Mike Aquilina

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Mike Aquilina is a popular author working in the area of Church history, especially patristics, the study of the early Church Fathers.[1]

He is the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Fathers of the Church (2006); The Mass of the Early Christians (2007); The Resilient Church (2007); Living the Mysteries (2003); and What Catholics Believe (1999). His books have been translated into many languages, from Croatian and Portuguese to German and Braille. The Grail Code has appeared in ten languages since its publication in 2006.

Critics have praised Aquilina's work for making the Fathers accessible to non-academic readers: "Most scholars … study the paper trail — homilies, letters, teaching manuals, works of theological disputation … Aquilina loves the words, too. But he also finds the sermon in the stuff, the theology expressed in the little things that the first Christians left behind — fading murals on catacomb walls, pottery and dishware, pieces of coinage, ancient hymns and Mass prayers, common household items … The point is that for Aquilina, the little things matter — because they tell us big things about what Catholics believe and how they look at the world."[2] Dr. John Grondelski said in the National Catholic Register: "Aquilina has made a vocation and career out of, in many ways, single-handedly popularizing patristics."[3]

Aquilina's 2015 book Ministers and Martyrs was an official companion volume to the NBC series "A.D. The Bible Continues." A year later he published The World of Ben-Hur as a guide to MGM’s remake of the Lew Wallace classic Ben-Hur.

Aquilina is also a poet and songwriter.[4] His poems, collected in the volume Terms and Conditions, have appeared in U.S. literary journals and in Polish and Spanish translations.[5] His collaborations with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist Dion DiMucci include one book (Dion: The Wanderer Talks Truth) and two albums, Tank Full of Blues (2012) and New York Is My Home (2016).[6] The title song of the latter album was recorded as a duet by Dion and Paul Simon, launched by Rolling Stone magazine, and released as a single in 2015.[7] It was used in episode 5, season 1, of comedian Louis C.K.’s series “Horace and Pete.” The song is also included in the Deluxe Edition of Paul Simon's album Stranger to Stranger.

In recent years, Aquilina has hosted ten television series on the Eternal Word Television Network and hosted two independently produced feature documentaries, one on St. Perpetua and another on St. Augustine. He is a frequent guest commentator on Catholic radio, especially Relevant Radio and EWTN. His journalistic work has appeared in many periodicals.

Aquilina is past editor of New Covenant magazine (1996–2002) and Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper (1993–1996).[8]

He was born in Kingston, Pennsylvania, in 1963. He received his elementary and secondary education in Catholic schools in Pittston, Pennsylvania. He is a 1985 graduate of Pennsylvania State University, and he received that university's Oswald Award for Achievement in Journalism and Mass Media. He and his wife Terri have been married since 1985. They live in the suburbs of Pittsburgh with their children, who are the subject of his book Love in the Little Things (2007).



  1. ^ Mark Sullivan, "Spiritual Son of the Fathers," National Catholic Register, Oct. 28, 2008, http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/spiritual_son_of_the_fathers.
  2. ^ David Scott, "Review of 'A Year with the Church Fathers: Patristic Wisdom for Daily Living,'" Catholic News Agency, Dec. 3, 2010, http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/column.php?n=1417.
  3. ^ John Grondelski, "Invisible Helpers," National Catholic Register, Feb. 11, 2012, http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/lenten-reads-for-40-days1/.
  4. ^ Arsenio Orteza, “Notable CDs,” World Magazine, March 19, 2016, http://www.worldmag.com/2016/03/notable_cds.
  5. ^ David Mills, “Mike Aquilina’s Terms & Conditions,” Patheos, Aug 13, 2014, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davidmills/2014/08/mike-aquilinas-terms-conditions/.
  6. ^ Marcia Z. Nelson, "Runaround Catholic: Dion Writes Spiritual Memoir," Publishers Weekly, Apr 27, 2011, http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/religion/article/47001-runaround-catholic-dion-writes-spiritual-memoir.html.
  7. ^ Kory Grow, “Hear Dion, Paul Simon Duet on Heartfelt 'New York Is My Home’,” RollingStone.com, November 12, 2015, http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/hear-dion-paul-simon-duet-on-heartfelt-new-york-is-my-home-20151112.
  8. ^ Karl Keating, "Mike Aquilina Explains Schmoozing," This Rock, October 1996, http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1996/9610int.asp.

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