Ave Maria Press authors were recognized for nine books—including four first-place honors—during the annual Catholic Press Association book awards.

The awards were announced on June 15, 2018, at the annual Catholic Media Conference in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Brandon Vogt’s Why I Am Catholic (and You Should Be Too) earned a first-place award for a popular presentation of the faith. The judges said, “Clear and concise, this book does exactly what its title promised: explain why one would choose to become a Catholic. Without triumphalism, and with charity toward other faith traditions, the author gives intelligent and cogent reasons why the Catholic Church is the true Church while telling the story of his own journey to Catholicism. Perfect for the category—a winner.”

First-time author Rev. John Burns won first place for Lift Up Your Heart. “This small, easy-to-handle but still weighty book—in the sense of its importance for readers seeking spiritual calm and wisdom in today’s world. Based on a retreat with St. Francis de Sales the author engaged in, and his reaction and advice coming out of that experience, it is a clear ... gift in our search for guidance and an excellent performance as a writer’s first book,” the judges said.

Bob Schuchts’ Be Transformed, a follow-up to his bestselling book Be Healed, won first place in the sacraments category. The judges commented, “The sacraments are the lifeline to grace in Jesus Christ and the Church. This book invites the reader to enter each sacrament as a personal encounter with Jesus to be transformed, healed, and strengthened so that the life of faith can be realized.”

Prayer Seeds by Joyce Rupp won first place in the prayer collections category. The judges said, “In Prayer Seeds, Joyce Rupp offers almost a hundred new selections of original blessings, reflections, poems, prayers, and readings on a variety of themes suitable for feasts and seasons of the liturgical year. Many of the prayer seeds begin with the greeting Namasté, which acknowledges the goodness within along with the acceptance of the unfished self. Each resource is intended as a spiritual seed to kindle the fire within. This is a spiritual treasure suitable for both communal and personal prayer.”

Other winners and their categories are:

You can find the complete list of winners on the Catholic Press Association website.