Earlier this summer, I held a 5 week bible/book study at my home using Dr. Tom Curran’s fantastic book, The Mass: Four Encounters with Jesus that Will Change Your Life. It was a fabulous, rich spiritual experience.
Although, that said, it was not my first rodeo; in fact, I used to host a group at my house every week for years. The community aspect of learning about and sharing my faith kept me on track spiritually and had the added benefit of keeping me connected to the Church and to God. One day, I decided to take a sabbatical because, to be bluntly honest, I did not want to have to clean every week for company anymore.
Let’s face it, there is clean enough for the family, and then there is company clean. It is a very different level of picking up and cleaning. For instance, the mail, a few stray ‘not sure where to put you’ items from the latest grocery trek, and the homeschool books can clutter the counter for the family. For company, not only does that stuff need to find its ‘home,’ but then I also need to wipe down the counter. I will spare you the details of the family clean enough and the company clean for the bathroom – just trust me, as a guest to my house, I promise you are getting the cleaned for company version!
After that five-week session with Dr. Curran’s book, although I loved having the ladies and the faith-sharing camaraderie, I decided I was returning back to my sabbatical (see excuse above).
The week after making this decision, I left for Rio de Janerio and World Youth Day (WYD). During the last Mass of my WYD experience, Cardinal Sean O’Malley said in his homily (I encourage you to watch the entire homily on vimeo), “Hospitality is a very important part of Evangelization.”
Well, that got my attention, and then he added, “…one of ways we make disciples is by practicing hospitality.” Now, he had my full attention. I received the Holy Spirit's message - loud and clear.
When I returned from Rio, one of my first emails was to the group inviting them (and more) to my home. We have since completed several amazing Catholic faith-sharing books, and now it is time to select our next read. That is what brought me searching the internet this month.
Specifically, I was looking for books written by Catholic women authors – here is a sampling of what I found, and some of the options I posed to the ladies:
I have been a ‘fan’ of Amy Welborn from way back in my Youth Ministry days when I wore out several copies books in her Prove It! series. She is a prolific writer, so choosing which one to recommend was difficult. While there is probably great value to many of us in the group revisiting a few of the Prove It! books, instead, I went with suggesting The Words We Pray: Discovering the Richness of Traditional Catholic Prayers.
Elizabeth’s site included an interesting (and new to me) blog, engaging articles, and some video clips, along with information about her books. With six fascinating topics to choose from, I decided to add her newest book, Therese, Faustina and Bernadette: Three Saints Who Challenged My Faith, into the book choice pile. My decision swayed heavily by my newest godchild bearing the name, Therese!
The list includes fiction, nonfiction, and a plethora of great resources for moms. If you haven’t discovered this relatively new resource on CatholicMom.com, I highly recommend doing so! I found several contenders from this extensive collection of impressive authors.
Copyright 2014 Allison Gingras
About the Author
Allison Gingras created the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women (OSV), including "The Gift of Invitation" and "Seeking Peace: A Spiritual Journey from Worry to Trust." Her ministry focuses on the grace of prayer, Scripture, and sacrament. Allison is the national WINE Steward for WINE: Women In the New Evangelization and hosts A Seeking Heart podcast.