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CatholicMom Book Spotlight
Elizabeth Ficocelli
Catholic Author

 

Child's Guide to First Holy Communion
Child's Guide to Reconciliation

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CatholicMom.com is pleased to recommend two wonderful books for Catholic families from Paulist Press and Catholic author Elizabeth Ficocelli.  Child's Guide to First Holy Communion and Child's Guide to Reconciliation are great resources for families with students preparing to receive the sacraments, but also for younger children and those who have already participated in the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation as a means of reinforcing the beauty and grace of God's gift to us in these sacraments. 

The books are interactive, with features on nearly every page which will draw the reader into the story and reinforce the many concepts presented.  The topics presented will comprehensively prepare children anticipating reception of the sacraments, and will do so in an engaging and inspiring manner.  Prompting questions will promote family discussions which will be a cherished part of your child's sacramental preparation.

I would like to thank author Elizabeth Ficocelli for her time in sharing the following thoughts and comments about her background and these terrific books.  With great enthusiasm, I recommend Child's Guide to First Holy Communion and Child's Guide to Reconciliation for every Catholic family! 

Lisa, Webmaster, CatholicMom.com

My first two books, Child's Guide to First Holy Communion and Child's Guide to Reconciliation (Paulist Press) were released in 2003, a year of great significance to me since it marked my 20th anniversary as a Roman Catholic. 

I was raised in the Lutheran faith but, by young adulthood, became dissatisfied with the lack of answers to my probing questions about certain beliefs.  During college, I began attending Mass on campus and experienced for the first time a spiritual connection with my fellow worshippers and a deepening love for God.  Once I entered the Church in 1983, I immersed myself in reading everything I could about my new faith.   I started with supernatural phenomena such as Eucharistic Miracles, stigmata and apparitions, then progressed to Church History, the Saints, doctrine and apologetics (the defense of the Faith.)  The more I read, the more reasons I found to love the Catholic faith.  I asked God how I could share my love of His Church with others, and He showed me the answer: through my writing. 

In order to create these picture books, I had to research existing materials and tap into the experiences of my four children, since my own introduction to these important Sacraments did not come until I was an adult.  I was also asked by the editor to format the books based on one of publisher’s existing books, Child's Guide to the Mass.  

My goal for the books was to create something that would appeal to the child while educating the parent at the same time.  I tried to address the natural feelings of fear or anxiety that a child might expect when approaching these Sacraments for the first time.  I also remind the child of how he or she has prepared for this moment, at home and in class.  Lastly, I emphasize that this is Jesus we are experiencing in the Sacraments, that He loves us very much and wants us to be there with Him.  Throughout both books, there are interactive questions to help encourage deeper discussion between the child and the parent or teacher.

I am very honored and pleased to have Anne Catharine Blake as the illustrator for both books.  Ms. Blake is a very talented artist who has a wonderful gift of capturing children and adults.  Her drawings add a great deal of charm and eye appeal to the book.  We are currently partnering on a third book in the series, Child’s Guide to The Seven Sacraments, which is due out at the end of 2004.

Also in 2004, my first adult book, Shower of Heavenly Roses: Stories of intercession of St. Therese of Lisieux, will be published by The Crossroads Publishing Company.  Presented in a similar manner to the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series, this book features 70 stories that promise to touch and inspire readers of all faiths.

My work has also been published in Columbia, America, St. Anthony Messenger, Liguorian, Catholic Parent, Catholic Planet and the Catholic Times.

Elizabeth Ficocelli, Author

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