Alicia Van Hecke

To Whom Shall We Go?

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan

This is a really lovely, very accessible exposition of what St. Peter's life teaches us about how we are called to follow Christ. Written by Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the new Archbishop of New York City, the book is centered around the words that Dolan has taken on as his episcopal motto (To Whom Shall We Go?), which is from the Gospel of John 6:67-68.


Holling Clancy Holling

Paddle-to-the-Sea is a one-of-a-kind story about a little carving of an Indian in a canoe that is sent off from North of Lake Superior in Canada for a four-year trek through each of the Great Lakes, through the St. Laurence River and finally into the Atlantic Ocean.

A Pocket Guide to St. Paul

Scott Hahn

I really enjoyed this quick and easy-to-understand guide to St. Paul and his writings. Well, perhaps "easy-to-understand" isn't fair, because the topics covered here on the writings of St. Paul are not easy ones. Yet this is a reasonably accessible place to start and might even be usable, with some guidance, for a teen Bible study group.

I've always been a fan of good writing in small packages (in this case approx. 4 x 6 inches) because not only can I get to the heart of the matter fairly quickly, but also conveniently as the book can be stashed in my purse.

In Search of Shakespeare

Michael Wood

This is a fascinating documentary, but not suitable for children. Although it leans secular to a certain extent, it provides a very helpful (and detailed) background of the nature of the political and religious conflicts going on in Shakespeare’s world. It also makes a pretty strong case that Shakespeare grew up in a Catholic household and had some Catholic sympathies throughout his life, that at least seem to reflect the basic morals found in his plays. There is plenty of ugliness too, but I think it’s worth sorting through the muck to get a better understanding of the Bard.

Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeare

Much Ado About Nothing is an uproarious comedy (with plenty of dramatic elements) about love and hate. While awaiting the marriage of Hero and Claudio, several plots unfold. One is an incredibly funny conspiracy to set up Beatrice and Benedick, two swift-tongued sworn enemies, to fall in love with each other. The other is nefarious, a plan to ruin Hero by convincing Claudio and company that she has been unfaithful.

King Lear

William Shakespeare

King Lear is the heart-wrenching tragedy of a king with three daughters who decides to test their love for him as a condition for inheriting a part of his kingdom. Naturally the two who are most interested in the prize are the most willing to tell him what he wants to hear. The youngest, Cordelia, in her honesty and simplicity, refuses to flatter him and is disinherited. Over time, Lear realizes his mistake, as his two other daughters are only “nice” when they have something to gain from it.

Rosary Rummy

This is a lovely and inexpensive Rummy game that also teaches the mysteries of the rosary. It includes two colorful cards, illustrated with Old Masters paintings, for each 0f the twenty mysteries of the rosary. The Rummy game requires both matching and ordering the mysteries. Instructions are included.

Faith Charts: The Bible at a Glance

Scott Hahn

When you study the Bible, do you find yourself confused by how what you're reading fits in with other parts of the Bible? Wouldn't it be nice to have an easy visual resource that helps you connect the pieces together and start to get a better sense of the whole?

This may be just what you're looking for. This colorful six-page laminated fold-out chart (written by Scott Hahn!) is a handy reference guide to have by your side when studying the Bible. It has brief, but helpful overviews on the following topics:

Jesus of Nazareth

Pope Benedict XVI
Adrian J. Walker

It's rather lovely, I think that the Pope uses in his own book a phrase (which he applies to the parables of Jesus) which aptly describes this fascinating book: " not only or even primarily adds to what we know, but it changes our lives."

My Advent Calendar

This is a very simple advent calendar with little doors to open each day of Advent. The price is very reasonable, but the quality is suitable for a one-time use (it would be difficult to close the doors a second time around). The illustrations are very simple with some glittery high-lights but my favorite feature is a simple task (though some are very generic) printed on the inside of each door for the child to do to prepare for Christmas. Here are a few random examples:

"Jesus, as we prepare to welcome you, let me be welcoming of others, too."


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