the interest of full disclosure, I received a personal copy for review. This is a beautiful tribute, with a full-color photographic retrospective on the pontificate of Benedict XVI to date, accompanied by reflections and brief personal anecdotes. Not only is this a good item for the library of any "Benedict fan", I imagine it would be a fitting gift for somebody not very well acquainted with, and wanting to learn about, the Holy Father.
I can only imagine the time and effort taken to assemble and edit something of this size -- Sister Mary Ann Walsh (and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) are to be commended for a job well done.