Book Encourages Catholic and Jewish Bridge Building
Book Review: Friday
Night with the Pope
By Jacques J.M. Shore
Reviewed by Lisa M. Hendey
Gefen Publishing House, November 2006, Hardcover, 42
ISBN 9652293709 and 978-9652293701
papacy of John Paul II will be remembered for many high
points. Now, thanks to children’s book entitled Friday
Night with the Pope young readers can
learn about the tremendous efforts at Jewish Catholic reconciliation
made by this amazing man.
Night with the Pope tells the story of
author Jacques Shore’s 2003 encounter with the Holy Father,
Pope John Paul II in the Vatican residence. Accompanied
by his mother Lena, Shore shared a Shabbat celebration with
the pope. The story is retold fictitiously through the eyes
of 11 year old Jacob. Shore shares the following comments
on recounting the events from a child’s perspective:
“I wanted to share
the story through the eyes of a young boy because many
of us felt like children in the presence of the late Pontiff.
I also believe that my story, which explains the lessons
of the Pope, would be better understood by children reading
what happened during that Friday night Shabbat dinner.
By children understanding the truths expressed in this
book, I am confident that they may be better able to share
the Pope's lessons. It is my wish that it will build bridges
among all people on Earth.”
Jacob is brimming with
excitement as he and his mother enter the Vatican to share
this special evening. As they walk, Lena shares stories
of her childhood friend, Karol Wojtyla. She remembers her
friend as a young man who loved sports and was always tried
to build bridges between both Jewish and Catholic teammates.
She shares that Karol, becoming Pope John Paul II, went
on to continue his efforts to build relationships as the
first pope to make an official visit to a synagogue or to
visit Auschwitz. Jacob speaks with the Pope about his call
to the priesthood and a life of serving God and others.
In a beautiful section
of the book, the Pope invited Jacob to say the special Kiddush
blessing for their Shabbat meal together. Over the course
of the meal, Jacob learns much about the Pope and his hopes
and dreams for a united world where all people, regardless
of religion or ethnicity, care for one another. In taking
leave, Jacob is encouraged by Pope John Paul II to share
with others the need for a world filled with a spirit of
love and friendship.
by Amalia Hoffman set off the gently loving tone of Friday
Night with the Pope. In sharing this story
with readers of any faith, Jacques Shore has answered Pope
John Paul II’s invitation to share in the dream of a world
united in love and caring. I recommend this book for readers
ages five and up and compliment the wonderful message of
hope and reconciliation reinforced in this story.
For more information
Night with the Pope visit Amazon.
Lisa M. Hendey,
wife and mother of two sons, is and avid reader and the
webmaster of numerous web sites including http://www.catholicmom.com
and http://www.ProductivityAtHome.com. Visit her at http://www.lisahendey.com
for additional information.
© 2007 Lisa M.
CatholicMom.com Book Club
Additional Catholic Book