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The Archaeology of Faith

The Archaeology of Faith

A Personal Exploration of How We Come to Believe 

Author: Louis J. Cameli

Price: $15.95

Format: Paperback

Pages: 224

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

ISBN: 978-1-59471-589-1

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

On-sale date: March 23, 2015

More Adult Faith Formation, History, Spirituality, Theology


Drawing on family history and his own story, noted theologian and pastoral leader Fr. Louis J. Cameli takes readers on an archaeological exploration into the faith passed down across time and place. Beginning in his ancestral home in Italy and tracing the story through the centuries, Cameli unearths layers of faith to lead readers to a clearer understanding of their own faith as a legacy from the community of the Church.

In The Archaeology of Faith, Fr. Louis Cameli digs into his ancestry to uncover the source of his own faith and invites believers and seekers alike to examine their own faith in the context of history and within the community of the Church.

Tracing the evolution of faith from pre-Christian times in his ancestral village of Grottamare on Italy’s Adriatic coast, Cameli discovered how faith intersects with the most basic predicaments of life. While studying the rise of monasticism, he learned that faith is lived in community. As he looked at the medieval raids of Saracen pirates, Cameli found a sense of living with vulnerability. Finally, he realized that trust in God was modeled for him by the relatives who farm the same land today as their ancestors did.

As Cameli studied the rich complexity of faith in his family history, he reflected on his own life, his vocation, and the personal challenges that his beliefs pose.

Cameli is a highly respected priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago, where he has served as the Cardinal’s delegate for formation and mission and is a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops.


"I loved this book."

“I loved Louis Cameli's book for the highly readable account of his ancestral Italian home with its dense layers going back from prehistory to the saga of his own immigrant grandparents who ended up in Chicago. Cameli wisely underscores a somewhat hidden truth of Catholic Christianity, namely, that it has a name and a local habitation. This is no trip down nostalgia lane, but rather an example how, like the householder of the Gospel, one brings forth old things and new.”

Lawrence S. Cunningham
John A. O'Brien Professor of Theology (Emeritus)
University of Notre Dame

"Shared with heart and passion."

“With the skill of a seasoned storyteller and the vulnerability of one who is along his own path toward God, Father Louis Cameli draws us in to a complex yet highly readable tale of faith. We are invited to explore, to organize, and to expand our own faith through the prism of historical, cultural, scriptural, and personal stories. The best faith stories I’ve heard are those shared with heart and passion and this book ranks highly among them. Enjoy The Archaeology of Faith and ponder the role of faith in your own story.”

Lisa M. Hendey
Author of The Grace of Yes

“A finely wrought and deeply personal book."

“In this finely wrought and deeply personal book, Fr. Cameli explores the many layers of the faith handed down to him and his ongoing appropriation of that faith. In generously sharing his own journey of Christian faith, he richly illumines our own.”

Rev. Robert Imbelli
Associate Professor Emeritus of Theology
Boston College

Fr. Louis Camli shares insights into The Archaeology of Faith

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Fr. Louis Cameli shares insights into The Archaeology of Faith