South Windsor resident Dr. Robert LaRochelle’s second book, “Crossing the Street,” isn’t exactly light reading.
The book, published in May by Energion Press, deals with the similarities and differences between Protestant and Roman Catholic sects of Christianity.
“It could be a text used in comparative religion courses in colleges,” LaRochelle said in a telephone interview Monday. “But it can also be used as a practical tool on the [individual] level.”
Specifically, LaRochelle said that the book could be used by family members - say, a husband who is Catholic who has a wife that is a Protestant - to help edify one another about each other’s faith.
It’s a subject that is near and dear to the 59-year-old LaRochelle, who spent the first 41 years of his life as a Catholic before making the decision to leave the church and become a Protestant minister in 1998.
“Catholics and Protestants have a lot in common and need to work to understand each other,” LaRochelle said. “What I try to show is we have more in common than meets the eye.”
LaRochelle does so through, what he calls, heavy duty theology, parsing through each faith’s history, as well as telling his own tales and experiences with Catholicism and Protestantism.
“Crossing the Street” marks LaRochelle’s second foray into the publishing world, as he first authored Part-Time Pastor, Full-Time Church, which he wrote to help churches that are downsizing handle the transition from having full-time pastors to part-timers.
LaRochelle’s first book also comes from personal experiences, as he is a part-time minister; he works as a guidance counselor in the South Windsor school system as his full-time occupation.
LaRochelle said that he’s always had an interest in writing and mentioned to many an acquaintance that he wanted to publish a book.
“But life sometimes gets in the way,” LaRochelle said. “I like writing sermons and have always loved writing as a child.”
It wasn’t until he obtained his doctorate from the Chicago Theological Seminary in 2007, when he wrote a 140- to 150-page thesis, that he realized he could put together a book-length work.
He said that he is now working on his third book, which is scheduled to come out in 2013.
“Crossing the Street” is available on Amazon.com for $16.99, and also at Energion Publications here.