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!
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.
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.
(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
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.
(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
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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