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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Product Review - Thule Chariot Lite 1 Plus Cycle/Stroll

Thule Chariot Lite 1 Plus Cycle/Stroll
Thule
ASIN B01N6NYW4L





With three children 10 and under we have been through our share of strollers. Between strollers we have owned, used with our friends children before we had our own and now with friends beginning to have their own children. In that time we have had a couple of high end strollers, but to be honest nothing we have used compared to the Chariot Lite from Thule.

We got this in order to review it, and for friends who are expecting their first child. From opening the box to having it fully together was under 5 minutes. To assemble and take down this stroller was easier and felt sturdier than any I have used before. This model weighs 12Kg, for the whole stroller, but the main body with no wheels or attachments is only 7.4Kg. After setting it up, we tried it on various terrains. When we gave it to the expectant parents they were thrilled, after showing them the features, it was assembled and taken down a number of times.  It also collapses so nicely it fits even in small cars. It is very compact when the wheels are off and it locks in the collapsed position.

The Top Five Features of this Stroller:
1.    Double locking wheels.
2.    Out of the box comes with stroller and bike kits
3.    High quality construction
4.    Easy to set up and take down
5.    Great Value for the quality

Now let’s look at each of those in a little more detail.

1.   Double locking wheels.

This feature really impressed me; there is a cable lock that when you lock one wheel it automatically locks the other back wheel. This is a great feature for safety. And also ease of access. It is a pin locking system not just pressure lock pressed against the wheel. When you engage the lock, pins extend from the hubs and actually engage both wheels making them immobile.

2.   Out of the box comes with stroller and bike kits.

Most strollers we have owned or even looked at, you buy the stroller and then everything else is an add on. It is fantastic that you get two of the most popular kits right out of the box and there are three others available as well. And the stroller wheels click in when in bike mode so it can be used to ride somewhere and then as a stroller.

3.   High Quality Construction.

Overall I believe this is one of the most soundly constructed strollers I have ever used. I was very impressed with the materials and functionality.

4.   Easy to set up and take down.

My 10 year old could put this together and take it apart. But the wheels or bike add-on lock into place so easily and so securely. Great for a busy parent with their hands full or loading the car to head out.

5.   Great Value for the quality.

There are strollers on the market both a lot cheaper or a lot more expensive than this one. To be honest it is in the top of the middle third for price range. But considering how well made and how easy it is to use, I consider it more than worth the cost. Better to invest in something good that will last and you can sell or pass on when you are done, than to get something cheaper and end up replacing it before the first child has outgrown it.



Add-Ons:
The other add-ons that are available currently for this model are:

Thule Infant Sling-Cross/Lite
Thule Chariot Jog Kit 1-Lite/Cross
Thule Cross Country Skiing and Hiking Kit

Overall this is an amazing product and I highly recommend it!




Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Courageous Faith - Lillian M Fisher - Encounter the Saints Series

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha: 
Courageous Faith
Encounter the Saints Series
Lillian M Fisher
Barbara Kiwak (Illustrator)
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 9781306806428

eISBN 9780819872852
ASIN B00AEYPML4



This is the 11th book in the Encounter the Saints Series from Pauline Books and Media that I have read this spring. It was also the second book on Saint Kateri Tekakwitha that I read back to back, the other a fictional story by Lisa Hendey, The Sign of the Carved Cross, Chime Travelers Book 2, led to our reading this book now. After reading Hendey’s book about a young girl who goes back in time and interacts with this Saint my oldest and I wanted to know more about her. Therefore this book jumped to the top of our reading list. And we are both so thankful that it did.

This book had a huge impact on my daughter and I for a number of reasons. First it is about a saint who died young. St. Kateri was only 24 when she passed away. Second was the Canadian connection, when Kateri was traveling to the settlement in Montreal, my daughter became very excited. And my daughter was also really excited about a young woman of deep faith. Also I can relate to a family that is not encouraging or supportive of a committed faith. We devoured this book, we each said more than once 1 more chapter and could just not put the book down. 



The example of love and service that Saint Kateri Tekakwitha lived is incredibly inspiring. He hunger and thirst for God and relationship is impressive. Her commitment to serving is an example to all of us. This story chronicles her life, from her mother’s capture by the Mohawks for she was an Algonquin; to her death and transformation at her time of death. This young girl lost her parents, her sibling, and lived the house of her uncle. She was not treated well in that situation because of her poor eyesight, and she was treated harshly. Once she came to express her faith this situation even worsened. But she loved Jesus and her faith more than the persecutions she experienced. She was a quick learner and loved learning about the Catholic faith and loved teaching about it also. Her greatest love was Jesus, and he life is an example to all of us.    


This book is a little different than others in the series that I have read to date. It is adapted from another book, currently available as Kateri Tekakwitha by Lilian M. Fisher, but originally published as Kateri Tekakwitha: The Lily of the Mohawks from the Saints and Holy People series. The book was adapted for children by Emily Beata Marsh and Jaymie Stuart Wolfe. Emily wrote one of the other books in this series, and Jaymie has written numerous books But reading it you cannot tell that it is a modified or abridged and edited version of another book. 

This book was the 31st book released in the Encounter the Saints Series, and this series is marketed for tweens geared for 9-12 year old readers. But I am finding that it is an excellent series for even younger children, if it is read to them, and that each book has challenged and motivated me and my faith and I am pushing 50. This book was an incredible read, and it is part of an amazing series. I highly recommend both the book and the series, I am sure that as you read the examples of these saints will inspire you to grow your own faith. A wonderful read.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Encounter the Saints Series from Pauline Books and Media:
Blessed James Alberione Media Apostle
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Journey to the Summit
Journeys with Mary Apparitions of Our Lady
Saint André Bessette Miracles in Montreal
Saint Anthony of Padua Fire and Light
Saint Bakhita of Sudan Forever Free
Saint Bernadette Soubirous And Our Lady of Lourdes
Saint Catherine Labouré And Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Saint Clare of Assisi A Light for the World
Saint Damien of Molokai Hero of Hawaii
Saint Edith Stein Blessed by the Cross

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Daughter of America
Saint Faustina Kowalska Messenger of Mercy
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini Cecchina's Dream
Saint Francis of Assisi Gentle Revolutionary
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla The Gift of Life
Saint Ignatius of Loyola For the Greater Glory of God
Saint Isaac Jogues With Burning Heart
Saint Joan of Arc God's Soldier
Saint John Bosco Champion for the Young
Saint John Neumann Missionary to Immigrants
Saint John Paul II Be Not Afraid
Saint John Vianney A Priest for All People
Saint Juan Diego And Our Lady of Guadalupe
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha: Courageous Faith
Saint Katharine Drexel The Total Gift
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque And the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Saint Martin de Porres Humble Healer
Saint Maximilian Kolbe Mary's Knight
Saint Paul The Thirteenth Apostle
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina Rich in Love
Saint Teresa of Avila Joyful in the Lord
Saint Teresa of Calcutta Missionary of Charity
Saint Teresa of Kalkota Missionary of Charity
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux The Way of Love
Saint Thomas Aquinas Missionary of Truth
Saint Thomas More Courage, Conscience, and the King
Saints Jacinta and Francisco Marto: Shepherds of Fatima
The Saints Pray for Us




Tuesday, 20 June 2017

A Single Bead - Stephanie Engelman

A Single Bead
Stephanie Engelman
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 9780819890542
eISBN 9780819890573
ASIN B01AH4DO74





This book took me completely by surprise. It is a wonderfully written story. I really did not know anything about the book other than that it was on a recommended list. The list highlighted 30 Catholic YA books in 30 days.  I first say this list posted by Susan Peek, she posted a list of Catholic Teen Fiction a day for June, I believe that the list originally comes from Theresa Linden. Of the 30 books in the list I have already read and reviewed over half. And have picked up a few more. But to be honest I was drawn to this book. All I had put together was that it was about a rosary in some way, shape or form.

This is a story that deals with faith, family, loss and mental health. That is a lot to pack into 208 pages but Engelman does it and does it well. I found that the writing especially around an extended family was very intriguing. I also really appreciated the parts of the story when one parent is not Catholic, but supportive of the family's faith and traditions. The book begins at a memorial service for the matriarch of the family. She had passed away the year before in a plane crash, and the family had gathered on the anniversary in the field the plan went down in. Katelyn Marie Roberts, who is 16, is struggling with the event, and the impact the last year has had on her family. She wanders off to the edge of the woods when the family decides to pray the rosary. She finds a small bead; it is a rosary bead from her grandma's rosary. She knows this because it has her initials on it.  And so begins the adventure. Soon Katelyn and her cousin Evelyn are trying to track down the beads.

And that is where it gets really interesting. They start hearing stories of miracles. Each person who found a bead or the person who they gave it to has had a miracle happen. A young girl healed from cancer, a man freed from addiction, a girl saved from a car accident. In each case a woman came and helped the person. But when Katelyn's mother finds out what they are doing and why, her depression gets worse, soon she needs to be hospitalised. This makes Katelyn desperate to find the bead with her mother's initials on it so she can experience a miracle again. But as in most of our lives things do not always go as planned.

This book is very well written. Before I had finished it I searched to see if the author had other books available. Unfortunately not yet! The weaving of faith, hope, hardships and family in this story makes the book hard to put down. I look forward to reading it with my oldest soon and my youngest when she is a little older. A wonderful faith filled Young Adult Story.

Books by Stephanie Engelman:
A Single Bead

...


Monday, 19 June 2017

Product Review - Crest 3D White Whitestrips Classic Vivid Treatments

Crest 3D White Whitestrips Classic Vivid Treatments, 10 Count
Crest
ASIN B01MRX9US8


Being a coffee drinker for years, my teeth could use a little whitening. My dentist has recommended it a few times but the cost was prohibitive. I had the opportunity to get a package of these through Amazon Vine for review purposes. They did help whiten my teeth but were not comfortable to use. Now I do not normally have issues with my teeth. I drink coffee or tea all day long. I also have no issues with ice cream or cold beverages. But these strips caused me discomfort. I used them before bed, when I work up the first morning my gums were sore and remained so for a few hours after waking. Then on the second evening my teeth hurt after the 30 minute application. Like they were on edge, and remained that way, for a few hours after usage. After that I only applied them every other day. It made it a little better but discomfort persisted.

They did whiten my teeth by a few shades, nothing dramatic but enough to be noticeable. I do not believe I would give them a try again. If you are going to give them a try make sure you read the instructions fully and if needed back the schedule off. But I am not sure I would recommend them, or only with a warning.



Sunday, 18 June 2017

Abandonment to Divine Providence- Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Abandonment to Divine Providence
Jean-Pierre de Caussade
Rev. J. Ramiere (Editor)
Matthew Kelly (Forward)
Beacon Publishing for
Dynamic Catholic
ISBN 9781942611523



I have had interest in this book for a number of years now, but just never got around to reading it. In part because there are a few main editions all translated nearly 100 years ago, and so many different editions of it, some abridged and some not, some abridged and some not, some reformatted and updated and many not. So when a new edition became available, with an introduction by Matthew Kelly, I read it within days of it being available. This is the first book in a new series called Dynamic Catholic Classics. And unlike many editions that are currently available this one has been redone, with new typeset, formatting and layout. This book is a classic and has been for over 250 years, but this new edition brings the classic to new life.

Matthew Kelly in the introduction states:

"To discover God's dreams for us-this is a worthy pursuit! But in order to discover them we have to get out of our own way, and get out of God's way. Abandonment to Divine Providence has been leading people along a sure path for more than 250 years. The words this book contains are as true today as they were when they were written, though perhaps needed more today than ever before."
And after reading it I believe that it will live up to those words. Kelly also states:
"This book is an invitation to develop a singular focus: Seek and do the will of God. In every moment of every day, we are called to seek God's will and to carry out our part in his plan, which immediately liberates us from worrying about things we cannot do anything about. This focus on doing the next right thing pushes aside all the distractions that take us into the future or the past. Seeking to do God's will right now is an invitation to experience fully the present moment. Incidentally, that is always where we find God. We cannot find him by trying to hurry into the future or by thrashing our way back into the past. God is always in the now."
And that is the focus of the book, learning to live in God and live in the here and now. This book is broken into 2 books, 6 chapters and 54 sections. In fact the sections in the book are:

BOOK 1
On the Virtue of Abandonment to
Divine Providence, Its Nature and Excellence


Chapter 1

I. Hidden Operations of God
II. The Duties of Each Moment
III. The Work of Our Sanctification
IV. In What Perfection Consists
V. The Divine Influence Alone Can Sanctify Us
VI. On the Use of Mental Faculties
VII. On the Attainment of Peace
VIII. To Estimate Degrees of Excellence
IX. Sanctity Made Easy

Chapter 2
I. The Divine Action
II. By Faith the Operation of God Is Recognized
III. How to Discover What Is the Will of God
IV. The Revelations of God
V. The Action of Jesus Christ in the Souls of Men
VI. The Treatment of the Divine Action
VII. The Hidden Work of Divine Love
VIII. Experimental Science
IX. The Will of God in the Present Moment Is the Source of Sanctity
X. God Makes Known His Will Through Creatures
XI. Everything Is Supernaturalized by the Divine Action
XII. The Divine Word Our Model

BOOK 2
On the State of Abandonment


Chapter 1
I. The Life of God in the Soul
II. The Most Perfect Way
III. Abandonment a Pledge of Predestination
IV. Abandonment a Source of Joy
V. The Great Merit of Pure Faith
VI. Submission a Free Gift to God
VII. Divine Favors Offered to All
VIII. God Reigns in a Pure Heart

Chapter 2

I. Sacrifice, the Foundation of Sanctity
II. The Pains and Consolations of Abandonment
III. The Different Duties of Abandonment
IV. God Does All for a Soul of Goodwill
V. The Common Way of All Souls
VI. The Duty of the Present Moment the Only Rule
VII. Trust in the Guidance of God
VIII. Great Faith Is Necessary

Chapter 3

I. Unwise Interference
II. Unjust Judgments
III. Self-Contempt
IV. Distrust of Self
V. The Life of Faith

Chapter 4
I. Confidence in God
II. Diversity of Grace
III. The Generosity of God
IV. The Most Ordinary Things Are Channels of Grace
V. Nature and Grace the Instruments of God
VI. Supernatural Prudence
VII. Conviction of Weakness
VIII. Self-Guidance a Mistake
IX. Divine Love, the Principle of All Good
X. We Must See God in All His Creatures
XI. The Strength of Simplicity
XII. The Triumph of Humility

One of the passages from this book that really spoke to me is: "No reading, nor any other exercise can sanctify us except in so far as they are the channels of the divine influence." And as a bibliophile who reads a lot of books, this thought has had a large impact. There are many book I have read in the past, that I would not read today with where I am at spiritually. There are whole authors that I will no longer touch their books because they do not really have a positive impact. A further quote on this topic of reading is:

"Our whole science consists in recognising the designs of God for the present moment. All reading not intended for us by God is dangerous. It is by doing the will of God and obeying His holy inspirations that we obtain grace, and this grace works in our hearts through our reading or any other employment. Apart from God reading is empty and vain and, being deprived for us of the life-giving power of the action of God, only succeeds in emptying the heart by the very fullness it gives to the mind."
This book has so much sound advice in a small slim volume. I am thankful to Matthew Kelly for bringing out this new edition. If not it might have remained one of those books I would read someday. But someday might never have come. I strongly encourage anyone serious about their faith journey to give this book a read and see what sort of immediate impact it has on your life, all areas of your life.  The heading of the final section in the book states: "To the souls which are faithful to Him, God promises a glorious victory over the powers of the world and of hell." And this book will help you live that life.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Dynamic Catholic Classics:

Abandonment to Divine Providence - Jean-Pierre de Caussade
The Spiritual Exercises - St. Ignatius of Loyola
Confessions - St. Augustine
Introduction to the Devout Life - St. Francis de Sales
Dark Night of the Soul - St. John of the Cross
Imitation of Christ - Thomas à Kempis
The Divine Comedy - Dante Alighieri
The Interior Castle - St. Teresa of Avila
The Way of Perfection - St. Teresa of Avila
True Devotion to Mary - St. Louis de Montfort
The Story of a Soul - St. Thérèse of Lisieux


Saturday, 17 June 2017

Saint Martin de Porres Humble Healer - Elizabeth Marie DeDomenico - Encounter the Saints Series

Saint Martin de Porres: 
Humble Healer
Encounter the Saints Series
Elizabeth Marie DeDomenico
Wayne Alfano (Illustrator)
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 9780819870919  




This is the 10th book in the amazing Encounter the Saints Series from Pauline Books and Media that I have read. It is an amazing series and this was an incredible read. I have known the name Martin de Porres for years. But honestly could not tell you anything specific about his life, or why he was a saint, at least prior to reading this book. The author Elizabeth Marie DeDomenico, FSP has written this and two other books, one other in this series. Her writing is very good. 

When I started reading this book I could hardly put it down. And even though it is written for a younger audience it can easily be enjoyed by readers of all ages. The example of Saint Martin's love, generosity and service can motivate us all. His simple faith had profound impact on so many lives, in his own time and continuing through to today. 



The stories of his generosity, his passion, and of his bilocation will show that this man who lived what appeared to be a simple and humble life was truly close to God. And through that closeness lived to serve. The stories from his life will challenge readers to live to server, and find ways to serve more. 



This book contains 5 drawings by Wayne Alfano, they appear to be in the pen and ink style. These images span from Matin being a young man and giving away his families food to the poor until he is much older and still serving God. These illustrations have a lot of detail and are a wonderful edition to the story.

The prayer at the end of this book I have been praying for a few weeks now:
"Saint Martin, during your lifetime you showed great love and concern for everyone. You reached out to people of all social classes and races-old and young, black and white, rich and poor. Your example of selfless care for the sick is an inspiration to people in our own times. You even cared for the animals because they, too, are created by God. Even though you received many special heavenly gifts from God, you always remained humble and kind.Help me to respect all of God's creation and to love all people just as you did. I want to promote peace and harmony in my family,school, and town. May the love of Jesus that burned so greatly in your heart heal the wounds of hatred and division that exist in our world today. Ask God to give me the grace to help those who are suffering or are in need. I want to see Jesus in those who are less fortunate than I am.Pray for me, Saint Martin. Amen." 
I loved this book and think this is an incredible series. My only surprise is that only about a third of the books have eBook editions, and of those some are limited to kindle and some epub. These are wonderful books and I highly recommend this book and the whole series. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Encounter the Saints Series from Pauline Books and Media:
Blessed James Alberione Media Apostle
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Journey to the Summit
Journeys with Mary Apparitions of Our Lady
Saint André Bessette Miracles in Montreal
Saint Anthony of Padua Fire and Light
Saint Bakhita of Sudan Forever Free
Saint Bernadette Soubirous And Our Lady of Lourdes
Saint Catherine Labouré And Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Saint Clare of Assisi A Light for the World
Saint Damien of Molokai Hero of Hawaii
Saint Edith Stein Blessed by the Cross

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Daughter of America
Saint Faustina Kowalska Messenger of Mercy
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini Cecchina's Dream
Saint Francis of Assisi Gentle Revolutionary
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla The Gift of Life
Saint Ignatius of Loyola For the Greater Glory of God
Saint Isaac Jogues With Burning Heart
Saint Joan of Arc God's Soldier
Saint John Bosco Champion for the Young
Saint John Neumann Missionary to Immigrants
Saint John Paul II Be Not Afraid
Saint John Vianney A Priest for All People
Saint Juan Diego And Our Lady of Guadalupe
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha: Courageous Faith
Saint Katharine Drexel The Total Gift
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque And the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Saint Martin de Porres Humble Healer
Saint Maximilian Kolbe Mary's Knight
Saint Paul The Thirteenth Apostle
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina Rich in Love
Saint Teresa of Avila Joyful in the Lord
Saint Teresa of Calcutta Missionary of Charity
Saint Teresa of Kalkota Missionary of Charity
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux The Way of Love
Saint Thomas Aquinas Missionary of Truth
Saint Thomas More Courage, Conscience, and the King
Saints Jacinta and Francisco Marto: Shepherds of Fatima
The Saints Pray for Us




Friday, 16 June 2017

St. Clement's Parish, St Clements Ontario - A Photo Essay

St. Clement's Parish

My children and I have been coming to the Grotto at this church for years. We come, we pray, the kids play in the park out back at the school. Today was the first time that we went and the church was open. Adoration of the blessed sacrament was taking place. The children and I stopped in and spent some time in prayer and all of us went to confession. It is a beautiful church. The children were fascinated. We will need to come back and explore another time.





















St. Clement's Parish
3619 Lobsinger Line
St. Clements
Ontario
N0B 2M0
Canada

Diocese of Hamilton.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

8 Notes to a Nobody - Cynthia T. Toney - Bird Face Book 1

8 Notes to a Nobody
Bird Face Book 1 
Cynthia T. Toney
Write Integrity Press
ISBN 9781938092480
ASIN B014RC09K2



Recently Author Susan Peek posted a list of Catholic Teen Fiction a day for June, I believe the list originally comes from Theresa Linden. Of the 30 books in the list I had already read and reviewed 14 of the titles, and already had a few others in my to be read pile. But the title of this book grabbed my attention. This book was my introduction to the writings of Cynthia T. Toney, but it will not be my last. Before I had even finished this book I had picked up the eBooks for the other two in this series and added her book that is coming out in the fall to my wish list.  

This book was a good clean uplifting read. It is in the genre of realistic fiction, but with strong Christian and specifically Catholic undertones. It also does a great job of capturing life in high school. And dealing with divorce and blended families. It starts with some bullying and the stress of school and teen life. But the beginning of the turning point for fourteen year old Wendy Robichaud, is the sudden appearance of random sticky notes with short messages and signed A Frend. The sticky notes are a little baffling, a bit of a challenge and get Wendy thinking. This book also deals with teen suicide, and does so in a caring sensitive way.

The book also deals with crushed expectations, friends growing apart, and also the development of new friendships. Overall I was very impressed with the writing and the character development in this story. But I must say if it still had the original title of Bird Face, and original cover I likely would never have picked it up. Once I got going in the book I could relate to the main character and being focused on artwork and getting school work done and done well. 

One of the ways that I judge books is do I want to share them with my children. I cannot wait for my girls to be older to be able to read this book with them. I think there are a lot of great lessons in this book without being pushy or preachy.  I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from the author soon! 



Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Cynthia T. Toney:
The Other Side of Freedom

Bird Face Series:
8 Notes to a Nobody
10 Steps to Girlfriend Status
6 Dates to Disaster





(Original cover and title of 8 Notes to a Nobody)



Wednesday, 14 June 2017

20 Answers Abortion - Trent Horn - 20 Answers Series from Catholic Answers

20 Answers Abortion
20 Answers Series from Catholic Answers
Trent Horn
Catholic Answers Press
s

ISBN 9781938983818
eISBN 9781938983832
ASIN B01HE6Y3WS



Talk about a hard topic. There are few topics more controversial in today’s word as Abortion. And the Catholic Church is one of the few institutions that still take a stand on this issue. And the legal status of abortion has changed so much even in our lifetime. I grew up in the era in Canada of Dr. Henry Morgentaler and at the time his illegal clinics in both Ontario and Quebec. And to be honest back in high school I did not really understand the heart of the debate, and freely admit that it is not an east topic. But what this book does is sets out to give a broad overview of the topic, and specifically from the official teachings of the church. 

The 20 Questions that Trent answers are:

1. What is abortion?
2. What is the legal status of abortion in the United States?
3. What’s wrong with being pro-choice? No one is forcing pro-life people to have abortions. Why can’t other people have the right to choose whether or not they want to be parents and use abortion if it is right for them?
4. Is it possible to know when life begins, or is this just a religious belief that can’t be answered?
5. Even if a fetus is biologically human, how do we know a fetus is “fully” human, or a person with rights? After all, a fetus can’t think or feel, and it can’t survive on its own. Can we really say something like that is a person?
6. Even if the fetus is a person, shouldn’t women still have the right to control their own bodies?
7. Perhaps women can’t do whatever they want with their own bodies, but why should they be forced to keep their fetuses alive against their will? We would never force a parent to donate his kidney in order to save his own child’s life, so why should we force pregnant women to donate their bodies to keep their fetuses alive?
8. Do you support abortion in the case of rape? I’m not in favor of all abortions, but I do think that if a woman is raped, she should be able to have an abortion, since she never chose to have sex. Plus, having the baby would just add even more trauma on top of the rape.
9. If abortion were made illegal, then women would be forced to get abortions from untrained “back-alley” abortionists. Shouldn’t we keep abortion legal so that it’s at least safe?
10. If abortion were made illegal, then what should the punishment be for a woman who chose to have one?
11. Would you be against abortion even if the woman’s life was in danger or the fetus was going to die anyway?
12. Some women just can’t have a baby during difficult times in their lives. What about the fourteen-year-old pregnant girl who will be thrown out on the street by her parents? Or the mom who can’t even feed the children she has now? Surely these women need reproductive options in order to help them with these difficult circumstances.
13. If pro-life people don’t want abortions to happen, then why don’t they promote using contraceptives in order to prevent unintended pregnancies?
14. I can’t stand hypocritical anti-abortion people. How many children have they adopted? Will they pay for all these children they don’t want aborted? Most of them are men who shouldn’t even be talking about the issue in the first place!
15. Does the Bible teach that abortion is wrong?
16. Does the Catholic Church teach that abortion is wrong?
17. Abortion is certainly an important issue, but it’s not the only issue. Shouldn’t pro-lifers broaden their focus and work to end other threats to human life, such as the death penalty, war, poverty, sex trafficking, and racism?
18. My friend is pregnant and thinking of getting an abortion. What should I do?
19. I know someone who has had an abortion. How can I reach out to her and help her overcome her pain and guilt?
20. What can I do to end abortion?

Unlike many books in this series most of the quotes and references in this book are not from church sources. They are from government survey’s, news and media outlets and from books. There are a few quotes used from Evangelium Vitae, and Catechism of the Catholic Church. In my opinion this book touches too briefly on the topic of the emotional and spiritual impact that abortions can have on the health of women who have had abortions or men who encouraged it. 

Not an easy book but one worth reading. I have read 21 of the 23 books currently available in this series. And to be honest this was the hardest review to write. Ever if someone struggles with the churches teaching in this area this book will open their eyes to a number of things they may not have considered. A good book in a great series.


Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Note 2: Currently this series of books is being offered at a 50% discount so get it while you can. That is right you can get all 23 physical books or all 23 eBooks for just $39.95! If you want a way to go deeper this year give this series a try! 


#20AnswersChallenge




20 Answers Series:
20 Answers Abortion - Trent Horn
20 Answers Angels & Demons - Fr. Mike Driscoll
20 Answers Atheism - Matt Fradd
20 Answers Death & Judgement - Trent Horn
20 Answers Divorce & Remarriage - Jim Blackburn
20 Answers End of Life - Jason Negri
20 Answers Faith & Science - Trent Horn
20 Answers God - Trent Horn
20 Answers Islam - Andrew Blezad
20 Answers Jehovah's Witnesses - Trent Horn
20 Answers Mary - Tim Staples
20 Answers Miracles - Karlo Broussard
20 Answers Mormonism - Trent Horn
20 Answers Salvation - Jimmy Akin
20 Answers Scripture and Tradition - Jim Blackburn
20 Answers The Bible - Trent Horn
20 Answers The Eucharist - Trent Horn
20 Answers The Papacy - Jim Blackburn
20 Answers The Real Jesus - Trent Horn

20 Answers The Church - Trent Horn
20 Answers Witchcraft & the Occult - Michelle Arnold
20 Answers Apparitions & Revelations - Michael O'Neill
20 Answers The Sacraments - Fr. Mike Driscoll


Other Books from Catholic Answers:
Hard Sayings: A Catholic Approach to Answering Bible Difficulties - Trent Horn
A Daily Defense: Apologetics Lessons for Every Day - Jimmy Akin
The Apostasy That Wasn't: The Extraordinary Story of the Unbreakable Early Church - Rod Bennett
Answering Atheism - How to Make the Case for God with Logic and Charity - Trent Horn
Persuasive Pro Life: How to Talk About Our Culture's Toughest Issue - Trent Horn and Fr Frank Pavone
The Protestant's Dilemma: How the Reformation's Shocking Consequences Point to the Truth of Catholicism - Devin Rose
Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines - Tim Staples
Handed Down: The Catholic Faith of the Early Christians - James L. Papandrea
Demons, Deliverance, Discernment: Separating Fact from Fiction about the Spirit World - Fr. Mike Driscoll
Navigating the Tiber: How to Help Your Friends and Family Journey Toward the Catholic Faith - Devin Rose
100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura - Dave Armstrong
The Drama of Salvation: How God Rescues You from Your Sins and Brings You to Eternal Life - Jimmy Akin
The Truth is Out There (Brendan and Erc in Exile Book 1 - Brother Amadeus and Amadeus
Memorize the Reasons! Defending the Faith with the Catholic Art of Memory - Kevin Vost
Marching Orders: A Tactical Plan for Converting the World to Christ - Dan McGuire

The Fathers Know Best - Jimmy Akin

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Spokes - Deanna K. Klingel

Spokes
Deanna K. Klingel
Progressive Rising Phoenix Press
ISBN 9781946329165
eISBN 978-1-946329-32-5
ASIN B06XTB6BQZ





This book was recommended to me through one of the Facebook groups that I belong to. I was intrigued by the concept of the story, and trusted the source that recommended it. When I first went to pick up the eBook I bought the wrong one. I did go back and buy this one, but now I already have another book by Klingel in my queue. The short description for the book is:

"A Catholic girl and a Jewish boy training for a triathlon, search for clues to solve the mystery of a hit and run killer. Along the way they discover the importance of truth, friendship, and faith."
And to be honest it does live up to that. But it also deals with a lot of other issues. It deals with bullying, a bit of antisemitism, stretching your limits, trying new things, and most of all dealing with changes that life throws in your path. It does a good job of respecting both the Catholic tradition, and the Jewish faith. Seeing the friendship grow between the two main characters both dealing with loss in their lives and how they approach it different is one of the best written aspects of the book.

The friendship between Kelsey and Brendon is wonderful to watch develop. They investigation of a murderer add a deeper and little darker element to the story. The monks at the monastery in the country and their dogs are wonderful. And the rhythm of training for the trilithon provides some great secondary plot line elements. Another great side story is the work with the Special Olympics and how it is woven into the plot, and in surprising ways.

Overall this was a really good read. A great read for summer break or vacation. Just to sit back and read and see the mystery unfold. A good book that I look forward to rereading with my oldest when she is a few years older, and to be honest if I cannot wait to share a book with my kids or friends that is the best recommendation I can make. This book though written for teens is also great for adults who love a good story. So why not take this story for a spin, and see where you link on the writings by Deanna K. Klingel.  


Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!


Books by Deanna K. Klingel:
Spokes
Mysterious life of Jim limber
Blue-Eyed Doll
McIntosh Summer
Beth's Backyard Friends
Beth's Birds
Walker Hound of Park Avenue
Cracks in the Ice
Amanda and the Lazy Garden Fairy
Bread Upon the Water
Rock and a Hard Place
Just for the Moment
Avery's Battlefield
Avery's Crossroad


Monday, 12 June 2017

St. Anne's Kitchener Ontario - Monthly Recollection

St. Anne's Kitchener Ontario





For about 11 years now I have been attending monthly recollections at St. Anne's Kitchener. The first few years I was very consistent, then when my children were young it was hard to get out. But I think I have only missed about 1 in the last year and a half. I love the evenings apart for God. They are coordinated by the Wellspring Cultural Foundation. Each time I go, I go to confession, spend time praying and then there are two meditations lead by a priest, and a talk by a lay person. And in between the meditations and talk there is an examination of conscience. I find it helps provide balance and focus for day to day life, and highly recommend it. They are offered from Toronto through to London. 

Tonight we celebrated the 60th anniversary of Opus Dei in Canada

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Quotes from Jacob's Children - Noah Ben Shea

Quotes from Jacob's Children by Noah Ben Shea

This book is in process, I read an early draft and loved it. Here are some of the pieces I highlighted that really moved me.

"In gratitude," said Jacob, "find prayer. "In prayer find faith. "In faith find grace. "In grace find peace. "In peace find gratitude."   

"Because when you cannot change events you must change you."

"Prayer isn't supposed to make you feel better but be better," said Jacob.

"No," said Jacob. "I think most of us don't lack for information but for the character to act on the information at hand?'"

"We are not in charge of what the world delivers to our door," said Jacob. "We are in charge of our response."

"And our work in this life is not what we do but who we are."

"The greatest opportunity in life," said Jacob "is daring to be the person you might yet become."

Looking forward to seeing this book in print and sharing it with many friends! 

Books by Noah Ben Shea:
Jacob Series:

Jacob the Baker
Jacob's Journey
Jacob's Ladder 

Jacob's Children

Other Books:

The Journey to Greatness and How to Get There
A Compass for Healing
A Compass for the Classroom
Great Quotes to Inspire Great Teachers
Great Jewish Quotes
Inspire, Enlighten & Motivate
The Word: Jewish Wisdom Through Time
What Every Principal Would Like To Say … And What To Say
A World Of Ways To Say I Do: Wedding Vows, Readings, Poems, and Customs from Different Traditions and Cultures
Remember This My Children
Dear Mom
Dear Mom 2nd Edition
Dear Dad
Deae Dad 2nd Edition
Dear Teacher
Dear Friend
Prayer for Your Newborn

Author Profile interview with Noah benShea.


Saturday, 10 June 2017

The Colors of the Church Year St. Agnes Waterloo

The Colors of the Church Year St. Agnes Waterloo


Advent
Christmas
Ordinary Time
Lent
Good Friday
Easter Sunday
Pentecost Sunday 
The Feast of the Trinity
Ordinary Time


For the last year I have taken a photo of our parish after mass. I have photo's from every Sunday but two, and also numerous mid week masses.