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"Children have not been given to parents as a present, which they may dispose of as they please,
but as a trust, for which, if lost through their negligence, they must render an account to God.”

~ Saint Alphonsus de Liguori

 

The Power of a Good Book

All the buzz and commotion of technology seeks to stifle its ancient predecessor: the book. The empty chair in the library is producing increasingly more empty minds and the world is not a better place for it.

It is imperative for parents to fight the gadget “culture” and provide ways for their children to read real books rather than iPhones. Please find below some benefits, book suggestions and practical tips.

 

Benefits:

1)   Bonding time:  Reading to your child makes you bond with him, and this gives your child a sense of intimacy and well-being. Added bonus: Reading will bring calm to both you and your child!

2)   Recipe for success:  Many studies show that students who love learning and do well in school were exposed to reading before preschool.

3)   Makes them smarter:  A study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science in January 2013 concluded that “reading to a child in an interactive style raises his or her IQ by over 6 points.”

4)   Parents Rule:  You have better control over what they are reading. With electronic devices your supervision is greatly reduced and often nonexistent.

5)   Spell it out:  Perhaps the best strategy for improving spelling is to encourage a student to read more. Simply having the words in front of them, absorbed as a story is unfolding from the pages, will instill an instinct in them that is bound to improve spelling, as well as increase vocabulary.

 

Book Suggestions:

 

Children 0-6 (being read to)

  • Andy and the Lion, by James Daugherty
  • Angel Food for Boys and Girls, by Fr. Gerald T. Brennen
  • Beatrix Potter’s books
  • Catholic Children’s Treasure Box
  • Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Anderson (Grimm’s not recommended)
  • Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Happy Prince, by Oscar Wilde & P. Craig Russell
  • Fritz and the Beautiful Horses, by Jan Brett
  • Going His Way, Fr. Gerald T. Brennen
  • Is Your Mama a Llama? By Deborah Guarino
  • Jacinta’s Story, by Andrea Phillips
  • Pelusa: A Marvelous Tale, by Fr. Louis Coloma and Andrea Phillips
  • Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale, by Martin Waddell
  • St. Jerome and the Lion, Retold by Margaret Hodges
  • The Clown of God, by Tomie de Paola
  • The Donkey’s Dream, by Barbara Helen Berger
  • The Man Who Forgot God, by Fr. Gerald T. Brennen; click here for your free download!
  • The Mitten, by Jan Brett
  • The Swamp King's Daughter - Creative Character Building Series (Study Key Included), by H. C. Anderson
  • Winnie the Pooh, by A.A. Milne (the original; no phony rip-offs!)

 

Children 7-12

  • The following titles can be found at www.ANF.org/Table/Christian-Life/Family-Series/:
    --The Wreath of the Queen; The Weight of the Holy Cross; The Deer Hunter; The Three Pearls ; The Little Juggler of Our Lady; A Dog Named Grigio; The Little Barrel; and many others.
  • A Bear Called Paddington, by Michael Bond
  • Billy and Blaze series, by C.W. Anderson
  • Father Francis Finn, books written by. Here are just a few titles to get you started:
    --Tom Playfair; Percy Wynn; Harry Dee; Lord Bountiful and The Fairy of the Snows
  • Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, by Margaret Sidney
  • Heidi, by Johanna Spyri
  • Lassie Come Home, by Eric Knight
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins, by Richard Atwater
  • St. George and the Dragon, retold by Margaret Hodges
  • The Adventures of TinTin series, by Herge’
  • The Boxcar Children, by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • The Hidden Treasure of Glastonbury, The Autobiography of a Hunted Priest, by Father John Gerard
  • The Little House on the Prairie Series, by Laura Ingles Wilder
  • The Magic Tree House Series, by Mary Pope Osborne
  • The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook, by Joyce Lankester Brisley
  • The Weight of a Mass, by Josephine Nabisso
  • The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
  • The Wonder Clock, by Howard Pyle

 

Children 13-18+

  • An American Knight, by Norman Fulkerson
  • Captain’s Courageous, by Rudyard Kipling
  • Cheaper by the Dozen, by Gilbreth, Frank B. Jr. and Ernestine
  • Chivalry, by Leon Goutier
  • Damien of Molokai, by May Quinlan
  • Fabiola, by Cardinal Wiseman
  • Men of Iron, by Howard Pyle
  • Our Lady of Fatima, by William Thomas Walsh
  • Pilgrimage & Exile: Mother Marianne of Molokai, by Sister Mary Laurence Hanley, O.S.F.
  • Plinio, by Andrea F. Phillips
  • Priest on Horseback, by Eva K. Betz
  • St. Patrick’s Summer, by Marigold Hunt
  • Sun Slower, Sun Faster, by Meriol Trevor (all of her books are recommended)
  • Story of a Soul, by St. Terese of Lisieux
  • The Great Seige of Malta, by Ernle Bradford
  • The Last Crusader, by William Thomas Walsh (any book by William Thomas Walsh is recommended)
  • The Life of the Very Noble King of Castile and León, Saint Ferdinand III, by Sr. Maria del Carmen Fernández de Castro Cabeza, A.C.J
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart
  • The Outlaws of Ravenhurst, by Sr. Imelda Wallace, S.L.
  • The Story of Rolph and the Viking Bow, by Allen French (any of Allen French’s books are recommended)
  • The Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann Wyss
  • The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo
  • To Quell the Terror: The Mystery of the Vocation of the Sixteen Carmelites of Compiegne Guillotined July 17, 1794 by William Bush
  • Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson (anything written by this author is recommended)
  • Tyborne and the Gem of Christendom, by Mother Mary Magdalen Taylor


Practical Tips:*

1)  Install a book shelf in a well-frequented place in the home.

2)  Fill the book shelf with a large variety of good books that the children will be attracted to (refer to list above).

3)  Install a bulletin board in your home, print out good stories (see examples above to be found at ANF.ORG) and pin them to the board. Your children may surprise you and end up taking one to their room to read!

4)  Begin a “Family Book Club” where you meet once every month and share what you have read. Include food at your “club meetings” to encourage participation and make it fun—not just another family chore! 

 

As Catholics, we are the “light of the world.” (Matt 5:14) Let’s illuminate the minds of the young through what has always worked in the past: The Power of a Good Book.

 


*It is not necessary for you to employ all of these tips; simply try one and see how it works!

 

 

 

DAILY QUOTE for February 21, 2018

Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been a...

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February 21

 

Who except God can give you peace?
Has the world ever been able
to satisfy the heart?

St. Gerard Majella

  
If  YOU had been there on GOOD FRIDAY... 
what would YOU have done? DO IT NOW

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Peter Damian

He was adopted by his older brother who sent him to school,...

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St. Peter Damian

Peter Damian was born in Ravenna, Italy. His parents died when he was still very young, and he was adopted by his older brother who sent him to school, where he excelled in his studies and eventually worked as a professor.

Fasting and prayer were the great hallmarks of his sanctity. He had a great love for those less fortunate than himself, and frequently dined with the poor at his table, serving them with his own hands.

Leaving all his earthly possessions, Peter became a hermit in the Order of St. Benedict. Though reluctant to do so, he later became abbot of the hermitage in 1043. He guided his holy brothers with great piety, and eventually founded five other hermitages.

Peter’s wisdom was valued greatly within the Church, and in time, he was asked to be Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia. He reluctantly accepted, but often asked to be reinstated as a simple monk. Eventually his wish was granted, and he returned to his simple life as a hermit, though he continued to assist the Church in matters of importance. He died at Faenza in 1072 of a severe fever.

The Hildebrandine reform in the Church – the stress for clerical celibacy and the fight against simony – is largely due to St. Peter Damien. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1828.

WEEKLY STORY

Cause of Our Joy

We are well aware Our Lady is constantly working and spreadi...

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Cause of Our Joy

We are well aware Our Lady is constantly working and spreading her graces as we travel to homes with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. On a recent visit in south Texas, we were surprised to see Our Lady’s visit to one household as the culmination of a beautiful story of grace, nine months in the making.  

Our hosts had gathered friends and neighbors from their small town on a sunny afternoon to welcome the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. As the program progressed, the lady of the house asked to tell a story about a certain grace she had received.

Two years ago, her daughter had suffered a miscarriage in her first pregnancy, which had a devastating effect on the family. This past year, the same daughter again became pregnant.  However, rather than being a cause for rejoicing, the family was apprehensive due to what had happened previously. Our hostess then explained how she and her husband vowed to take a dozen roses at the beginning of each month of the pregnancy to Our Lady’s shrine at the local parish, asking the Queen of Heaven for a safe delivery.

The florist of the town, upon hearing the story, took great care to make an extra-beautiful bouquet in honor of our Blessed Mother.

For nine months, the couple was faithful in bringing the flowers and asking Our Lady’s powerful help. To their great surprise, the final time coincided with our visit with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

Our hostess began to cry tears of joy in telling the story, so honored was she to have such a clear sign of the intercession of the Mother of God. She then told that the doctors all gave reports of a healthy pregnancy, and the child was due any day now. The last bouquet of roses, lovingly arranged by the town’s florist, was placed at the feet of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in thanksgiving for a healthy pregnancy and their soon to be newborn grandchild.

We later learned that a healthy boy was born two days after the visit. Not only did Our Lady grant new life to a family who was so eager to welcome it, but she also restored the hope and strengthened the faith of this family and all who were gathered to share their joy. This easily brought to mind one of the beautiful titles of Our Lady from the Litany of Loreto: Causa nostrae letitiae, Cause of Our Joy. May Our Lady bring to the fullness of joy all who invoke her with confidence.

By Ben Broussard

Become a Child Of Mary

We are well aware Our Lady is constantly working and spreading her graces as we travel to homes with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. On a recent visit in south Texas, we were surprised to see Our Lady’s visit to one household as the culmination of a beautiful story of grace, nine months in the making.

Let’s keep in touch!