Meet a Reader: Michael Berlinger {The Catholic Post}

Following is the monthly feature that appears in the print edition of The Catholic Post, featuring a Peoria diocese reader.

mhb nightKnight CathPost pic

How you know me: 

I am a designer and restorer working throughout the diocese of Peoria and beyond through our historic building and church antiquities, designing and restoration business, Heritage Restoration and Design Studio. I am also a Knight in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus. My wife, Kathryn, and I have four sons and we belong to the Cathedral parish of St. Mary in Peoria. I am a lector there.

Why I love reading:

I was born in Wuerzburg, Germany, and emigrated to the United States when I was six years old. At a very early age, when we lived in a Chicago suburb, I remember Sister Mary Francis teaching our first grade class to read. For me, it was two experiences—not only was I learning to read, but I was also learning a foreign language: English!

Not long after that, I realized the power of the printed word. I remember reading Dr. Seuss, then the Hardy Boys. In high school, my interest in world travel, spies, and suspense led me to books by Alistair MacClean and Robert Ludlum.

Working and owning a business means that for continuing education, I read books about business operations and finance, ethics and trust-building, leadership, and managing client expectations and perceptions. As I started working with different Catholic parishes on their respective restoration projects, traditional architectural designing, Catholic philosophy and church history captured my interest. Therefore, for me, reading has been a growth process changing with the progression of life, work, and faith.

What I’m reading now:


I recently finished The Wisdom of Failure: How to Learn the Tough Leadership Lessons Without Paying the Price by Laurence Weinzimmer, a management professor at Bradley University, and Jim McConoughey, a local business leader.

I am also reading The Gospel of the Holy Spirit: Meditation and Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles by Fr. Alfred McBride. The latter book was a gift from my son.

My favorite book:

My favorite book is always the one I am reading at the moment. However, some books do stand out as being “the best” since I’ve read them multiple times. One of these is “Trojan Horse in the City of God: The Catholic Crisis Explained by Dietrich Von Hildebrand.

A book I love about the subject of progress in one’s spiritual life is Growth In Holiness
by Fr. Frederick Faber, an Anglican convert who was a close friend and collaborator of John Henry Newman. Fr. Faber has the ability to reach into your soul.

In the business word, a very good book to read about future planning in an uncertain world is The Art of the Long View
by Peter Schwartz. Schwartz suggests that business leaders “go up to 10,000 feet” to view the past, present and future to ascertain, with some accuracy, the probably future business climate.