Thursday, July 31

Catholic Christmas Books


"amy welborn"


It's a Christmas book. From the publisher:


Alessandro is staying with his grandparents, who run a small shop that sells figures for the presepe (Nativity scene), while his parents look for work in another country. To help with the boy’s loneliness, his grandfather encourages Alessandro to make his own figure of the baby Jesus. They will bring that figure to Rome in two weeks to have it blessed by the Holy Father on Bambinelli Sunday. Through the events that occur in the time leading up to receiving the blessing in St. Peter's Square, Alessandro comes to see his world in a new way, and receives the best surprise of all in the end. 
  This book for children ages 7-10 tells a wonderful story about sharing, comfort, generosity, and forgiveness through the lens of a long-standing Italian tradition. The beautiful illustrations and timeless story make this a treasure Advent and Christmas resource for generations to come.

Tuesday, July 29

Catholic Teens and Prayer

Prove It: Jesus

amy welbornI’ve Always Wondered….
  1. …Is What the Gospels Say About Jesus True?
  2. …What Are the Basic Facts About Jesus?
  3. …What Did Jesus Really Teach?
  4. …Did Jesus Really Perform Miracles?
  5. …Why Was Jesus Executed?
  6. …Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead?
  7. …When Is Jesus Going to Come Again?
  8. …Was Jesus Really God?
  9. …How Could Jesus Be Both God and Human?
  10. …Why Did Jesus Come at All, and What Does It Mean for Me Today?
Excerpt from Prove It: Jesus

A resource for teen catechesis and Catholic youth ministry

Gifts for Catholic Moms




Consider The Catholic Woman's Book of Days.  It's a 365-day devotional, tied to the liturgical year as closely as possible for a volume that's not produced anew every year.

You can check it out here! 



"amy welborn"

Monday, July 28

Prove It: Church

Prove It: Churchamy welborn

  1. What Church Do You Go To?
  2. Why Isn’t Your Church a ‘Bible Only’ Church?
  3. Why Don’t You Read the Bible Literally?
  4. Why Aren’t Some of Your Beliefs in the Bible?
  5. Why Doesn’t Your Church Let You Interpret Scripture?
  6. Why Has Your Church Added Books to the Bible?
  7. Why Were You Baptized as a Baby?
  8. Why Aren’t You Saved?
  9. Why Does Your Church Say You’re Saved by Works, Not by Faith?
  10. Why Do You Pray to Saints?
  11. Why Do You Honor Mary So Much?
  12. Why Does Your Church Have Statues?
  13. Why Do you Believe That the Pope is Infallible?
  14. Why Do You Confess to a Priest?
  15. Why Do You Call Priests, “Father?”
  16. Why Do You Believe In Purgatory?

A resource for teen catechesis and Catholic youth ministry

Amy Welborn in Living Faith

Amy Welborn is a contributor - five devotions per issue -  to the Living Faith daily devotional quarterly.

"amy welborn"


The webpage for Living Faith is here.

Living Faith is a print publication - available in Spanish and English - but a digital edition is available as well.

More information on the digital edition is here. 

Follow Living Faith on Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday, July 26

Charlotte Was Both

Charlotte Was Both is the name of Amy Welborn's current blog.  It is located here. 

From the blog's "about" page:


Thanks for visiting. I've been blogging since 2001.  This is my third blog and third blog platform. (Fourth if you count the brief foray to Beliefnet for a few months in 2009. Readers just found it an unsatisfying experience, and it didn't feel like "home.") This blog is not updated daily, and it's not newsy. It's just sort of here.  We come, we go.  I do a lot of writing in various forms, and this is just one more, although it seems to be mostly photographs these days. Email is all read, and thank you for writing. Here's my other blog: Booked: A Travel Blog  Here's my webpage I'm all linky and newsy on Twitter - for the moment. I go back and forth on Twitter, but I'm there for the now: amywelborn2 I'm playing with Pinterest here.  Just got started (8/2011). Don't know how long it will last.Here's my Amazon page - with links to all my books.
amy welborn
It is not often that someone comes along who is both a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.
(E. B. White, the conclusion of Charlotte's Web.)

Tuesday, July 22

Feast of St. Mary Magdalene - July 22

Here's an excerpt from a book I wrote about St. Mary Magdalene, de-coding Mary Magdalene:


Mary Magdalene was an enormously important figure in early Christianity. She was, after the Blessed Virgin Mary, the most popular saint of the Middle Ages. Her cultus reveals much about medieval views of women, sexuality, sin, and repentance. Today, Mary Magdalene is experiencing a renaissance, not so much from within institutional Christianity, but among people, mostly women, some Christian, many not, who have adopted her as an inspiration and patron of their own spiritual fads, paths, and fantasies.
"amy welborn"




The book is available in other languages as well:

French

Polish

Portuguese

Monday, July 21

Diary of a Country Priest

Note:This piece is one of a series on great Catholic fiction writers that I penned for Ligourian Magazine several years ago. My word count limit was - get this - 540 words. Unbelievable. Well, it was good money for the number of words,I'll say that. So if you're annoyed by the brevity of this piece, at least you know why it's so short now. Of course, there is much more to say on this book, as well as the very interesting life of Bernanos himself.

In the late 19th and early 20th century a philosophical perspective called positivism ruled the intellectual climate in France. Positivists like Emile Durkheim and Auguste Comte claimed that all one can know about human life is what can be observed and that the laws of behavior and society discerned from these observations should be used to organize human life.
Into this scientifically-based and utterly materialistic mileu stepped, one by one over the decades before and just after the First World War, a group of writers who formed what we now call the French Catholic Literary Revival. Francois Mauriac, Charles Peguy, Julien Green and Leon Bloy rejected positivism and reclaimed a vision of human beings essentially defined, not by scientific law, but rather by our relation to God and struggle with evil. One of the finest writers of this group was George Bernanos, author of Diary of a Country Priest.

Diary of a Country Priest, first published in 1936, is just what the title suggests: the fictional journal of a young curate in rural France. The premise may seem simple, but in Bernanos’ hands it emerges as a rich work in which the reader encounters the injustices of French society, the emptiness of an intellectual system that rejects God, the failure of the Church to fully embody Christ’s love for the poor, and above all, the power of a life dedicated to God.

The young priest whose life absorbs us in this novel has come from a background of poverty through seminary into this, his first parish experience, to which he is utterly dedicated. Besides conducting his sacramental duties, he commits himself to visit every family in his parish. He teaches catechism classes and attempts to organize a club for young men. He visits the sick, buries the dead, lives at a substistence level and is bedeviled by a serious illness that is ultimately diagnosed as stomach cancer, but not before it is mistaken for alchoholism by gossipy villagers.

Aside from these daily ministrations and struggles, Bernanos offers us his view of French church and society through the conversations the priest has with a variety of people, ranging from the atheist physician Delbende, the troubled child Seraphita who spreads rumors about the young priest at every opportunity, the more relaxed older priest de Torcy and most powerfully the deeply wounded local countess, who harbors bitter anger at God for death of her son.

What makes Diary of a Country Priest a novel that is read just as much for its spiritual value as well as its literary quality lies in the complex, realistic life of faith Bernanos constructs for his main character, a faith which stumbles in darkness at times, but is on the whole fervent, selfless and Christlike, even in the hostile reactions it sometimes evokes.



The final touch that heightens the personal drama in the priest’s soul is that he believes himself, if not a total failure, at the very least a terribly poor instrument of God’s grace. But what the reader discerns through the unaffected words is that even as he cannot see it himself, the effect of his witness and suffering on others is profound and powerfully embodies the words he speaks on his own deathbed: “Grace is everywhere…”

Sunday, July 20

Feast of Mary Magdalene - July 22


"Amy Welborn"The resume is impressive, if ultimately fanciful, but it actually only begins to touch on the many ways in which Mary Magdalene has been interpreted over the past two thousand years. Legends, myths, and wish fulfillment abound, but what’s the truth — based on the evidence of history — about Mary Magdalene?
Mary Magdalene was an enormously important figure in early Christianity. She was, after the Blessed Virgin Mary, the most popular saint of the Middle Ages. Her cultus reveals much about medieval views of women, sexuality, sin, and repentance. Today, Mary Magdalene is experiencing a renaissance, not so much from within institutional Christianity, but among people, mostly women, some Christian, many not, who have adopted her as an inspiration and patron of their own spiritual fads, paths, and fantasies.
Mary Magdalene is the patron saint of contemplatives, converts, pharmacists, glove makers, hairdressers, penitent sinners, perfumers, sexual temptation, and women.
This book is a very basic introduction to the facts and the fiction surrounding Mary Magdalene. We’ll unpack what Scripture has to say about her identity and role in apostolic Christianity. We’ll see how, very soon after that apostolic era, she was adopted by a movement that remade her image in support of its own theological agenda, a dynamic we see uncannily and, without irony, repeated today.
We’ll look at the ways in which both Western and Eastern Christianity have described, honored, and been inspired by her, and how their stories about her have diverged. During the Middle Ages in the West, Mary Magdalene’s story functioned most of all as a way to teach Christians about sin and forgiveness: how to be penitent, and with the hope of redemption open to all. She made frequent appearances in religious art, writing, and drama. She inspired many to help women and girls who had turned to prostitution or were simply destitute. She inspired Franciscans and Dominicans in their efforts to preach reform and repentance.
It all sounds very positive, and most of it, indeed, is. That’s not, however, the idea we get from some contemporary commentators on Mary Magdalene’s historical image.

Saturday, July 19

Free book on Mary



How about a free e-book about Mary?



My book Mary and the Christian Life, has been out of print for a couple of years, so I am offering a .pdf file of the text at no cost to anyone interested.

Go to this page and click on the link to download!



Amy Welborn

Thursday, July 17

First Communion with the Pope

If you are teaching 2nd grade Catechism this year, the book Friendship With Jesus might be a helpful resource.

Friendship with Jesus: Pope Benedict XVI Speaks to Children on Their First Holy Communion


Friendship With Jesus: Pope Benedict XVI Talks to Children on Their First Holy Communion is based on a dialogue in St. Peter's Square that took place in 2006




Artist Ann Engelhart thought the dialogue would make a wonderful children's book and asked me to help edit it and get it published. It was first published in England by the Catholic Truth Society in 2010 and then picked up by Ignatius Press in 2011.







Wednesday, July 16

RCIA Resource on the Mass

The How To Book of the Mass is a great resource for inquirers and RCIA sessions.

You can find more information at this page. 

"amy welborn"

In this complete guide you get:
  • step-by-step guidelines to walk you through the Mass
  • the Biblical roots of the various parts of the Mass and the very prayers themselves
  • helpful hints and insights from the Tradition of the Church
  • aids in overcoming distractions at Mass
  • ways to make every Mass a way to grow in your relationship with Jesus
If you want to learn what the Mass means to a truly Catholic life—and share this practice with others—you can’t be without The How-To Book of the Mass.
Discover how to:
  • Bless yourself
  • Make the Sign of the Cross
  • Genuflect
  • Pray before Mass
  • Join in Singing the Opening Hymn
  • Be penitential
  • Listen to the Scriptures
  • Hear a Great Homily Everytime
  • Intercede for others
  • Be a Good Steward
  • Give Thanks to God
  • Give the Sign of Peace
  • Receive the Eucharist
  • Receive a Blessing
  • Evangelize Others
  • Get something Out of Every Mass You Attend
“Is this not the same movement as the Paschal meal of the risen Jesus with his disciples? Walking with them he explained the Scriptures to them; sitting with them at table ‘he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.”
1347, Catechism of the Catholic Church

Monday, July 14

The Truth About Mary Magdalene

There's a great deal of material out there on Mary Magdalene, it's true. Some of the scholarly material is really fine, but too many of the books for popular audiences are informed by one ideology or another, or fall completely into fantasy.
  amy welbornIn De-coding Mary Magdalene I stick to the facts - what we know about Mary Magdalene from the Gospels, and then how Christian tradition in both East and West continued to meditate on the figure of Mary Magdalene, seeing in her the model disciple - and weaving all kinds of fascinating legends around her as well.

 Here's the bottom line: The Da Vinci Code propogates the lie that Christianity through the ages marginalized and demonized Mary Magdalene as a "whore" in order to minimize her impact.

 Wrong, wrong, wrong.

 Mary Magdalene was the second most popular saint of the Middle Ages. And do catch that word - saint - Honoring someone as a saint (feastday July 22) is a truly odd way of "demonizing" a person. Don't you think? So - come meet Mary Magdalene - as she comes to us in the Gospels, as Christians imagined her through the ages as they contemplated her fidelity and discipleship, and how some contemporary interpreters get her so completely wrong.

  Table of Contents
  • Mary of Magdala
  • "Why Are You Weeping?
  • The Real Mary?
  • Apostle to the Apostles
  • Which Mary?
  • The Golden Legend
  • Touching the Magdalene
  • To the East
  • The Penitent
  • Mary and the Mystics
  • The Magdalene in Art
  • Rediscovery

Sunday, July 13

Books for Catholic Women

amy welborn
The Catholic Woman's Book of Days would be a wonderful birthday gift for any woman - mom, sister, friend. It's a 365-day devotional written for Catholic women - all Catholic women. It is loosely tied to the liturgical year, is a very handy size, and features special devotions for several saints. It is not structured to be tied to any particular year. So it’s sort of perennial.

You can find more information and ordering information here. 

Wednesday, July 9

Charlotte Was Both

Charlotte Was Both is the name of Amy Welborn's current blog.  It is located here. 

From the blog's "about" page:


Thanks for visiting. I've been blogging since 2001.  This is my third blog and third blog platform. (Fourth if you count the brief foray to Beliefnet for a few months in 2009. Readers just found it an unsatisfying experience, and it didn't feel like "home.") This blog is not updated daily, and it's not newsy. It's just sort of here.  We come, we go.  I do a lot of writing in various forms, and this is just one more, although it seems to be mostly photographs these days. Email is all read, and thank you for writing. Here's my other blog: Booked: A Travel Blog  Here's my webpage I'm all linky and newsy on Twitter - for the moment. I go back and forth on Twitter, but I'm there for the now: amywelborn2 I'm playing with Pinterest here.  Just got started (8/2011). Don't know how long it will last.Here's my Amazon page - with links to all my books.
amy welborn
It is not often that someone comes along who is both a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.
(E. B. White, the conclusion of Charlotte's Web.)

RCIA Materials

The Words We Pray is a collection of short essays that reflect on the meaning of traditional Catholic prayers, tying together history, theology, spirituality, and personal devotion.

Read more about it here.
The monks raised their voices in hope at the end of each phrase, and then paused a great pause in between, letting the hope rise and then settle back into their hearts. My own heart rushed, unbidden by me, uncontrolled, right into those pauses and joined the prayer. A prayer written by a eleventh-century bedridden brother, chanted by monks in the middle of Georgia, and joined by me and the silent folk scattered in the pews around me, each with his or her own reasons to beg the Virgin for her prayers.
And we weren’t the only ones joined in that prayer. With us was a great throng of other Christians who had prayed it over the centuries, and who are praying it at this very moment.
My days as a prayer snob were over.

It would be a great resource for inquirers into the Catholic faith.  

Tuesday, July 8

Catholic Small Groups

Amy Welborn

Looking for a parish Bible study for this fall...or perhaps even this summer?


Through the Bible parables, Jesus reveals who he is and how we are to follow him. Learn how to relate the parables of Jesus to life today in Parables: Stories of the Kingdom.

It is a part of Loyola Press' Six Weeks With the Bible series, which provides individuals or groups plans for concise but thorough 90-minute sessions to learn about and discuss the pertinent Scriptural passages.  General guides for how to effectively lead an adult discussion are included.cat

Sunday, July 6

Free Catholic book by Amy Welborn





My book Mary and the Christian Life, has been out of print for a couple of years, so I am offering a .pdf file of the text at no cost to anyone interested.




Amy Welborn

Tuesday, July 1

Catholic Bible Study

Amy Welborn

Looking for a parish Bible study for this fall...or perhaps even this summer?


Through the Bible parables, Jesus reveals who he is and how we are to follow him. Learn how to relate the parables of Jesus to life today in Parables: Stories of the Kingdom.

It is a part of Loyola Press' Six Weeks With the Bible series, which provides individuals or groups plans for concise but thorough 90-minute sessions to learn about and discuss the pertinent Scriptural passages.  General guides for how to effectively lead an adult discussion are included.

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