Meet The Catholic Post’s new book review team; online club forming for discussion

The Catholic Post’s Book Page is beginning a new chapter that includes a new team of reviewers and the formation of an online book club to encourage discussion on social media.

Among the new review team members is Nancy Piccione, who stepped down in August after eight years as Book Page editor.

“We are happy that Nancy will continue to share her love of reading and the Catholic faith,” said Tom Dermody, editor of The Catholic Post. “And we are thrilled to add five new voices and perspectives on our Book Page.”

The new team was introduced in the Oct. 14 issue of the diocesan newspaper, which included a review of Haley Stewart’s “The Grace of Enough” by team member Bonnie Engstrom.

Persons wishing to discuss books reviewed by The Catholic Post team — or suggest their own favorites — are encouraged to join a new diocese-wide online book club that is forming on Facebook and Instagram .

Here is a brief introduction to the review team. Watch for more reviews in the coming months in our print edition, on the “Book Review” category on this website, and on our online book club sites.

Katie Bogner

Katie is the junior high faith formation teacher at St. Philomena School in Peoria. Her favorite genres are biblical studies and historical fiction. Learn more about Katie by visiting her blog, “Look to Him and Be Radiant.


Sister Mary Core, OSB

Sister Mary Core is a member of the Sisters of St. Benedict of St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island. She serves as youth minister at St. Maria Goretti Parish, Coal Valley, and Mary, Our Lady of Peace Parish in Orion. She also leads women’s  book clubs at those parishes. Her favorite genres are autobiographies, biographies, and mysteries.


Bonnie Engstrom

Bonnie is a writer, speaker, homemaker, and blogger from St. Patrick Parish, Washington. The healing of her son, James Fulton Engstrom, is a miracle being considered in the canonization cause of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. Bonnie’s blog is “A Knotted Life,” and her favorite book genres are cookbooks, kid lit, and novels that cover fantasy, adventure, and drama.


Nancy Piccione

A member of St. Jude Parish in Peoria, Nancy was Book Page editor of The Catholic Post for eight years and recently established her own business, Clarus Money Coaching. Learn more about Nancy’s interests and view her past book reviews at her blog site, “Reading Catholic.”


Father Luke Spannagel

Father Luke is pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Urbana. Ordained in 2003, he has served at various parishes and guided Newman Centers at Western Illinois University and the University of Illinois. His favorite genres are biographies and anything on nature, art, design, or historical fiction (especially on the pioneer days).


Matthew Vander Vennet

Matt is the development director at The High School of Saint Thomas More in Champaign and is a dissertation away from earning a doctorate in church history from the Catholic University of America. A guitarist, when it comes to books Matt enjoys historical or theological/apologetical works as well as fiction (Tolkien/Lewis/Chesterton).

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