Thursday, 19 July 2018

Prayer of the Day Blessed Don Alvaro del Portillo's Childhood Marian Prayer

Don Alvaro del Portillo's Childhood Marian Prayer

Sweet Mother, never go away. 
Keep watch over me both night and day. 
Accompany me wherever I go,
And never, ever leave me alone.
Since you protect me so carefully
As my true mother,
Win for me the blessing of God
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I came across this prayer when reading the book Saxum. The prayer really stuck with me. I have been praying it a few times a day and am teaching it to my children. 

Books about Alvaro del Portillo:
Alvaro Del Portillo The Power of Humility - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky
Saxum: The Life of Alvaro del Portillo - John F. Coverdale
40 Years with a Saint: Blessed Alvaro del Portillo on St. Josemara Escriva - Cesare Cavalleri


Books by Alvaro del Portillo:
Like Salt and Like Light: Anthology of texts compiled by Jose Antonio Loarte
Faithful And Laity In The Church; The Bases Of Their Legal Status
Journey with Jesus

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

The Life and Letters of Father Damien, Apostle of the Lepers - Edited by Pamphile De Veuster

The Life and Letters of Father Damien, Apostle of the Lepers
Joseph Damien De Veuster
Auguste Pamphile De Veuster (Editor)  
Paul E. Nowak (Introduction) 
Robert Louis Stevenson (Afterword)
Eternal Revolution (eBook Edition 2013)
Catholic Truth Society (First edition 1889)

This book was first published in 1889, by the Catholic Truth Society. That edition appears to be long out of print. But if you search you can find multiple used copies some even at reasonable prices. This reprint eBook edition appears to be out of print now as well, it can be found on Amazon but no longer purchased, and even the editor does not have it listed on his website. But if you can track it down it is an excellent read. The chapters in the book are:

Introduction to the Digital Edition
Introduction by Father Pamphile
Chapter 1: Early Life and Entrance Into Religion
Chapter 2: Mission to the Sandwich Islands
Chapter 3: Work in Hawaii
Chapter 4: Molokai: The Leper Colony
Chapter 5: His Last Years and Death
Afterword by Robert Louis Stevenson

But it should be noted the 1889 edition does not contain the afterward, but that letter is in the public domain, and or you can get it in a different volume from the Catholic Truth Society. The preface begins with these words:

"The issue of the following volume would have been impossible without the kind assistance and encouragement of Father Damien's brother, Father Pamphile. It is he who has furnished us with the interesting letters it contains. It is he who has supplied the notes which form the substance of it. It is he who has written the Introduction, which is literally translated in the following pages."

Over the years I have read numerous books about Father Damien and watched films about his life. This volume is the most complete collection of his own words that is available in the English language. As such it is a fascinating read, especially for anyone with a devotion or affinity for Father Damien. It is wonderful to read him, in his own words, to hear his voice after a fashion. As compared to the stories about him, no matter how good those books are The eBook edition also contains an afterwards 'An Open Letter from Robert Louis Stevenson to Reverend Charles McEwan Hyde'. But as that is in the public domain numerous copies are available.

After all the books I have read about Father Damien in was truly a blessings to be able to read his personal letters. This is an excellent little volume, weather you track down the original or the reprint.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here. And if you need it this one can be found online here.

Reviews of Books and Movies about Saint Damien:
Apostle of the Exiled St. Damien of Molokai - Margaret Bunson & Matthew Bunson
Pilgrimage and Exile: Mother Marianne of Molokai by: Sister Mary Laurence Hanley, O.S.F.
Molokai: The Story of Father Damien by: Paul Cox
Molokai: The Story of Father Damien
Saint Damien of Molokai - Virginia Helen Richards and D. Thomas Halpin
Father Damien de Veuster Apostle to the Lepers - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
The Life and Letters of Father Damien, Apostle of the Lepers - Edited by Pamphile De Veuster 


Prayer of the Day - Saint Damien Prayer

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Saints of Africa - Jean Olwen Maynard - Catholic Truth Society

Saints of Africa
Jean Olwen Maynard
Catholic Truth Society

ISBN 9781784690373
eISBN 9781784693428

This was the third book I have read by Jean Olwen Maynard and it will not be the last. There are three books in this specific series from the catholic Truth Society and they are: Saints of North America, Saints of South Asia, and Saints of Africa. But there are some significant differences across the books. The one on North America Focused on regions and time and grouped numerous saints in each chapter. Where this book, and in the book on South Asian Saints, each chapter is dedicated to a different person, one is on a specific saint, seven are blessed, and a chapter on the Martyr Saints of Uganda. This book and the whole trilogy are incredible reads.

In this specific book the chapters in this are:

Christianity in Africa
Blessed Ghebre-Michael
St Josephine Bakhita
The Martyr Saints of Uganda
Blessed Victoria Rasoamanarivo
Blessed Isidore Bakanja
Blessed Daudi Okelo and Blessed Jildo Irwa
Blessed Michael Cyprian Iwene Tansi
Blessed Clementine Alphonsine Anuarite Nengapeta
Further Reading

The description of this book is:

"The African saints that Catholics are most likely to have heard of even if they don't know much about them lived a very long time ago, and often in parts of Africa which are no longer Christian. In our own time, and in the more recently Christianised parts of Africa, the Catholic Church is growing faster than perhaps anywhere else in the world but what do we know about the modern saints of Africa such as Daudi Okelo, Clementine Anuarite, Ghebre-Michael, Victoria Rasoamanarivo, to name a few? Here's a chance to find out."

Of the saints and blesseds in this volume I was only familiar with one before reading this book. This book opened my eyes to a region of the world ,where my knowledge of saints and even church history was greatly lacking. This book begins with this statement:

"The Gospel of Jesus Christ began to be proclaimed in Africa at a very early date, but eighteen centuries were to pass before it made any significant impact on the sub-Saharan region. Why was this? There's no easy answer, but we know that God is the lord of history, and even when we can't fully understand the how or the why, it's important to know something of the course of events."

There are many saints, desert mothers and fathers from the Saharan region, but this book focuses on the sub-Saharan, and unless you have spent specific time studying that region I am sure this book will be full of surprises. The brief biographies in this book span from the late 1700's right through to modern times. Though the majority are from the 1800's. In the chapter on Blessed Clementine it states: 

"During a visit to Kisangani in 1980, Pope John Paul II met with Sr Clementine's parents. Julienne could hardly believe what was happening "I'm a poor woman and I've spoken to the Pope… Was it really me that gave birth to this saint?" During the beatification ceremony, in Kinshasa in 1985, the Pope repeated in the name of the whole Church her words of forgiveness for Pierre Olombe."

The stories in this book are an inspiration. The faith of the women and men presented in this book will challenge your own faith. The stories will motivate you. And each chapter ends with a prayer, a few I have copied into my prayer notebook for regular use. A sample prayer is:
"Blessed Daudi and Jildo, in your hearts burned an ardent desire to proclaim the Gospel, and through your martyrdom you strengthened the early growth of the Church in your homeland. Help us to become strong in our faith, and to share it with our brothers and sisters. Through Christ our Lord. Amen."
This book is a little gem. As are the three in the series. After reading this book I have ended up adding a few books to my to be read pile, I want to go deeper and learn more about a few of the saints and blesseds presented in this book. I earnestly hope that this series will be continued possible with a volume on Saints of South America, Saints of Latin America, or Saints of Central Asia as a few possible future titles. I loved this book and all three volumes that are currently available. And am reading this book currently with my youngest daughter. I give this book and this series my highest recommendation. Another great read from the Catholic Truth Society!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Jean Olwen Maynard:
Saint Josephine Bakhita: A Survivor of Human Trafficking
Saints of North America
Saints of Africa
Gianna Molla
The Atlas Martyrs
Margaret Clitherow
Saints of South Asia
150 years of Mercy. A History of the Sisters of Mercy
The 'Saint Of Hoxton' Father Michael Kelly OSA
A History of St Mary's and St Michael's Parish
The Gypsy Saint Ceferino Jiménez Malla, El Pelé

Monday, 16 July 2018

Pope Francis I Believe in Mercy - Regina Doman and Sean Lam

Pope Francis: 
I Believe in Mercy
Regina Doman
Sean Lam

Manga Hero
ISBN 9780983639787
ISBN 9780983639794

I need to state that a physical copy of this sat on my bedside table for a few years. The problem is not the book, it is me, with my dual form of dyslexia I really prefer reading eBooks, even for graphic novels. I had picked this book up a few times, but never got very far, and by the time I came back to it I started over again. But I recently read the eBook edition of Habemus Papam! Pope Benedict XVI, written by Doman and illustrated by Lam. And though the style is not my favorite, it is so well done I have give both books a 5 out of 5 star ratings. This was an excellent read!

The style of the art in the two volumes is a little different. And because of the lives being portrayed the stories are very different. But both stories are told with jumping back in time and then up to the present. This one is written with underlays of excerpts from Pope Francis's writings. The book gives us great insight into the man and his journey, that ultimately lead to his becoming pope. I have read a number of books about and by Pope Francis since his election, but even with all of that reading there were a few surprises in this volume. 

Before I even finished this book, my children showed great interest in it. I have now read it with my youngest daughter and am currently reading it for a third time with my son. The story and artwork hold up over multiple readings even back to back. My children love the graphic novel format. My only wish is that it would come out in an eBook, that way they can each have it on their device without having to buy a second copy, currently they are debating who should keep it on their bookshelf and why. 

The illustrations in this volume are wonderful. I especially loved the illustrations of mass or times in prayer. There is so much to appreciate about the artwork, and the written story. This book provides excellent insight into the man, the priest, and now our Pope. 

This book is a great read for anyone who would like a glimpse into the life of Pope Francis before he ascended to the throne of Peter. It is an excellent read for teens, and even to read to younger children. It was instantly a family favorite. And we give it the McEvoy family seal of approval. I would love to see what Doman and Lam would do telling the story of other Pope's or saints, because this is an excellent read.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Book by Regina Doman:
Fairy Tales Retold:
Snow White and Rose Red (1997)
Shadow Of The Bear (2002)
Black As Night (2004)
Waking Rose (2007)
Midnight Dancers (2008)
Alex O'Donnell and the 40 Cyber Thieves (2010)

Rapunzel Let Down (2013)

Other Books:
The Story of Job

Graphic Novels:
Habemus Papam! Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Francis: I Believe in Mercy

Contributed to:
Catholic Philosopher Chick Makes Her Debut
Catholic Philosopher Chick Comes on Strong
The Mystery of Harry Potter: A Catholic Family Guide
The Chestertons and the Golden Key

Picture Books:
Angels in the Water (2004)
Fairy Tale Novel Paper Dolls (2009)

Our Fairy Tale Romance - Andrew Schmiedicke (2009)

Author Profile Interview with Regina Doman

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

The readings for this weekend's mass are:

First Reading Amos 7:12-15
Responsorial Psalm 85: 8-13 Response 7
Second Reading Ephesians 1:3-14
Gospel Mark 6:7-13

Two weeks ago, our Pastor’s mother passed away. Father had to return to Poland. As a family we have been praying for him, his family and the repose of the soul of his mother. We had visiting priests cover for mass last weekend and again this weekend. Last Saturday evening, Sunday Evening and tonight was Rev, Rafal Tomon from Our lady of Lourdes Waterloo. Last week before mass the children and I all went to the sacrament of reconciliation. It was interesting two of the children and I all noticed a significant difference in the penance given. Father Tomon also brought prayer cards from his parish, and my children love prayer cards. One was a photo of Our Lady of Lourdes and the typical Lourdes prayer. The second was a photo of a statue of saint Joseph and the prayer is, St. John XXIII’s prayer for the fathers.

St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus and chaste husband of Mary, you passed your life in loving fulfillment of duty. You supported the holy family of Nazareth with the work of your hands. Kindly protect all the fathers who trustingly come to you. You know their aspirations, their hardships, and their hopes.

They look to you because they know you will understand and protect them. You too knew trial, labor, and weariness. But amid the worries of material life your soul was full of deep peace and dang out in true joy through intimacy with God’s Son entrusted to you and with Mary, his tender Mother. Assure those you protect that they do not labour alone. Teach them to find Jesus near them and to watch over him faithfully as you have done. 

St. John XXIII

Since we were at church last week a new statue has appeared on the altar at church. I do not know where it came from or why it is there. My son loved the statue, and said while he was serving mass he could look at Mary the whole time. 

So this week I offer prayers for you my readers, and for all priests. 

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