Friday, February 9, 2024

We Have a Pope- My New Book!


Surprise- I have a new book! We Have a Pope is a beautifully illustrated picture book (dream fulfilled to do a project with the talented Kortnee Senn) and my hope is that it helps little (and big) Catholics appreciate the legacy of St. Peter and the gift of the papacy. Beginning when Jesus calls Peter to hold the keys of the Kingdom and continuing until today, the book also gives a peek into what happens during a papal conclave. Set in Vatican City, the pages share a look at St. Peter’s Square, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel.  It’s available for preorder now from The St. Paul Center and will release on February 22nd, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter!

Here are a few sneak peeks inside, as well as the book description and a couple of the endorsements. (The book has an imprimatur as well- all my books do!)

It’s time to elect a pope!

Welcome to St. Peter’s Square in the heart of the Vatican, where cardinals are arriving from every corner of the globe. They have come to elect a new pope.

We Have a Pope is a gorgeously illustrated children’s book by beloved author Katherine Bogner and illustrator Kortnee Senn.

Discover the history of the papacy and how a new pope is chosen in We Have a Pope. See inside the walls of the Sistine Chapel and watch from St. Peter’s square as the whole Catholic Church waits to hear the words “Habemus papem—we have a pope!”

"A beautiful collaboration between two of my favorite Catholic creators! This book is a charming and informative behind-the-scenes look at how the Catholic Church elects a new pope, vibrantly illustrated. Perfect for classrooms, homeschools, and any home with a love for Catholic traditions and practices.” -Kendra Tierney, Mother of Ten, Author of The Catholic All Year Compendium 

“A delight for the mind, soul, and eyes! With bright, reverent, captivating illustrations, We Have a Pope is such a teaching-rich, unique picture book, one from which both adults and children will learn. I can’t wait to read and reread it to my own children and to recommend the book to others!” -Katie Warner, Bestselling Author of the First Faith Treasury Series


And you know that I always offer resources to help you get the most out of my books! With your purchase of We Have a Pope directly from The St. Paul Center, you will receive a digital download with special bonus resources. (This will be sent directly from SPC with your order confirmation.)

This exclusive PDF includes printable coloring pages, prayer cards, papal trading cards, and more!

You can preorder the book here and it releases in less than two weeks!

(It is also available on Amazon here, and it will be available as an ebook after the release date!)

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Books for Catholic Teens- Recs for Middle & High School


Books for Catholic Teens
Last week during Catholic Schools Week I opened up a question box on Instagram, taking requests for  "matchmaking" Catholic kids books. I'm still working my way through all of the responses- (you can see my recommendations in this highlight)- but by far the most popular request was for books for teens. Good novels for middle schoolers, gift books for Confirmation, fiction for older teens that isn't boring, Saint biographies that are relatable, etc. 

I don't have all the answers for this one- but I agree that this is a huge need in Catholic publishing. We have shelves full of beautiful Catholic picture books, but novels and texts that are attractive to today's teens? I think we have some work to do.

But I do want to still share a list, because there absolutely are some great books out there. Some of the best novels I've seen for Catholic teens in the past couple of years have been self/independently published- which is awesome, but can make them harder to find. Also, we know that especially for high schoolers, I could list hundreds of adult books that they would be capable of reading. There are certainly books on the list below that were originally written for an adult audience. So I tried to limit what I shared to books that I have in my 6th-8th classroom, have recommended or gifted to high schoolers, etc. And as always, age and reading level is subjective when you have a kid interested in reading something. They can still benefit from reading an "easy" graphic novel to learn about a new Saint or might be willing to stretch themselves to read something a little more challenging to learn more about a topic they are curious about.  This list is far from complete and I'd be happy to continue to add to it as I think of more ideas (or if you share some with me via comments or emails!).

This list contains Amazon Affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no cost to you. I'd also love to encourage you to shop directly with the publisher or with your local bookshop, or try to request these at your local library! You can find my giant list of Catholic Kid Books by topic here.


Saints/Biographies for Middle School

Saints/Biographies for High School

Saint Graphic Novels for Middle or High School
Catholic Graphic Novels List- Post with interior images and more details
Saints Chronicles Volume 1: Sts. Patrick, Jerome Emiliani, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Henry Morse, and Joan of Arc
Saints Chronicles Volume 2: Sts. Anne Line, Brigid of Ireland, Francis of Assisi, Nicholas, and Pachomius
Saints Chronicles Volume 3: Sts. Anthony of Padua, Ava, Samson, Bernadette, and Charles Lwanga
Saints Chronicles Volume 4: Sts. Willibrord, Margaret of Scotland, Rose of Lima, and Dominic
Saints Chronicles Volume 5: Sts. Ignatius of Loyola, Germaine of Pibrac, Pope Celestine V, Vincent de Paul, and Clare of Assisi
Saint Joan of Arc: Quest for Peace (out of stock on Amazon, available at Pauline Books & Media)
Saint Bernadette: The Miracle of Lourdes (seems to be out of print, could look for a used copy)
Mother Teresa of Kolcutta: Saint Among the Poor (out of stock on Amazon, available at Pauline Books & Media)
Maximilian Kolbe: The Saint of Auschwitz, by Jean-Francois Vivier, Illustrated by Joel Costes

Theology/Q&A for Middle School
Theology/Q&A for High School

Prayer/Journals/Devotionals for Middle School
The Jesse Tree Advent Journal, Lumen Ecclesiae Press

Prayer/Journals/Devotionals for High School
Advent and Christmas One Day at a Time for Catholic Teens, Katie Prejean McGrady & Tommy McGrady

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Lent Radiant Roundup


It's almost time for Lent to begin! Ash Wednesday is on February 14th. If you are looking for some ways to bring the beauty of the prayer, fasting and almsgiving to your children or students, here's a whole roundup of ideas: 

First up, here are some favorite posts:

Lent: Pray, Fast, Give Foldable* (Also in Spanish and Portuguese)

What Lent Looks Like* Coloring Page/Printable


Give Up & Take Up*: Lent Youth Group Lesson, Videos, and Resources


And tons more Lenten posts: 
Lent: Ideas for 40 Days* (Roundup Post of Links)
Lent Family Weekly Plan*- Sunday Gospels and Fasting/Giving using the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy (editable)

Here are a few ideas for Holy Week and the Triduum if you like to plan ahead!
Holy Week Family Retreat & Journal* (In English, Spanish, and French, and with an editable schedule)

What the Triduum Looks Like* Coloring Page/Printable

Thursday, February 1, 2024

February Radiant Roundup

Happy February! We welcome in the month of the Holy Family during this short chunk of Ordinary Time. Here are some resources to enrich your home or classroom this month, including a look ahead at Lent, which begins on February 14th!
Resources with a * mean that they contain free printables (or shareable digital files).


Month of the Holy Family:





St. Abigail (St. Gobnait): February 11th
St. Abigail coloring pages*


St. Valentine: February 14th
Saintly Friends Bingo Game*

Lent: Begins on February 14th 
Lent: Ideas for 40 Days* (Round-up Post of Links)
Lent Looks Different (Classroom decorations)
What Lent Looks Like* Coloring Page/Printable
What the Triduum Looks Like* Coloring Page/Printable
Lent: Pray, Fast, Give Foldable* (Also in Spanish)
Lenten Prayer Challenge Board* (Also editable)
Holy Week Family Retreat & Journal* (In English, Spanish, and French, and with an editable schedule)
Lent Family Weekly Plan*- Sunday Gospels and Fasting/Giving using the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy (editable)


Bl. Fra Angelico: February 18th


Click here for a list of great books for Catholic kids in February:

February Books for Catholic Kids


February Catholic Kids Book List
Below are a few favorite titles that fit well with devotions and feast days this month! This list contains Amazon Affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no cost to you. I'd also love to encourage you to shop directly with the publisher or with your local bookshop, or try to request these at your local library! I'm sure I've missed some books that would be great for this month, so feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments! You can find my giant list of Catholic Kid Books by topic here.

The Month of the Holy Family
Saint Feast Days this Month
2/1- St. Brigid
2/8- St. Josephine Bakhita
2/10- St. Scholastica
2/11- Our Lady of Lourdes
2/14- St. Valentine
2/22- The Chair of St. Peter

Lent Begins

Black History Month
A great opportunity to learn about Black American Catholics on the road to Sainthood!

Friday, January 26, 2024

Saints & Sports Bulletin Board


Our Catholic Schools Week activities are themed around the Olympics and the Saints- each class is representing a country around the world and a Saint from that country.

I love a good theme, so switched up my bulletin board to feature Saints living well- playing sports and enjoying the outdoors. I plan to share their stories with my students, and will be reading some excerpts from Pope St. John Paul II's speeches to athletes. (There is a great list here, and you can check the full text on the Vatican website)

I want to share with my students that we can celebrate the gift of athletics and sports– as well as challenge them to see how we can use those talents while also serving the Lord and growing in holiness.


Saints included are:
• Pope Saint John Paul II (hiking, skiing, camping)
• Blessed Chiara Luce Badano (pictured playing in the snow, also a tennis player)
• Saint John Bosco (encouraged students to play sports)
• Blessed Carlo Acutis (soccer)
• Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (mountain climbing, skiing)
• Blessed Gianna Molla (hiking)
• Blessed Benedict Daswa (played soccer)
• Servant of God Michelle Duppong (grew up on a farm)
• Venerable Carla Ronci (riding a Vespa)
• Saint Dulce Pontes (played soccer)
• Venerable Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan (pictured riding a bike)
• Venerable Guido Schäffer (surfing)


I'm working on some activities too, but those aren't quite ready yet, so for now, here's some bulletin board printables for you!

Saints & Sports images here:
 

Sports & Virtue Quotes from JP2 here:


"Be Saints" letter outlines here:


If you are looking for more bulletin board ideas, check out this post:

Monday, January 1, 2024

AMDG Bulletin Board

Need a new bulletin board for the start of 2024? It seems like a good time to remember to be doing all things well- and to be doing them for the greater glory of God! I used the big bulletin board in my classroom to add some inspiring quotes and a memorable Latin motto to give both me and my students a daily reminder. Michelle from Rough 2 Rustic sent me that awesome AMDG Banner and it inspired this whole display. Laser cut out of birch wood and strung on jute, the banner will last for years and years and can be used in so many different ways. Rather than cutting letters out of paper, I love how it adds depth to the bulletin board and especially love that they won’t need to be tossed when this bulletin board comes down- they’ll be simple to store and then I can pull them back out again later. Of course, the banner would also look lovely on a mantle or on a wall at home too!

Some details on the rest of the board if you are curious:

  • Background is navy fabric. It’s going six years strong. Sometimes I’ll put a layer of paper over it for a particular board, but the navy is always the base layer and makes it easy to get a bulletin board up quickly. Fabric also hides staple holes and doesn’t fade as quickly as paper.
  • Ditto for the borders. It’s called “white wood” from Teacher Created Resources.
  • I was going for a rolling mountain skyline with the torn paper (maybe?). Those were made from four pieces of posterboard. I cut them in half and taped together to get more length, then tore the wavy shapes across the whole long piece. That gave me eight layers.
  • Arranged those and used a few dots of glue to just barely hold in place.
  • Wrote several Bible verses and Saint quotes about the glory of God. (list here)
  • Stapled the mountains on the board and tucked the edges under the boarder and ta-da! A subtle reminder to use your gifts and talents and this wonderful life to bring glory to our Creator.

Whether for classroom or home, make sure to go check out all Rough 2 Rustic has to offer! So many wonderful tools to add Catholic identify in simple but meaningful ways!


Click here for a list of the quotes and Bible verses I included:


If you are looking for more bulletin board ideas, check out this post: