In full disclosure, I was given a copy of Mission: Christian: A Journal for Young Catholics on a Mission and Living Sparks of God: Stories of Saints for Young Catholics to Color to write a review for both products. This article contains affiliate links.
This review took place this summer – but the Lent Journals are now available! Click here to check them out: Mission: Christian Lent 2017
I was late for the meeting. Just like I am late for swimming lessons, family parties and pretty much anything that has a start time.
This time it was a Junior Legion of Mary meeting for young Catholics. I was asked to write a review of two new books (Mission: Christian Journal and Living Sparks of God Coloring Book) and wanted to get the opinion of some young Catholics and possibly their parents. I had contacted the moderator of the group and asked if I could come to get some feedback on the materials I had been given. Lucky for me an old college friend was there with three of her daughters.
Once it again God amazes me with His timing and how He brings people together. I met Sarah at a retreat in college. I was a senior and she was a freshman. About three years ago I noticed her in church and said a short hello and how are you – but with her young children and how are church parking lot is set up and how are lives are just so busy. . . we just never really got past, “it’s so nice to see you” stage of a conversation.
I was so happy and relieved when I saw her sitting in the board room. I knew she was the perfect person to help me evaluate these books. Sarah has seven children. Her oldest is 14 and her youngest is two. Four of her daughters are the perfect age for these materials and resources.
I gave her a copy of Mission: Christian to take home and asked her if she could let me know if the book was something her family or children could use.
I then took out the coloring book and asked if any of the girls would like me to make a copy of a page for them to color. The smile and excitement that I got in response was so visible in made me smile! Each girl chose a different saint. I already knew I liked the coloring book as an adult who likes to add coloring in my prayer journaling. Now I knew it was a big hit with girls between the ages of 8 and 13.
About a week later I texted Sarah to see when we could discuss the Mission Christian Journal. She invited me over for breakfast and there she told me that this book was an answer to her prayers!
Let me explain.
Sarah loves the Legion of Mary.
She loves how it gives her family an opportunity to experience consistent prayer and service. However, she noticed her daughters were getting frustrated when things were going “over their heads”. As a concerned mother, she didn’t want her daughters to associate frustration with prayer and service.
Sarah voiced how much she loved that the material provided in Mission: Christian is not over her children’s heads and draws the whole family into the liturgical celebration. She asked where she could get more copies, because she wants to use this as a daily devotional for her family.
Sarah also pointed out:
“when my brain is fried and I feel depleted, there is also a point of entry for me”
In other words, it’s mommy brain proof. I am tired and I have one child. I can not imagine how tired a mother of seven could possibly be!
Mary, who is almost 9, chimed in saying she really liked hearing the saint story.
Sarah also expressed other attributes she liked about the journal:
The Mission Prayer in the beginning of the book is awesome and could be said daily.
It is nice because it allows natural examination and is a form of Ignatian Spirituality that is accessible to children.
The art graphics are modern and draw in a younger audience but traditional pictures are also included which make it a nice blend of both tradition and modern art.
It shows that church has a sense of humor. The saint that was roasted over a fire is not patron saint of cooks.
The mission for yesterday was to find a secret place to pray. Sarah said she went to adoration for the first time in a long time. She also said one of her daughters decided that to pray in the bathroom and as a busy mom, that gave her a good laugh.
So, if you are looking for an authentically Catholic and practical way to teach your children about how their faith is with them on a daily basis, Mission: Christian is the perfect answer. And if you as an adult like to color, or any of your children enjoy coloring, Living Sparks of God is a beautiful, educational and delightful coloring book. I highly recommend both products!
Purchase both of these on Amazon today!