When Ellen Gable, president of Full Quiver Press and the Catholic Writers Guild asked me to review Andy LaVallee’s new book, I was not sure what to expect. I was told it was a conversion story that involved Medjugorje, big business, a fast life, and fasting—I was intrigued. From the Hub to the Heart does not disappoint. It is a “heartfelt” book written honestly and directly. Mr. LaVallee shares his life journey with all the ups and downs of a phenomenally successful businessman and the spiritual journey of a soul in grave danger. He does not cover up his sins nor his need for repentance. He embraces the hope that salvation holds out to him, and he sincerely attempts to live his conversion through every facet of his life including his bread business. This is a book I recommend for those who want a fascinating life story as well as family members struggling with despair. Never give up. One never knows what God has planned for those who love Him.
“From the Hub to the Heart,” Book Tells of Journey From Fast Living to Living the Fast
Boston, Massachusetts February 11, 2015, /Christian Newswire — Andrew LaVallee lived the fast life. A man of extremes, LaVallee grew up in a tough neighborhood and he drank, swore and gambled his way through most of his adult life. He achieved financial and worldly success in his bakery distribution business. After his conversion, LaVallee embraced the Catholic faith of his youth and felt God calling him to promote fasting. When he decided to write his story, he joined forces with writer Leticia Velasquez who writes, “This book tells the story of what happened when a movie star known for his portrayal of Jesus Christ in The Passion of the Christ, Jim Caviezel, looked into this successful man’s eyes one day and challenged him just as Christ challenged the rich young man. He dared Andy to visit Medjugorje, an obscure, poor village in Croatia, where for over thirty years it has been alleged that the Virgin Mary has been visiting earth and calling her children to live lives of prayer, penance, and fasting. Andy’s reaction was predictable; ‘No way am I flying fifteen hours to pray a Rosary!’ But little by little, Our Lady’s call to Andy opened his heart and he boarded that plane, prayed that Rosary and his life has never been the same.”
Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston has high praise for Andy: “The past decade of Andy LaVallee’s life shows the power of Men’s Conferences, the impact of good Catholic friendships, the help of the Blessed Mother to draw near to Christ Jesus, the power of fasting, and the positive impact of Catholic social teaching in the workplace. We are fortunate in the Archdiocese of Boston to have leaders such as Andy LaVallee who actively reach out to invite others to experience the joy of living as a disciple within the Catholic community.”
Mother Olga of the Sacred Heart, Foundress of Daughters of Mary of Nazareth says, “In (Andrew’s) pilgrimage we each can experience the fullness of our conversion when the new life of faith from within intersects with the old world from without….writing and publishing this journey is yet a testimony of his desire to reach the fullness of his conversion not only for himself but to share its grace with others. May God’s Name be glorified and many people be inspired by this conversion pilgrimage and journey deeper into their own conversion through this book.”
This inspiring book is available in print and on Kindle via Amazon.com and is also available via the author’s website: livethefast.org