The Art of Accompaniment: Practical Steps for the Seminary Formator by Sister Marysia Weber, RSM

The Art of Accompaniment: Practical Steps for the Seminary Formator by Sister Marysia Weber, RSM

The Art of Accompaniment: Practical Steps for the Seminary Formator

by Sister Marysia Weber, RSM

The role of a seminary formator is to accompany the seminarian in the external forum and to discern with him, the seminary community, and larger Church community, whether he has a vocation to the Catholic priesthood. To accomplish this task effectively, the formator needs a vast array of skills that will enable him or her to listen to, understand, encourage, challenge, and adequately assess the seminarian in an open and honest way. This book by Sister Marysia Weber, RSM, offers many invaluable insights and practical tools that seminary formators can employ in their work.

Paperback: $14.95 | Kindle: $9.99 (ISBN-13: 978-1732594913)

TEMPLATES

TESTIMONIALS

“As the new Ratio Fundamentalis from Rome invites us to deepen the integration of each seminarian through accompaniment in formation, Sr. Marysia Weber, RSM, brings to bear in this work her years of experience in helping priests and seminarians grow in affective maturity necessary for ministry. This little book offers very helpful insights and practical recommendations to assist seminary formators as they work one-on-one with seminarians in developing the necessary relationship of trust for their growth. Formators will learn from her how to create and take advantage of formative moments in seminary life so that the human and affective flourishing of the man can lead to a flourishing of his divine vocation.” – Bishop Andrew Cozzens, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

“Sister Marysia Weber, RSM, DO, articulates clear, relevant ways for the priest formator to accompany seminarians in their formation to the ministerial priesthood. Proposing contemporary assessment questions, this book helps the formation advisor both evaluate and assist the seminarian in his growth in affective maturity. I recommend this compact book particularly because of its practicality, reflection of the Church’s program of formation, and usefulness in identifying opportunities for interior growth for seminarians.” – Fr. Christopher Cooke, Director, Spiritual Year of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia.

“An invaluable resource that every seminary formator should have at his or her side.” – Fr. Dennis Billy, CSSr, author of Finding Our Way to God: Spiritual Direction and the Moral Life

“My colleague and friend, Sister Marysia Weber, RSM, has made an invaluable contribution to the work of priestly formation in her book, The Art of Accompaniment. Throughout the work, her skills as a psychiatrist are evident. Even more evident is her love and honor of the priestly vocation. The concept of accompaniment is key to every insight in the text. There simply is no longer a ‘one size fits all’ approach to priestly formation. Sister Marysia demonstrates both from science and theology varied and concrete ways in which more experienced priests can be both challenging and loving companions on a young man’s journey to ordination and a life of service to the Church. Her chapter on ‘Markers of Human Maturation’ is especially helpful because it presents clear and evidence based ways of helping a candidate recognize individual strengths while not fearing to tackle frailties that could compromise his future life and ministry in the priesthood. The chapter on communication skills is most compelling because it helps formators know how to phrase insights in ways that are acceptable to candidates. Sister Marysia clearly grasps the truth of the old adage, ‘I don’t say what I say; I say what you hear.’ The clearest and most objective evaluation I can give to The Art of Accompaniment is to say that I wish I had this book at hand when I began my own work in priestly formation decades ago. It is a significant and contemporary help in forming candidates for the priesthood after the mind of Christ, possessed of self-knowledge, and ready to serve the Church in our challenging times.” – Rev. Msgr. Thomas G. Caserta (Former Director of Spiritual Formation, Cathedral Seminary Residence, in the Diocese of Brooklyn and Pastor, St. Bernadette Church, Brooklyn, NY)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sister Marysia Weber, R.S.M., D.O., M.A., is a Religious Sister of Mercy of Alma, Michigan. She graduated from MSU-COM in 1983 and completed a medical internship at Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital in Michigan in 1984. She completed her residency in psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in 1987 and her fellowship in consultation-liaison psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in 1988. She is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She completed a Master’s degree in Theology from Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana in 1997. She practiced in her religious institute’s multidisciplinary medical clinic, Sacred Heart Mercy Health Care Center in Alma, MI from 1988-2014. She became the Director of the Office of Consecrated Life for the Archdiocese of Saint Louis in 2014. She currently serves as a member of the Saint Louis Archdiocesan Review Board, the Child Safety Committee, is involved with Project Rachel, collaborates with the Office of Laity and Family Life and is a member of the Catholic Medical Association. She also serves as Adjunct Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Missouri.

She offers workshops on a variety of topics including human attachment, boundaries and character development, depression and anxiety, dialogue and conflict resolution, as well as on social media and its effects on the brain for clergy, seminarians, women’s and men’s religious communities, parents, teachers and students. She is a formator within her own religious community. She presents on Internet pornography addiction—a Catholic approach to treatment to bishops, clergy, seminarians, religious communities, and laity throughout the United States and Europe She presented to the U.S. Bishops in Dallas TX in 1992 on “Pedophilia and Other Addictions”. She was a member of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse in 1994-1995. Sister Marysia has presented to the Curia, Vatican City State on “Sexual Abuse of Minors by Clergy in North America” in 2002. She has served as a psychological expert consultant for the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, USCCB. Her publications include: “Medical Aspects of Addiction”; “The Roman Catholic Church and the Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests and Religious in the United States and Canada: What Have We Learned? Where Are We Going?”; “Pornography, Electronic Media and Priestly Formation”; “Significant Markers of Human Maturation Applied to the Selection and Formation of Seminarians”; “The Discernment of a Priestly Vocation and the Expertise of Psychiatry and Psychology”; and “Internet Pornography and Priestly Formation: Medium and Content Collide With the Human Brain”. Her papers “Forming Seminary Formators in the Art of Accompaniment”, “Markers of Human Maturation in Seminary Formation: Becoming a Gift for Others” and “Communication Skills for Formative Dialogue Directed Toward Missionary Discipleship”- A Response to the recent Ratio on Priestly Formation are pending publication in the Seminary Journal.

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The Wise Guy and the Fool: A Philosophical Odyssey from Modern Error to Truth, authored by Matthew D’Antuono

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COMING SOON!

The Wise Guy and the Fool

by Matthew D’Antuono

This is not a textbook on philosophy. It is not an essay on philosophy. It is not a treatise on philosophy. This book is more like philosophical entertainment and illustration: a collection of philosophical dialogues, allegories, stories, and explanations arranged according to chapters that begin with a critique of some of the dominant but wholly irrational ideas in the world today and end with a recognition of the source of highest truth, which man is unable to attain on his own.

VIDEO

Marcus Grodi interviews Matt D’Antuono, a former Evangelical Protestant, on The Journey Home.

TESTIMONIALS

“A philosophy book for those who don’t want to read philosophy. A lively collection of dialogues and stories that convey very important truths in an entertaining and fast-moving format.” – Dr. Timothy Smith, Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Holy Apostles, Cromwell, CT

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt D’Antuono is a high school physics teacher who lives in New Jersey with his beautiful wife and seven children.

He holds bachelor’s degrees in physics and philosophy and a master’s degree in special education. He is working on a master’s degree in philosophy at Holy Apostles in Cromwell, CT.

You can find him on YouTube at DonecRequiescat.

Articles by Matt:

  1. Fact or Opinion?”: A False Dichotomy,The Imaginative Conservative (July 24, 2018)
  2. Discovering the Beauty of the Truth,” The Coming Home Network International (April 16, 2018)

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Social Media Magisterium: A No-Nonsense Guide to the Proper Use of Media, authored by Shaun McAfee

Social Media Magisterium: A No-Nonsense Guide to the Proper Use of Media, authored by Shaun McAfee

Social Media Magisterium: A No-Nonsense Guide to the Proper Use of Media

by Shaun McAfee

The positive influence of the media, new and old, is seen through the expansion of Catholic networks that span over 150 countries, and more, allowing the gospel and Christian values to be spread across the globe instantaneously. The positive reach available through the media is certain, but it may also be used to the detriment of many. Online bullying, fake news, and anti-christian movements are common, too. Social Media Magisterium aims to provide insight and wisdom from the Church’s teaching to equip every Catholic to evangelize, defend the Church, and spread the Gospel. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or you just downloaded your first app, McAfee’s writing will provide you with the essentials to use the media the way the Church, in her wisdom, directs us.


Available on Amazon! Though the site reads out of stock, you can still order it on two-day delivery. You may also order for the same low price through Barnes & Noble by clicking on the paperback order button below.

TESTIMONIALS

“Navigating the waters of new media with a Catholic compass can be challenging. In Shaun’s new book, he unpacks the wisdom of Catholic magisterial teachings and provides practical tips sure to help every Catholic approach the shores of social media with confidence, conviction, and charity.”  – Josh Simmons, founder / CEO of eCatholic
“Shaun’s approach to understanding new media is practical, engaging, and perhaps most importantly, unintimidating!  Those who have no idea how to bring their faith to bear regarding social media will find themselves encouraged and empowered by the Church’s wisdom on the topic, and by Shaun’s disarming style.” – Matt Swaim, host of the Sonrise Morning Show
“Each of the last three popes has described modern new media as ‘a gift from God.’ But this wasn’t just because they loved the ego-boost of Likes, comments, and shares. They were convinced these tools could facilitate the mission of the Church, drawing people into the Kingdom of God. And for that reason they would appreciate Shaun McAfee’s new book. This short and practical guide introduces the Catholic magisterial teachings about media–too often ignored–but then shows how to apply them to everyday contexts, from the family, to evangelization, to avoiding the dangers of the Internet. Any Catholic who uses the Internet should read it!” – Brandon Vogt, Content Director at Word on Fire and author of The Church and New Media

“Having served as one of Shaun’s thesis advisers at Holy Apostles, I am absolutely thrilled by the way he has handled this work on social media – it’s a practical and useful explanation of the Church’s century-long engagement of social media and offers a practical way for Catholics today to get involved in the use of these great gifts for evangelization.” – Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, OP, Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Holy Apostles, Cromwell, CT

“A book for these Catholics to read: everyone in Pastoral Studies programs of all levels; everyone who is into Social Media but has fears of being addicted; everyone who avoids social media without realizing all the good that selective use can do, not only for oneself but in evangelizing others. McAfee, a convert to the Catholic faith, has written a book that is solid but never ponderous; that is pithy and relevant without being spotty; that is an easy read that could change your daily life.” – Ronda Chervin, Ph.D. is an Emerita Professor of Philosophy and Spirituality at Holy Apostles and author of some 65 books about Catholic living. She is also on Catholic TV, Radio and has her own blog.

“This is a book that all Christians should read. It clearly presents Social Media as the tool to use to spread the Good News of God’s love.” – Dcn. Marty McIndoe (click here to read Dcn. Marty’s full review)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mr. Shaun McAfee, O.P. is the author of Filling Our Father’s House, St. Robert Bellarmine and Reform Yourself!: How to Pray, Find Peace, and Grow in Faith with the Saints of the Counter-Reformation, is the founder and editor of EpicPew.com, and contributes to many online Catholic resources.

Shaun holds a Masters in Dogmatic Theology from Holy Apostles in Cromwell, CT. He has made his temporary profession as a Lay Dominican and lives in Italy.

Shaun became a member of the Catholic Church on Easter 2012 and quickly got started talking to people about the ideas that urged him to convert, soon taking up blogging and writing in a more permanent fashion.

Shaun’s writing is known for its honesty, for its down-to-earth approach, and for its being a meek and humble voice in the defense of the Christian faith.

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Simple Holiness, authored by Al Hughes and Ronda Chervin

Simple Holiness, authored by Al Hughes and Ronda Chervin

Simple Holiness

by Albert E. Hughes and Ronda Chervin

We all are called to holiness, but we may not know what holiness means or how to approach it. Do you really desire to climb the ladder of holiness? Do you seek a life of spiritual joy in union with God, no matter the ups and downs, the pains and disappointments of life? Do you want – in yourself – to approach the image and likeness of Christ? Do you want to “see” God? Do you want to be a true disciple of Jesus all the time? If your answer is yes to these questions, too, then Al Hughes and Ronda Chervin have written this for you! Within the pages of this book, you’ll learn how to do six things: 1) embrace Catholic faith and culture, 2) determine where your treasure lies, 3) find and enter the narrow gate, 4) obey the revealed will of God, 5) identify God’s specific will for you, and 6) embrace unconditional charity.

Paperback: $11.95 Kindle: $9.99 The Kindle versions is available now. The paperback version will be available for sale by Saturday, June 23, 2018.

Testimonials

“Jesus said, ‘Whoever has seen me has seen the Father’ (John 14:9) – the methods in this book on simple holiness are the eye-wear you need to see through that window Christ has opened for you.” – Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, OP, Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Holy Apostles, Cromwell, CT

About the Authors

Albert E. Hughes (Pastoral Counselor and Spiritual Director) and Ronda Chervin, Ph.D. (Professor Emerita of Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Catholic Writer, and Media Presenter)

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Today I Made My First Reconciliation

Today I Made My First Reconciliation

Today I Made My First Reconciliation

by Dianne Ahern

Wonderfully instructional book!

Best friends Maria and Riley accidentally break a window then lie to their parents. Their growing discomfort coincides with encounters with their parish priests and teachers and lessons of forgiveness, love and reconciliation. Includes a “Guide to the Sacrament of Reconciliation” and memory book section.

This book carries theimprimatur of the Catholic Church.

Price: $19.95

ABOUT THE BOOK

Best friends Maria and Riley accidentally break a window while playing ball. They fear they have done something wrong, anticipate the consequences, then decide to lie to their parents about it.

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Coincidentally, they are just learning about sin and the commandments in their religion classes in preparation for the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. After Ms. Kelly explains sin to the children, Maria and Riley know they are in big trouble but don’ t know quite what to do. Words like penance, reconciliation, and absolution are just too big and too confusing.

One day the children coax Father Mike and Sister Mary Rose to join them in an impromptu soccer game. Afterwards, Father questions them about their lessons and then provides examples of how children can commit sins that offend God.

As time passes, Maria and Riley grow more uncomfortable and feel alienated from their parents and each other. Events lead them to question: Can sin make me sick? If I did something bad, would you still love me?

Along the way their parish priests, teachers, and parents use stories of the prodigal son, Adam and Eve, the temptation of Jesus in the desert, ‘hit and run’ accidents, and Jesus’ suffering on the cross to explain sin, repentance, forgiveness, and God’s grace.

Father Hugo, their pastor who loves to de-mystify the church for the children, takes the class on a visit to the reconciliation room and answers their questions and fears about going to confession.

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Through it all Maria and Riley begin to understand. However, it isn’t until they research the meaning of reconciliation, penance and absolution on their own, that they see the whole picture.

Full of confidence, Maria and Riley make their First Reconciliation and witness the peace and joy that is theirs through sacramental graces.

Today I Made My First Reconciliation is a storybook, a reference book, and a memory book.

The “Guide to the Sacrament of Reconciliation” contains information on confessionals, the Commandments, examination of conscience, prayers, how to go to confession, and includes scriptural references.

The “Memories of My First Reconciliation Day” section allows the first-time penitent and his or her family to personalize the book and create a lasting memory of this special day.

TESTIMONIALS


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DMA_Pix1_2013

Dianne Ahern grew up on a farm in Illinois, has traveled extensively for business and pleasure, and now resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Medical Technology from Marian College (University), and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Indiana University.  After rewarding careers in laboratory medicine, hospital administration, and healthcare consulting, Dianne found a new love: researching and writing about the events that shape our lives.

It was after her first Vatican visit in 1999, when Dianne looked into the eyes of Pope (Saint) John Paul II, held his hand, and kissed his ring, that she felt called to write books for Catholic children and their families.  Already a successful businesswoman, Dianne formed her own publishing company, Aunt Dee’s Attic, to support her new calling.

Beginning with the sacrament of baptism, Dianne outlined a series of books on the sacraments designed to prepare families for these most important events.  Her books’ formats merge storybook, reference book, and memory book elements into beautiful keepsake books. The sacrament books feature the imprimatur of the Catholic Church to assure families that the contents are true Church teachings.

In addition to her books on the sacraments, Dianne has developed a series of adventure/mystery books for young readers subtitled Adventures with Sister Philomena, Special Agent to the Pope.  The Adventure books place fictional characters in real settings to teach about the Church, saints, and holy places.  Her books have won accolades from retailers, readers, clergy, teachers, grandparents, and moms and dads.

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Today I Made My First Communion

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Today I Made My First Communion

Today I Made My First Communion

Today I Made My First Communion

by Dianne Ahern

A favorite gift for First Communion!

Join Maria and Riley and their classmates as they offer to help Father Hugo solve the Mystery of the Eucharist. Learn about the Church, the Mass, music and prayer. “Look in the Back of the Book” for clues and information on the sacrament. A keepsake book to record events of the day.

This book carries the imprimatur of the Catholic Church.

Price: $19.95 hardback gift edition

About the Book

Join Maria and Riley as they enter their church to begin First Communion classes. The children’s anxiousness gives way to curiosity and finally to confidence as they offer to help Father Hugo solve the Mystery of the Eucharist!

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Although initially taken-back by this offer, Father Hugo deftly turns it into a teaching opportunity. He challenges the children to look throughout the church for clues to solve the Mystery. Then he explains how the things they find point to the Eucharist.

Other members of the parish staff get involved too! Deacon Paul helps the class with their prayers. Sister Mary Rose, the music minister, invites them visit the choir loft and discover the importance of music. Their teacher, Ms. Kelly, brings it all together as she explains the Mass to the children.

When it’s Father Hugo’s turn to explain the Eucharist, he makes the connection between the Last Supper, the Mass, and the clues the children found in the church during their earlier classes. However, Maria and Riley continue to struggle with the Mystery.

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Following an evening of family participation in Benediction and Adoration, Maria and Riley find their prayers are answered. A miracle happens and the Mystery is solved. (Sorry, you have to read the book to discover how the Mystery is solved!)

Full of confidence and joy, Maria and Riley receive the Eucharist at their First Holy Communion.

Today I Made My First Communion is a storybook, a reference book, and a memory book. The “Look in the Back of the Book” reference section contains a rendered drawing of ‘Our Church’ and expands the understanding of prayers, the commandments, and the ‘Parts of the Mass’. The “Memories of My First Communion Day” section allows the First Communicant and his or her family to personalize the book and create a lasting memory of this special day.

TESTIMONIALS

AMSNews
(Archdiocese of Military Services) Vol 2 No 3, 2003
“Spreading the Faith” a letter from the Archbishop
“I was especially taken by a series of colorful, highly informative and attractive gift books ($19.95 each), ‘Today I Was Baptized’, ‘Today I Made My First Communion’, and ‘Today We Became Engaged’, each solid, amazingly comprehensive and bound to appeal to the whole family.” Edwin F. O’Brien, Archbishop for the Military Services, USA

 

The Daily Journal
August 7, 2003
Book makes prepration for First Communion fun

Learning about Holy Communion in the Catholic Church can be fun.

Just read the new book, ‘Today I Made My First Communion’ ($19.95 by publisher Aunt Dee’s Attic), written by Dianne Ahern, who grew up on a farm near Dwight.

Although it explains the Catholic church’s sacrament of Holy Communion and its origins in terms children 9-12 years can understand, their parents also may find it a learning experience.

Ahern’s latest book is structured into three parts all within the same book: the story, a very handy reference section of definitions and a memory book.

The author says she made her First Communion at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Campus, Illinois, at the age of 7. Growing up on a nearby family farm, she learned to appreciate her faith, family, and freedom to pursue the world.

The book tells the story about the steps Catholics take to prepare for First Communion through the eyes of two children, Riley and Maria, who are about 8 years old. Both are very concerned that the 12 weeks of classes will be really hard — even confusing.

But Father Hugo makes the experience interesting by presenting it as the “Mystery of the Eucharist.”

The clues to solve the mystery can be found as the children study different elements of the Catholic religion: Prayers, the Commandments, parts of Mass, and, of course, what Communion actually means.

Father Hugo said, “When you and I receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in Holy Communion, we receive special sacramental graces that help us to live our lives according to His rules. And, if we believe in Him, love our neighbors, and live our lives according to the Commandments, we will live forever with God in heaven.”

The text is broken up by the eye-catching illustrations of Katherine Larson. One is a large, colorful picture of the interior of a church which names all the different parts, from stained glass windows to the holy water font. Their definitions are explained on the next page. Behind that are pages giving prayers, explaining the Rosary and giving a detailed explanation for each part of the Mass.

Adults who are not familiar with the Catholic faith, will find these pages very helpful.

At the end of the book are seven pages where children can put the name and pictures of the people who shared the day with them to help make the First Communion experience even more memorable.

There is a lot to learn, so children may need several nights to absorb everything, listening and asking questions as they go. But the book will help them understand that going to church is much more important than just a Sunday morning habit.

The author has also written “Today I Was Baptized, “Today We Became Engaged” and other books.

 

CRUX of the News
August 18 AD 2003
Workbook, keepsake
Cleverly designed, illustrated and written, ‘Today I Made My First Communion’ combines the fun of a mystery story with the helpfulness of a workbook and the joy of a keepsake for children and their parents as the child receives First Communion. The book begins with two friends who are preparing for their First Communion, and are determined to figure out the “Mystery of the Eucharist.” Author Dianne Ahern and illustrator Katherine Larson combine their talents to tell a story that will keep the children involved and interested. Farther back in the book are the workbook and keepsake parts. The former includes a “map” of the church that shows the different parts (ambo, baptismal font, holy water receptacle, etc.) and defines them in terms that children can understand, as well as prayers that children should learn, and an explanation of the rosary, the ten commandments and a thorough look at the parts of the Mass, with definitions. Following that is the keepsake protion of the book, allowing children (and parents) to write thoughts and dates, places and times, as well as place for pictures or drawings. A fun idea for teachers and children.

 

Faith Magazine
(Diocese of Lansing), June 2003
Reviews, Today I Made My First Communion

‘Today I Made My First Communion’ is a beautifully designed storybook, which proceeds into a reference section and ends as a keepsake memory book. Written, illustrated and published in Ann Arbor, it is presented at a level at which everyone — including those making their First Communion and the parents — can understand, learn and enjoy.

A delightful, informative children’s story comprises the majority of the book. As readers join members of a First Communion class trying to understand the mystery of the Eucharist, some may recognize St. Thomas the Apostle Church and Fr. Roger Prokop in the wonderful illustrations. A reference sections follows, which contains things such as an illustrated “map of our church” and a step-by-step explanation of the order of the Mass. It also features the Commandments and popular prayers, including a guide to praying the rosary.

Lastly, a memories sections is provided, offering the opportunity for this book to become a personalized First Communion keepsake. This local treasure is a perfect way to create a lasting memory and grow in understanding of this special day.

 

The Southern Cross
(Diocese of San Diego) April 17, 2003
Children’s Book on First Communion Helps Teach About Eucharist

What to get a child for First Communion? You have your rosary, your First Prayer Book, a crucifix, a medal, a necklace.

Perhaps you should consider ‘Today I Made My First Communion’, a new book in the Aunt Dee’s Attic series of books on the sacraments.

This book is written primarily for children who are about to make their First Communion and their families. However, it may help others to learn about the Catholic Church and the Eucharist, as well.

The book would also make an excellent ‘refresher’ gift for a confirmation candidate.

The picture book, with lengthy and informative text, tells a tail about what happens when an affable parish priest is confronted by a pair of curious second graders who want to know about the Mystery of the Eucharist.

The story follows Maria and Riley as they enter their church to begin First Communion classes. The children’s initial anxiety gives way to curiosity and finally to confidence as they offer to help Father Hugo solve the Mystery of the Eucharist.

Although initially taken aback by this offer, Father Hugo deftly turns their questions into a teaching opportunity, challenging the children to look throughout the church for clues to solve the Mystery. Then he explains how things they find point to the Eucharist.

‘Today I Made My First Communion’ is wonderful combination of storybook, reference book, and memory book.

In the storybooks section, the author mixes a bit of ‘who-done-it’ drama with traditional religious education to uncover the mystery of our faith.

The reference section includes things children should know when making First Communion, including a rendered drawing of “our Church” and expands the understanding of prayers, the commandments and the ‘parts of the Mass.’

The Memories of My First Communion section allows the First Communicant and family to personalize the books and create a lasting memory of this special day.

 

The Catholic Telegraph
(Archdiocese of Cincinnati), March 5, 2004

Books help children solve ‘the mystery of the Eucharist’

What happens when affable Father Hugo, a parish priest, is confronted by a pair of curious second-graders who want to help him solve “the mystery of the Eucharist”?

In Today I Made My First Communion ($19.95 hardcover), author Dianne Ahern, a Catholic writer from Michigan, turns a second-grader’s confusion into a story of a pastor who finds himself blessed with the opportunity to teach the first Communion class at this parish school about the sacrament.

Among characters figuring prominently in the book are the two children, the parish deacon, the music minister and the second-grade teacher.

The book uses the setting of the class preparation for first Communion to teach children — and adults — that the songs sung and prayers spoken all point to the Eucharist.

There’s a bit of whodunit drama mixed in with traditional religious education so that children find a new way to uncover the mystery of faith.

A reference section is also included, helping children learn the terms they should know when making first Communion. And the last section of the book allows a child and his or her family to record the events of their special day, making it a lasting keepsake.

The book is the third in a series of books on the Sacraments authored by Ahern. “I want to preserve all the pomp and circumstance that goes along with our rites of passage,” she explained. “But more importantly, I want people to understand and reflect on how important certain events, and in this case, the sacraments are in our lives.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DMA_Pix1_2013

Dianne Ahern grew up on a farm in Illinois, has traveled extensively for business and pleasure, and now resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Medical Technology from Marian College (University), and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Indiana University.  After rewarding careers in laboratory medicine, hospital administration, and healthcare consulting, Dianne found a new love: researching and writing about the events that shape our lives.

It was after her first Vatican visit in 1999, when Dianne looked into the eyes of Pope (Saint) John Paul II, held his hand, and kissed his ring, that she felt called to write books for Catholic children and their families.  Already a successful businesswoman, Dianne formed her own publishing company, Aunt Dee’s Attic, to support her new calling.

Beginning with the sacrament of baptism, Dianne outlined a series of books on the sacraments designed to prepare families for these most important events.  Her books’ formats merge storybook, reference book, and memory book elements into beautiful keepsake books. The sacrament books feature the imprimatur of the Catholic Church to assure families that the contents are true Church teachings.

In addition to her books on the sacraments, Dianne has developed a series of adventure/mystery books for young readers subtitled Adventures with Sister Philomena, Special Agent to the Pope.  The Adventure books place fictional characters in real settings to teach about the Church, saints, and holy places.  Her books have won accolades from retailers, readers, clergy, teachers, grandparents, and moms and dads.

OTHER CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Choosing Joy

Choosing Joy by Nancy Olson Choosing Joy is the charming story of a rescued Golden Retriever named Joy. On a deeper level, the story extends a gentle invitation to readers, both young and grown-up, to “choose joy” in their daily living. Choosing Joy is a...

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Hunter Finds a Home

Hunter Finds a Home by Nancy Olson With charming pictures and simple words, Hunter Finds a Home tells the story of a homeless cat that wandered into the backyard and the lives of a family of dog-lovers. At first unwanted and unwelcome, the young cat is...

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The Missing Chalice

The Missing Chalice by David C. Hanley and illustrated by Richard E. Hanley In this children’s mystery, an experienced pastor finds his special chalice missing. Senior Server Brian Jacobs has been serving at daily Mass for five years. He understands the...

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The Story of Our God and Our Catholic Religion

The Story of Our God and Our Catholic Religion by Dominic Tarquin Catholic children should have a basic understanding of their faith before receiving the sacraments of reconciliation and communion. The goal of this book is to help young children to...

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Secrets of Siena

Secrets of Siena by Dianne Ahern Book 4 of the series! Even nuns get to take a holiday! After all the investigations Sister Philomena’s conducted this summer, she needs one. In this adventure, Sister Philomena, her niece, Delaney, and nephew, Riley, are...

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Curse of the Coins

Curse of the Coins by Dianne Ahern Book 3 of the series! The 30 pieces of silver that Judas was paid for betraying Jesus were found in Israel. The Franciscan monks of Jerusalem sent the coins to the Vatican Museums for authentication and safekeeping – but...

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Break-In at the Basilica

Break-In at the Basilica by Dianne Ahern Book 2 of the series!  Luigi, a desperately poor man, breaks into the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi, Italy, to steal something of great value. He hides behind the wooden choir stalls and waits for nightfall....

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Lost in Peter’s Tomb

Lost in Peter’s Tomb by Dianne Ahern Book 1 of the series! Lost in Peter’s Tomb is the first book in a series of mystery adventures designed to present the stories of the saints in an intriguing and educational manner. Set in modern Italy, the stories...

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Today I Made My First Reconciliation

Today I Made My First Reconciliation by Dianne Ahern Wonderfully instructional book! Best friends Maria and Riley accidentally break a window then lie to their parents. Their growing discomfort coincides with encounters with their parish priests and...

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Today I Made My First Communion

Today I Made My First Communion by Dianne Ahern A favorite gift for First Communion! Join Maria and Riley and their classmates as they offer to help Father Hugo solve the Mystery of the Eucharist. Learn about the Church, the Mass, music and prayer. “Look...

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Today I Was Baptized

Today I Was Baptized by Dianne Ahern All time best seller! Begins with a children’s story about a baby’s baptism day-told from the baby’s perspective! Includes short essays that explain the sacrament of Baptism. The book becomes a keepsake for this very...

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The Rosary in Kidspeak

The Rosary in Kidspeak by TJ Burdick This book was designed to help families pray the rosary with their children. Each mystery includes a piece of sacred art, a description of each mystery in “kid speak”, and instructions on how to pray this treasured...

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