Growing up in a coal country valley of northeastern Pennsylvania, Patrick Resetar wanted nothing more than a way out of the town that he lived in. As a child, he witnessed, and often experienced, the people in his town battle a multitude of demons, usually in the shape of addiction and abuse. Directly affected by these struggles, he turned to religion to help him find a path forward. But instead of hymns and Hail Marys, Patrick’s faith demanded touchdowns and tackles. His devotion was football and his savior was a little brown piece of pigskin.
Some people participate in traditional religions like Catholicism or Judaism, while others choose those that are less conventional, such as horse racing or music. But what these faiths all have in common are that people are willing to sacrifice for them, and that they require a monthly tithing of one form or another to participate.
Fist-fighting, Catholicism, and Sunday family meals were a few of the ways Patrick and his family practiced their beliefs. While churchgoers donned their best clothes and visited their houses of worship, Patrick and his family sat down for an early meal, skipping the mass and going straight to the pasta. This was their service and their opportunity to repent.
Infused with humor, pathos, and hope, this deeply moving memoir chronicles the challenges of what life is like living in a working-class town filled with addiction, abuse, an indestructible connection to its past, and an equally unbreakable hope for the future.
Evocative and incisive, They Have Jesus, We Have Lasagna examines what it means to believe in something and what it takes to be saved, whether salvation comes in the form of football, Jesus, or a hot plate of lasagna.
“The entertaining book’s prevailing impression is that of chaos recalled with warm affection. … This combination of drama and pathos turns the work into an effective modern family story. A vivid and enjoyable account about growing up in Pennsylvania.” – Kirkus Reviews