Like his Compact History of the Catholic Church, Alan Schreck's inspirational dictionary provides interested lay Catholics with an accessible guide to the people, institutions, and movements that have shaped two thousand years of Church history. Dr. Schreck covers well known Catholic figures like the major saints on the liturgical calendar and yet also pays attention to less known but pivotal events and people. For example, he includes an entry for the Synod of Whitby, a little-known meeting of bishops that reconciled the growing tension between Celtic and English Catholic communities in the seventh century. Major non-Catholic figures who influenced the Church like Immanuel Kant are also included, as are modern Church heroes like Balthasar, Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), and Giussani. Schreck's book would make a terrific gift for a budding high-school age historian or anyone who wants a brief alphabetic overview of Church history.