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Eucharistic Miracles and Eucharistic Phenomena in the Lives of the Saints

Book cover: 'Eucharistic Miracles and Eucharistic Phenomena in the Lives of the Saints'
Author(s): 
Joan Carroll Cruz
Copyright: 
1987
Publisher: 
TAN Books and Publishers
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
305 pages
Subject(s): 
Review: 

Joan Carroll Cruz has clearly spent years researching these very detailed accounts of 36 Eucharistic Miracles dating from the 8th century all the way up to 1970. Each story is carefully related according to the details known today which often include scientific confirmation and papal recognition of the miracles as well as photographs of reliquaries and hosts that remain intact even today. The stories are fascinating and certainly provide aid to people's faith through these very real testaments to the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. While these stories are probably written primarily with adults in mind, I was very surprised and delighted when my first-communion aged daughter brought me this book to read to her and repeatedly asked me to read a little to her each night until we had finished the entire book! Highly recommended.

This book can easily be incorporated into a History study as it is organized by date. I have also included references to the stories in this book on my history reading timeline at ReadingYourWayThroughHistory.com

This book may be purchased from any Catholic booksellers that carry TAN Books.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
5-7-03
Reviewed by: 

My First Missal

Publisher: 
Pauline Books
Number of pages: 
48 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

The My First Missal is a wonderful, purse- or pocket-sized missal to carry with you to Church. And don't be fooled by the title. Whenever I see "my first", I think of little children and lots of pictures. This missal has lots going for it and would be suitable for children who have already received their First Communion and First Reconciliation. The text is not babyish or overly simplified.

In the space of 48 pages, this booklet has the complete novus ordo Mass (with one line explanations scattered throughout for further clarification and edification). The book goes further, explaining (and encouraging) other visits to Church -- for visiting the Blessed Sacrament, for morning or evening prayers, for praying Stations of the Cross and for celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There is a very nice "examination of conscience" with prayers to help make a good confession and prayers to offer in thanksgiving after receiving this wonderful Sacrament.

Illustrations, although at a minimum, are nicely done water-colors. They don't distract or detract from the text. For $3.95, this little booklet is a nice accompaniment for Church.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
3-28-07
Reviewed by: 

My Mass Kit

Copyright: 
2008
Publisher: 
Wee Believers
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

This is a sweet Mass Kit designed for little fingers (ideal for toddlers and preschoolers). It's made of fabric with cleverly weighted bases and includes a chalice, paten (with a hidden pouch that holds little foam "hosts"), cruets, "candles", a censer, crucifix and two cloths (corporal and purificator) all packaged rather nicely in a zip-up case (with a long carrying strap) that doubles as an altar.

While it's not as beautiful as the Montessori-style Mass kits available from Our Father's House (which look like miniature versions of the real thing) this kit has the advantages of being quiet and unbreakable; it would probably be nice for young children to hold during daily Mass, where there tends to be plenty of space to spread things out and compare them with what the priest is doing.

I brought this around to some homeschool activities our family was involved with over the past few months, to see how different families and children liked it. It was a big hit and I noticed that two to four year olds were especially drawn to it.

The sturdy little booklet that comes with the set is helpful, reverent and interesting. It teaches children the real names for each item and speaks lovingly of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
6-27-2009
Reviewed by: 

Teach It: Eucharist and the Mass

Book cover: 'Teach It: Eucharist and the Mass'
Author(s): 
Joseph D. White, Ph.D.
Ana Arista White
ISBN: 
1 931 709 874
Copyright: 
2004
Publisher: 
Our Sunday Visitor
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
134 pages
Subject(s): 
Review: 

Here is a book designed for religious education programs that is faithful to Church teaching, well-written, and easy to use. Children being taught from it, whether in a classroom or at home, will learn a great deal about their faith, as will their parents or catechists.

Teach It: Eucharist and Mass is based on the Catechism for the Catholic Church (1997) and the Holy Bible (Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard Version), as well as Canon Law and encyclicals from Pope John Paul II (Ecclesia de Eucharistia).

The Introduction sets out essential Church teaching on the Eucharist, including that children must make their First Reconciliation before their first Holy Communion. After that, the manual is divided into eight lessons: "The Church as God's Family", "The Gathering Rite", "The Liturgy of the Word", "The Prayers of the Faithful and Offertory", "The Liturgy of the Eucharist, Part One: The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist", "The Liturgy of the Eucharist, Part Two: Our Family Meal", "We Are Sent: Living the Eucharist", and "Putting it all Together".

Each lesson has a "Know It" section for the catechist, which summarizes Church teaching on the topic. These sections are outstanding; rich with citations from the Old and New Testament as well as a myriad of other church sources, they solidly present Church teaching on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist in a highly readable way.

The next section for each lesson is "Teach It", with practical teaching suggestions, games, crafts, and activities for the classroom. These activities are easily adapted to the homeschool, using the reproducible forms and readily available materials. There are more than enough activities for each lesson, so the catechist can pick and choose the ones that are most appropriate or the most effective in making the point.

At the end of each lesson is a "Share it" page, in both Spanish and English, which is a reproducible letter for the catechist to send home to the parents.

One of the most impressive features of this text is its emphasis on biblical teaching about the Eucharist. In effect, the children receive an introduction to Bible-based Catholic apologetics, as they learn about the sacrifice of Melchizedek, the Passover meal, the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, and the words of Jesus Himself - all presented at a level appropriate for children.

Other highlights: The lessons on the parts of the Mass are excellent; children are taught the correct way to receive (according to the new norms for reception of Communion established by the U.S. Bishops); the letters to parents are catechism lessons in miniature.

This is a wonderful textbook for religious education programs, whether in parishes or at home. The children, their parents, and the catechists, especially those adults who were not well-catechized themselves, will all learn so much.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Additional notes: 

Imprimatur: John M. D'Arcy, Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, 2003

Review Date: 
8-17-04
Reviewed by: 

The Essence of Holy Mass

Book cover: 'The Essence of Holy Mass'
Copyright: 
1998
Publisher: 
Catholic Heritage Curricula
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
107 pages
Subject(s): 
Review: 

This book is divided into two sections. The first, 44 pages long, discusses the purpose of Holy Mass and its essential parts (in such a way that it would be equally useful for those attending a Tridentine Indult or a Novus Ordo Mass). The text is very simple and could be ready by many first or second graders. The large typeface and full-color photos (of children re-enacting scenes from Our Lord's life) make it very appealing. My oldest read through the book rather quickly in second grade and like it very much. As a family, we also very much enjoyed it as a read aloud for several age levels who benefited much from listening and then pausing occasionally for further discussion. We found it a beautiful source of beginning spiritual direction for young children.

The remainder of the book provides additional meditations and other material that could be profitably read-aloud to children and/or provide background reading (and helpful meditation) for parents.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
10-30-01
Reviewed by: 

The Holy Mass in My Pocket

Illustrator(s): 
Mary Joseph Peterson, FSP
ISBN: 
819 833 924
Copyright: 
2008
Publisher: 
Daughters of Saint Paul
Binding: 
Stapled Softcover
Number of pages: 
32 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

This is an inexpensive, small and thin book with the text and rubrics of the Mass for children. Illustrations show different parts of the mass, both in the pews and in the sanctuary. Rubrics include such explanations as "Here we bow until the words..." and "The Apostle's Creed is said in Canada and in some masses for children". The illustration for the reception of Holy Communion shows a child receiving the host in his hands.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
9-28-2008
Reviewed by: 

The King of the Golden City

An Allegory for Children
Book cover: 'The King of the Golden City: An Allegory for Children'
Author(s): 
Mother Mary Loyola
Copyright: 
1921
Publisher: 
Little Way Press
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
120 pages
Review: 

This is a simple, old-fashioned allegory about our relationship with Jesus and our journey to heaven (the "King" and the "Golden City"). The story is about a girl named Dilecta who struggles in the "Land of Exile" to keep her "hut" in order in order to be prepared for the King's visits, keep her "lamp" of peace burning brightly and control "Self", and listen to her "Prince Guardian" who helps to keep her out of the snatches of Malignus.

My daughter (2nd grader) enjoyed listening to the story and figuring out what each part of the story was trying to say in "real life". Sometimes children enjoy this sort of challenge of uncovering ideas that are somewhat hidden - working at the ideas can help to make them more meaningful.

This book covers a great deal of material in a simple manner - children are introduced to basic components of the spiritual life and encouraged to develop a strong relationship with our Lord through the Sacraments and a detachment from the things of this world.

This would make a nice religion supplement for young homeschooled children, but may be less appealing to those who have already been more exposed to today's culture.

Update: Over the years we have returned to this lovely book again and again (especially when we have a child preparing for First Communion) - and were delighted to be introduced to this new full-color edition with lovely old-fashioned illustrations and beautiful, glossy pages.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
3-8-2005
Reviewed by: 

The Mass Book for Children

Book cover: 'The Mass Book for Children'
Author(s): 
Rosemarie Gortler
Donna Piscitelli
Illustrator(s): 
Mimi Sternhagen
Copyright: 
2004
Publisher: 
Our Sunday Visitor
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
48 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

This little booklet is a colorfully illustrated and simply written explanation of what happens during the Mass and why. It is broken up into seven main sections: "The Mass Begins!", "The Introductory Rite", "The Penitential Rite", "The Liturgy of the Word", "The Profession of Faith", "The Liturgy of the Eucharist", and "The Concluding Rite". Rather than a missal for children, this is intended to be used outside of Church in preparation to understand the Mass better. (It would be particularly effective when used with the Miniature Mass Kit. Each page of text is highlighted with an appropriate quote from the Bible.

Here is a little sample:

Everyone, get on your knees!

The consecration is about to happen!

This is the most solemn part of the Mass, so we pay close attention.

Father prays over the bread and wine and asks all the angels and saints to join us in our prayer to God.

Father asks the Holy Spirit to come and change this bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus!

Watch carefully. Father takes the bread in his hands and, lifting it up to God, he uses Jesus' own words:

Take this, all of you, and eat it: this is my body which will be given up for you."

Father holds the bread become Jesus up very high, showing it to all of us.

At that moment, all the angels in heaven are rejoicing! We bow our heads and offer a prayer to our great God.

(pg. 30, emphasis in original)

This is a very child-friendly, orthodox introduction to the Holy Mass for young children - especially preschool through second grade.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Additional notes: 

Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat

Review Date: 
4-5-05
Reviewed by: 

The Mass: Explained to Children

Author(s): 
Maria Montessori
Copyright: 
1932
Publisher: 
Roman Catholic Books
Binding: 
Sewn Hardcover
Number of pages: 
116 pages
Subject(s): 
Review: 

This book explains the meaning of the Mass, the significance of its parts and why it should be celebrated with such reverence. I was especially impressed with how the author portrays the sacredness of the Mass in ways that are meaningful to children. You and your children will learn about the sacred vessels and vestments, the liturgical colors and seasons, the meaning behind the various prayers and actions, etc.

A few practical notes - Because this book was written in 1932, it most precisely applies to the Tridentine Mass. However, it is an excellent study for those who attend the Novus Ordo Mass as well, and I think you'll see that the essentials remain unchanged when the Mass is properly said. My sister-in-law also assures me that the book is quite useful and applicable for those who belong to the Byzantine Rite. The book would most appropriately serve as a read-aloud, allowing for some discussion, questions and explanations along the way. It would be very suitable as an aid in preparing your child for First Communion, but is very informative for older children and adults as well.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
12-17-99
Reviewed by: