May 7, 2010

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

Books feature mothers and Our Blessed Mother

Shirley Vogler MeisterSerendipity doesn’t occur often, but when it does happen it stays with me!

Earlier this year, I learned about two new books written by Catholic women, which are both appropriate for readers to enjoy during May.

Because Mother’s Day is celebrated on May 9 this year, I recommend The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul by Lisa M. Hendey, who is the creator of

In the acknowledgements, Hendey thanks God, who has blessed her family, and the Blessed Mother, who “walked with me along every step of my mothering journey, guiding and supporting me.” Among the others that she thanks is her publisher, Ave Maria Press in Notre Dame, Ind.

Hendey also notes the endorsement of others, including Holy Cross Father Theodore M. Hesburgh, president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame.

Father Hesburgh describes the book this way: “Lisa Hendey’s passion for Catholic motherhood is born of many influences, and I am proud to know that her experience as a Notre Dame student ranks among the most significant. This book is overflowing with Lisa’s generous spirit, deep compassion, and infectious enthusiasm for her family, her Church and the vocation of Catholic motherhood. She makes a wonderful and most welcome contribution to our faith community.”

Jesuit Father James Martin, the author of My Life with the Saints, notes how Hendey’s book is “warm, wise, funny, compassionate, faith-filled and, above all, experienced in the joys and struggles of family life. … [It] will be a lifesaver to Catholic women to try, hope and pray to be good moms.”

The author claims that she didn’t set out to write a typical parenting book. Instead, her goal was “to be a source of support and encouragement for mothers so they can also nurture themselves [and] have the energy, spirit and peaceful soul to help take care of those who fill our homes and our lives.”

The second book is Mary, Ever Virgin, Full of Grace: A Study of Papal Encyclicals on Mary by Catholic author and educator Cheryl Dickow, which is published by Bezalel Books in Waterford, Mich.

The beautiful, serene cover picture of the Blessed Mother was created by Nellie Edwards, a mother of eight children.

Since 2007, Edwards has produced a variety of canvas prints, banners and more, many of which are utilized as evangelization aids by parishes and pro-life groups. She can be reached by phone at 701-626-7300 or by e-mail at Her artwork is displayed online at www.SacredHeartArt.NET.

Dickow dedicated her book to her mother, grandmother and the Blessed Mother.

As a Catholic with an abundant love for Mary and many icons in our home depicting the Mother of God, I am in awe of Dickow’s Study of Papal Encyclicals on Mary. For more information about this book, log on to

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.)

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