This month, we are blessed to have sponsorship support from Twenty-Third Publications, the publisher of the wonderful new book Pocket Prayers for Parents by Kathy Hendricks. Their support helps us to keep this site up and running as we aid readers literally around the world. I'm thrilled to be aiding Twenty-Third in the promotion of a book that is a terrific resource for any Catholic Mom. Pocket Prayers for Parents is a compendium of prayers not only for mothers, but truly for an entire family to share together. The book contains a welcoming introduction from Kathy and six main sections of prayers:
- Prayers for parents
- Prayers for a child
- Prayers for the family and home
- Prayers for various times and occasions
- Prayers for seasons and holidays
- Prayers for transitions and times of difficulty
I believe in this book you will find the words you need to reach out to our all-loving God in nearly any family situation you may encounter. It's pocket-sized perfectly to keep in your purse or briefcase so that when you have a quiet moment, you'll easily turn to it for a prompt to your own personal prayer moments.
I'm pleased to share my recent conversation with Kathy Hendricks and encourage you to pick up Pocket Prayers for Parents and to share it with your family.
Q: Welcome to CatholicMom.com Kathy, and congratulations on the publication of Pocket Prayers for Parents. Please briefly introduce yourself and your family to our readers. Please briefly introduce yourself and your family to our readers.
Thanks for this opportunity, Lisa. I am a big fan of CatholicMom so this is a great honor. I have been married to my husband, Ron, for 37 years. We have two children - Eric and Anna - who are both grown and out on their own. Anna was married this past June so we had a beautiful celebration as a family. Our daughter, Jenny, would have been 36 this summer. She died at the age of a year, and I still miss her very much. I developed my love for family spirituality from growing up in a large Catholic family in Colorado. I have worked in religious education for over 30 years, and give talks to teachers, catechists, and parents around the country.
Q: I believe that Pocket Prayers for Parents is simply the most recent of many books you've written. Tell our readers what they will discover in this compact prayer book.
I was delighted when Twenty-Third Publications asked me to author one of the books in this “pocket prayer” series. This little book contains prayers for all ages and stages in the life of a parent. So often we find materials targeted only for parents of young children. Those are great but, as an empty-nest parent, I am no less involved in and concerned for the lives of my children. It’s a “go-to” book of prayers for the various circumstances and events in the life of a parent.
Q: Was the smaller (purse size!) format of the book intentional? If so, why was this a goal for this particular project?
So glad you noticed this! Yes, it is intentional. In speaking to parents, particularly young mothers’ groups, I am aware of how busy they are and yet how they often yearn for something spiritually sustaining. The small size of the book makes the prayers easily accessible, no matter what the day looks like.
Q: The book covers prayers for so many events and occasions in a family's life. Please name a few of them.
There are prayers for the parent during times of anxiety as well as joy. There are prayers for a child at different stages of his/her life. There are also prayers for the different seasons, both in the calendar year and at stages in life. An example of the latter is a prayer for a child who is just learning to drive. I also included prayers for times of transition and difficulty. Lest anyone think all of the prayers are about stress and challenge, however, I want to add that there are prayers of gratitude and wonder. Parenthood entails all of those experiences, and Catholic prayer forms encompass not only ones of petition, but also of praise and thanksgiving.
Q: One question I commonly field from mothers who visit our site is, "I'm so busy! How can I possibly find time for prayer?" How would you reply to this question?
Great question! I am actually directing a retreat for young mothers this weekend on that very topic. I once heard a monk say that the only person who prays well is the one who prays often. This is heartening news for the busy parent because prayer can take place anywhere. Years ago, a study of the spiritual habits of the laity in the Catholic Church revealed that our favorite place to pray was the car. The runner-up was the bathroom! So, I encourage mothers – and fathers – to pray wherever they are and whatever they are doing. I also believe that children need to see their parents praying. One of the most profound memories of my childhood was seeing both of my parents praying before bedtime. My mother used a prayer book and I now have it. With six children to raise and a slew of work and volunteer involvement in their lives, they were busy, too. What that nightly ritual conveyed to me, however, was that they needed time by themselves for prayer. My siblings and I learned not to disturb them as well as to set aside such prayer time for ourselves. All of this was modeled rather than explained.
Q: So far, I've only focused on the book from a mom's perspective, but obviously dads are parents too! What are some unique prayer challenges faced by fathers and how can this book help?
Although I include a separate prayer for mothers and one for fathers, all of the other prayers can be offered by either one. The prayer for a child’s discernment, for example, might be especially helpful for fathers who know the importance of providing guidance for a child’s decisions – whether that’s to join a soccer team or choose a college or career. It has been said that, during times of difficulty, women congregate and men isolate. That makes the need for prayer in the lives of fathers all the more pressing. They may not have support systems in the way that mothers do, so there is a vital need to turn to God as loving Father and Spirit of Wisdom for grace, help, patience, and hope.
Q: Tell us about some of your family's unique prayer rituals.
As I noted earlier, my children are grown and out of the house. One of the most precious rituals we shared together when they were growing up, however, was lighting the Advent wreath. They loved the symbol of light and, when they weren’t arguing over who got to light the first candle, we settled into prayers of joy and anticipation during that lovely season. They were very concerned (and still are) about peace in the world and care for the environment, so our prayers often included those topics. I have another book coming out later this year on prayers and rituals in the family. I learned about ritual from my parents who hosted all family holidays and events at our home in Denver. It was a profound way to learn about the flow of the church year and the link with domestic life.
Q: What do you hope readers will take from their experience of reading Pocket Prayers for Parents?
The first is that prayer needn’t be lengthy or complex. Jesus warned against both. I tried to write these prayers from my heart as a parent. I hope the prayers will offer a way for parents to express their hopes, anxieties, fears, and joys to God who is always attentive. Perhaps it will lead some to writing their own prayers or at least to expanding existing ones into something tailored for their particular needs and circumstances as a parent.
Q: How can we find you online for more information?
Q: Are there any additional thoughts or comments you'd like to share with our readers?
Keep praying! My experience as a parent has shown me that it is the most important thing we can do with and for our children, ourselves, and all families in the world.
Copyright 2013 Lisa M. Hendey
About the Author
Lisa M. Hendey is the founder of CatholicMom.com, a bestselling author and an international speaker. A frequent radio and television guest, Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and communications. Visit Lisa at LisaHendey.com or on social media @LisaHendey for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish, school or organization. Visit Lisa's author page on Amazon.com.