Family Devotions

A Catholic Family Prayer Book

Book cover: 'A Catholic Family Prayer Book'
Copyright: 
2001
Publisher: 
Little Flower Family Apostolate
Binding: 
Stapled Softcover
Number of pages: 
36 pages
Subject(s): 
Review: 

1st copy FREE for one "Hail Mary"; suggested donation $2-$5 thereafter

What a lovely, little prayer book! Sized to fit into a shirt pocket, this paperback prayer book can be tucked into your pocketbook, favorite tote bag, or even your lunch box. It contains a selection of familiar and long-forgotten prayers arranged under the headings of "Morning Prayers", "Prayers Throughout the Day", "Prayers for Those in Purgatory", "Prayers in Reparation", and "Evening Prayers". The prayers have been gathered from various sources, and the texts are printed in an eye-pleasing typeface in English.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Additional notes: 

This is a photocopied, stapled booklet

Review Date: 
1999
Reviewed by: 

God In Our House

Author(s): 
Joseph A. Breig
ISBN: 
1 930 873 581
Copyright: 
2002
Publisher: 
Neumann Press
Binding: 
Sewn Hardcover
Number of pages: 
156 pages
Subject(s): 
Review: 

I always look forward to the new books published by Neumann Press, and this book was worth waiting for! God In Our House is a collection of essays that were originally published on a weekly basis in a Catholic magazine named America. Because this feature of the magazine was so popular, the editors published this book, which Neumann Press has now republished.

Beginning with the First Sunday of Advent and concluding with the Last Sunday After Pentecost, each essay is based on a passage from the gospel reading of the day. All Sundays and many Holy Days are included, with the same format: the passage is cited and followed by an approximately two-page essay or story. The author, a father of five, often uses examples from the daily life of a busy family to explain the passage. His style is so appealing! As you progress through the year, you come to know his family almost as well as the teachings of the gospels.

Our family has a custom of re-reading the Sunday gospels on Sunday evenings, and we try to read from a Catholic book as well. With a wide age-span amongst our children, it has been difficult to find a book suitable and enjoyable for all. This book fits our Sunday evenings perfectly. The reading for the week would also be profitable if it were read before Sunday, perhaps as a part of Friday's religion class or Saturday's preparation for Sunday. It only takes a few minutes, but the lessons learned through these enjoyable stories will remain. Buy this book in the hardcover edition! You will enjoy it THAT much as you read it year after year.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Additional notes: 

Also available in softcover

ISBN 1-930873-59-X (softcover)

Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat

Review Date: 
9-3-02
Reviewed by: 

God Listens to Our Children

Author(s): 
Kelly Renz
ISBN: 
1 592 761 852
Copyright: 
2006
Publisher: 
Our Sunday Visitor
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
256 pages
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

This book is filled with prayers for children from cover to cover! The premise of author Kelly Renz is that formal prayers are too distant from the language children use everyday. Moving through the liturgical year and reflecting specifically a reading from each daily mass, the prayers have been written in simple language and are of short length--five to seven lines at the most.

God Listens to Our Children may be very be useful in Catholic homeschool both for families that make it to daily mass and those who are not able to do so. In the first case the children will enjoy the opportunity to revisit the daily reading and in the second case they will have an opportunity to reflect on the mass readings. Sundays readings display cycles A, B and C options, while daily readings in ordinary time have both Year I and Year II passages.

The author has given each set of readings a simple theme, such as Trust, or Belief, Mercy, or Hearing God. An index lists all of the prayers' themes in the end, so users can also look for prayers specific to their changing needs. She has also listed one related Catechism passage below each set of daily prayers. The responsorial psalms for each day are also included.

If you are interested in purchasing this book to aid in the praying with your children, you might want to leaf over it beforehand and read a few prayers just to make sure the style is to your liking (I include a sample below). Although I am one to promote teaching children the richness of the formal (and more complex English) prayers of the Church, these simply phrased ones could be welcome and helpful at times.

Another note is on the absence of prayers related to the saints' feastdays. The author did, however, include prayers related to the two major Marian feasts of Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, as well as for All Saints Day. Maybe this would be material for a follow-up book?

Twenty-Fifth Tuesday in Ordinary Time

Pleasing God

Dear Lord, the book of Proverbs tells me a lot about how You see things. You look at each person's heart. May You look at my heart and be pleased. Show me how to make my heart more pleasing to You. Inspire me to read Proverbs and other books in Your bible.

Review Date: 
9-16-06
Reviewed by: 

It's a Mystery! The Holy Trinity

A Catholic Children's Retreat
Book cover: 'It's a Mystery! The Holy Trinity: A Catholic Children's Retreat'
Author(s): 
Sandra Garant
Copyright: 
2002
Publisher: 
Catholic Heritage Curricula
Binding: 
Loose-leaf (binder-ready)
Number of pages: 
170 pages
Review: 

"Retreats are time set aside for study, prayer, activities, and discussion about God and His Church. Children can benefit from retreats as much as adults. Jesus would occasionally leave His followers and retreat to the desert or a mountaintop. Even He felt the need to get away from the world for a while." (from the Introduction)

This extensive resource is designed to be a Catholic answer to the Vacation Bible Schools offered by various churches in the summertime. As Catholics, we recognize Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition as essential elements to our faith. In this specific subject of the Holy Trinity, we cannot rely only on Sacred Scripture since the Bible never explicitly mentions the dogma of the Holy Trinity.

It's a Mystery! is a well organized retreat resource that provides very simple preparation for a rewarding retreat for one or more families. The retreat could be offered as a retreat/vacation week as a break from the regular school routine, as a summer project or adjusted for one-day mini-retreat. This program includes a complete outline for a week-long retreat centering on the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Activities are generally organized into three different age groups (ages 5-7, 8-11 and 12-15). It includes general supply lists, sample invitations, overviews, song sheets, etc. as well as extensive day-by-day schedules and materials. Each day's section includes an "advanced preparation" checklist, prayers, discussion/lesson outlines, craft ideas, memory work, recipes for snacks, opening and closing suggestions and more. The lessons and memory work include quotes and readings from the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a story of St. Parick and other prayers and hymns.

The huge appendix includes many photocopyable sheets, including: prayers, hymns, word search, maze, poems, art project templates, cooperative games, certificate of completion and lots more.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Additional notes: 

This title was donated for review by Catholic Heritage Curricula.

Review Date: 
3-13-03
Reviewed by: 

Spiritual Bouquet Card Kit from Illuminated Ink

Publisher: 
Illuminated Ink
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

The Spiritual Bouquet Card Kit includes four pastel-colored lattice-work window cards (this card can be purchased individually) made of card stock, four green paper background sheets that go under the window to arrange flower stickers on, four paper card inserts with a cheerful rhyme, saying that this card is a spiritual bouquet, four sheets for the back of the card describing the Catholic symbolism of various flowers found on the card (Irises—Mary’s Sword of Sorrow or Geraniums—Gentle Virgin, etc.) along with words of encouragement, four envelopes, lots of flower, grass, and butterfly stickers, and pastel colored tiny metal brads to open the windows. Instructions are included. This easy to assemble project is quite beautiful when completed and would be a joy to give as a gift. But most importantly, the child is learning to give a spiritual gift of prayers along with this beautiful card.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
5-2-2006
Reviewed by: 

The Church's Most Powerful Novenas

Author(s): 
Michael Dubruiel
Copyright: 
2006
Publisher: 
Our Sunday Visitor
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
288 pages
Subject(s): 
Review: 

How often do we look for a novena? Chances are, if your family is like ours, you will love this little resource. It may be small, but it's packed full with novenas! More than 20 novenas, classified in categories such as Novenas to Christ and the Holy Spirit, to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to the Relatives of Jesus. Also to particular saints, American Saints, Holy Souls, and even a quick Novena by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

Introductory paragraphs and appendices offer historical vignettes, reasons to pray novenas, information on shrines related to the novenas, and more--including "novena problems to avoid"!

The small format volume is handsomely printed on "missal" pages and it will fit in anyone's handbag--mine is there! One never knows when a novena comes in need, does one?

One aspect of this user-friendly book that I specifically enjoyed is the historical information about each novena and the devotions surrounding each one. I discovered I have said novenas multiple times without fully knowing the very holy and interesting facts behind them!

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
10-6-2007
Reviewed by: