Monday, 9 December 2019

Friendship with Jesus - Amy Welborn and Ann Kissane Engelhart - Pope Benedict XVI talks to Children on Their First Holy Communion

Friendship with Jesus: 
Pope Benedict XVI talks to Children on Their First Holy Communion
Amy Welborn
Ann Kissane Engelhart
Ignatius Press
ISBN 9781586176198
ISBN 9781936260423

I have wanted to read this book since I finished and reviewed, Be Saints! An Invitation from Pope Benedict XVI, but since all three of my children have already completed their first communions I kept holding off and left the book on my wish list for a long time. After finishing it I really wish I hadn’t. I have read this with my youngest two. Both are altar servers, both love mass, and both just a week ago went to adoration with me. And 9 and 11 years old, the are not the normal adoration crowd, at least at our mass. And you will find out what it is relevant shortly.

Since 2012 I have read a dozen books by Amy Welborn. With every book I read, the more I respect her skill, her talent, and her sharing of the Catholic faith. This book was another excellent read. I have read this volume twice now, including just now lying in bed with my youngest as we took turns reading pages. We have already ordered a couple more copies, one for the kids school library, and for for the teachers reserve at the school library. 

In this volume Amy Welborn takes excerpts from the talk given by Pope Benedict XVI and picks a bible verse. There are Questions from the children that were I the papal audience that sunny day. These are presented on two-page spread illustration from Ann Kissane Engelhart. The illustrations are wonderful water color paintings. 

The chapters are:

Pope Benedict’s Memories of His First Communion
Confession and Sin
The Real Presence
The Importance of Sunday Mass
The Effects of Receiving Jesus in Holy Communion
Jesus the Bread of Life
Eucharistic Adoration

And the quotes are:

Luke 24:35
Luke 18:16
John 6:35
Matthew 28:20
John 20:21

Some pages also include questions for reflection. My youngest the first time we read it wanted to think about the questions. Some examples are:

How do you feel after your sins are forgiven in Confession?
How can you help your family to enjoy meeting Jesus in the Eucharist at Mass?
In What Part of your life do you need the special nourishment of Jesus, the Bread of Life?

The message in this book is wonderful. The illustrations are exceptional. I admit I had this book on my wish list for while. I thought it was a little pricey for a book I might only read once or twice with my children. But I should have known better, based on the author. This is a wonderful book, for children and for us older readers also. I was personally inspired and challenged by this book, and I know my children were as well. I know it will be one we reread every few months together as a reminder. And my daughter is already asking to go back to adoration tomorrow night. 

There are few books I am as glad my children love as much as they loved this one. It was an instant family favourite and we plan on sharing it with friends and family. We give it the McEvoy Clan seal of approval. And if you do pick it up, consider getting at the same time, Be Saints! An Invitation from Pope Benedict XVI, they go so well together. Wish there was a way to give it 6 out of 5 stars!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Amy Welborn:
Reconciled to God Daily Lenten Devotions
Wish You Were Here: Travels Through Loss and Hope
A Catholic Woman's Book of Days
de-Coding Da Vinci: The Facts Behind the Fiction of the Da Vinci Code
Loyola Kids Book of Saints
Loyola Kids Book of Heroes: Stories of Catholic Heroes and Saints throughout History
Prove It! God
Prove It! Church
Prove It! Jesus
Prove It! The Catholic Teen Bible
Here. Now. a Catholic Guide to the Good Life
The Words We Pray
Praying the Rosary: With the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries
Decoding Mary Magdalene: Truth, Legend, and Lies
Come Meet Jesus: An Invitation from Pope Benedict XVI
Be Saints! An Invitation from Pope Benedict XVI

Friendship with Jesus: Pope Benedict XVI talks to Children on Their First Holy Communion
Mary and the Christian Life: Scriptural Reflections on the First Disciple
Adventures in Assisi: On the Path with St. Francis: On the Path with St. Francis
Prepare Him Room: Advent Family Devotions
Daybreaks: Daily Reflections for Lent and Easter 
Parables: Stories of the Kingdom
The Absence of War

Prove It Series:
Prove It! God
Prove It! Church
Prove It! Jesus
Prove It! Prayer
Prove It! You
Prove It! The Catholic Teen Bible

Books by Benedict XVI:

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