Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bringing Quality Books To Catholic Schools

Bringing wholesome books to Catholic students everywhere is my passion, and I feel very blessed and honored to write for 'tweens. Why? Take a look around you and what do you see available to this age group? The occult, vampires, darkness, evil, disrespect, foul language, sexual overtones. All of this is being fed to our kids. What disheartens me the most is to find it in Catholic schools, of all places. Some of the books on their reading lists and curricula is enough to scare anyone, and not just because Halloween is around the corner.

I visit Catholic schools with my books and a presentation about St. Therese, and I love every minute of it. My favorite part is sharing the life of the Little Flower and answering questions about her and how she inspired me to write Olivia and the Little Way and Olivia's Gift. When schools contact me to come, I eagerly anticipate the questions their students will have for me. When I leave, I always feel like I have done something good for these children because many of them have never even considered having a devotion to a saint. Whether it be St. Therese or one of the many other holy men and women, I love teaching them that saints can be their friends, in good times and in bad. I always make it a point to tell them that we never worship saints, and that our Lord Jesus Christ is always our main focus of devotion. But I do tell them that it is a great thing to have friends in Heaven we can ask to intercede for us. You would ask a good friend on Earth to pray for you, wouldn't you? Talking the saints is really not much different. And they are so loving and ready to listen!

Lately I've been interested in St. Michael, St. Philomena, St. Olivia, St. John Bosco, and Blessed Pier Giorgio. Such powerful intercessors for us! Such loving brothers and sisters in Heaven!

One girl told her mother: "Now I've got a new sister—It's St. Therese!" You can imagine how happy this made me.

If you know of a Catholic school, a librarian, or a homeschooling parent who is looking for books that teach our True Faith, please recommend Olivia and the Little Way and Olivia's Gift. Catholic author, speaker, and founder of Lisa Hendey said that these books "should be on the reading list of every Catholic school." It is my God-given mission to provide a better alternative to some of the junk our kids are reading now. You can help me do this by spreading the word to Catholic schools in your town.

Together, we can help our kids keep their Catholic faith and prepare their souls for eternity. I would be honored to introduce a new sister or brother in Heaven to more Catholic children.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wise Words For Parents From St. John Bosco

Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?

—St. John Bosco

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Official Quote For Harvey House Publishing!

"My sword is Love, and with it I must drive out the stranger from the land, and establish Thy kingdom in souls."

—St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

Friday, October 15, 2010

St. Gianna DVD Tells Story of Modern-Day Hero of Divine Love

“St. Gianna Beretta Molla: A Modern Day Hero of Divine Love” is a new DVD about a saint who lived in our own time. The DVD is a visual delight, featuring photos and home movies of St. Gianna, who lived from 1922 to 1962. One gets to see her getting married and playing with her children and living out her career as a doctor. Viewers see her laughing and smiling and loving life. This is a real woman. She is someone like us. 

Here we get to know a woman like so many of us who struggled to balance work and family. She was highly intelligent, excelling in her studies. She also loved music and art and being in the mountains. She loved her family above all else, but saw her career as a physician as a calling from God. Not only did she run her own practice, she was an active volunteer and sought to bring medical care to those who needed it, especially mothers and children. She would tell other doctors that “when you have finished your earthly profession, if you have done this well, you will enjoy divine life ‘because I was sick and you healed me.’” 

St. Gianna was raised in a Christ-centered family and sought to raise her children the same way. Her life was one of service and was deeply rooted in prayer. She attended daily Mass as often as possible and prayed her rosary daily. She was always ready to encourage others in their relationship with God. She was a woman who viewed life as a gift from God and trusted in the power of prayer. Totally pro-life, her ultimate sacrifice was to give birth to her last child, even though she was advised against it and knew it might result in her own death. After giving birth, she bravely bore her final suffering with grace and prayer. She died on April 28, 1962 at the age of 39. Beatified in 1994 and canonized in 2004, Pope John Paul II held St. Gianna up as a role model for mothers, physicians, and the pro-life cause.

“St. Gianna Beretta Molla: A Modern Day Hero of Divine Love” was produced by Catholic Action for Faith and Family which includes the St. Gianna Physician’s Guild. The mission of the Guild is to unite and encourage Catholic physicians and health care professionals, to promote and defend Catholic principles in a public way by word and example, and to inspire sanctification in their lives.

Press release from: Catholic Action for Faith and Family
PO BOX 910308 
San Diego, California 92191 
United States
Contact: Thomas McKenna
Phone: 858-461-0777

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Books, Blessings, & Baked Goods

I am so honored to have been asked to participate in this beautiful event.


Used book & bake sale
(children's books, novels, mysteries,and religious books)
Saturday, October 23
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Eight-year-old Meghan Salter has ben kept alive by a ventilator, a feeding tube, and the grace of God for the past seven years.  Her family loves her and cares for her 24 hours a day.  Meghan's courage and will to live has moved many souls closer to Christ.  As Meghan grows, her list of medical and physical needs is also growing. This  sale will help fund the changing needs required to care for Meghan.

On hand will be Catholic authors Nancy Carabio Belanger, Michele Bondi Bottesi, Andre Bottesi, and Nick Bottesi.  Nancy will be signing copies of her book, Olivia and the Little Way, and the Bottesi family will be signing copies of their personal apostolate books and their new release, God Moments.  

American Heritage Girls Troop MI0138 will be sponsoring the bake sale.
Pick up a new read and be blessed to meet Meghan and her family!

1977 E. Wattles
Troy, MI  48085

Monday, October 11, 2010

Excerpt from Olivia's Gift!

Here's a brief excerpt from the soon-to-be-released Olivia's Gift.  Look for it in November, or pre-order your autographed copy here.

“Should we see what’s on TV?”  Hayley glanced at the bedside clock.  “It’s nearly 8:00.  The New Clique will be coming on.”

Olivia, who was lying on the bed doing a crossword puzzle, frowned slightly.  She wasn’t allowed to watch The New Clique, a teenage show about a high school’s popular group.  The characters kissed a lot, skipped school, and were disrespectful to adults.  She had begged her parents to let her watch it a few months ago, since so many people she knew watched it and talked about it at school.  Not knowing much about the show, her parents agreed to preview it first, without her there.  After a few minutes of watching immodestly dressed teens making fun of their teachers and using bad language on The New Clique, her mom and dad had turned off the TV, looked at each other, and said, “Not gonna happen.” 

Olivia had to admit that she wasn’t surprised when they told her no and discussed with her their reasons why not.  Deep down, she wasn’t interested in watching teenagers kiss and be sassy, but watching The New Clique was the “in” thing to do.  Every Wednesday morning, some of the kids would gather together and discuss the show from the night before:  who went out with who, who was the cutest character, etc.  She, Jenna, and Chad usually felt left out during that time.  It was something she just had to deal with, she figured, since her parents had been absolutely firm on their decision.

“Um, how about the cooking channel?  There’s that show where they take you on tours of potato-chip factories and stuff like that.  That’s always fun to watch.”

“Instead of The New Clique?  No way,” said Hayley, towel-drying her long hair.  Then, in a lower voice, she said, “Olivia, if we close the door and keep the volume low, your parents won’t even hear us watching it.”

Olivia was tempted.  She’d always been curious about the show.  She’d heard so much about the characters that she wondered what they looked like. Surely it wouldn’t hurt to watch the show just once.  Just one episode, just so she could say she’d seen it.  How much harm could that do, just once?

Hayley took Olivia’s silence as the go-ahead she was seeking.  She walked over to the adjoining hotel-room door, closing it quietly.  Olivia reached over to the nightstand where the TV listing card was and picked it up, checking the channels. She grabbed the remote, glancing around the room.  Just then she caught sight of her pajamas sticking out of her suitcase on the floor, the pajamas with red roses all over them, reminding her of St. Therese.  Oh St. Therese, she said inside her head, you always know when I need your help.  You always seem to know when it’s time to step in to keep me from doing something stupid, something I’ll regret.


copyright 2010 by Nancy Carabio Belanger


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Book Review For Olivia and the Little Way

Olivia and the Little Way by Nancy Carabio Belanger is a sweet story about a fifth grader who is struggling to follow St. Therese. Her grandmother is the person who first introduces Olivia to the wonderful example of St. Therese. She shares how she asked that saint for help in finding a nice man to marry who believed in God. She prayed a novena (a prayer repeated over the course of nine days)and then waited for a rose (the symbol of St. Therese) as a sign that her prayer had been heard. She waited three long years for that rose, but it finally came the same day she met her future husband. 

Olivia admires St. Therese's little way of making small sacrifices and tries to emulate her as best she can. She prays to St. Therese for help in making friends at her new school and for guidance in making good decisions. Olivia is a real girl. She doesn't always do the right thing. She succumbs to peer pressure and gets in trouble with her parents. She keeps trying, however, and St. Therese does help both her and her friends out. Though it takes a while, she finally does get her rose. 

This is a lovely story written for 'tweens, especially 'tween girls. It helps introduce readers to the Little Way as well as keep them engrossed with the storyline. One truly cares about Olivia and her friends in reading this book. 


Friday, October 1, 2010

October 1, The Feast Of St. Therese Of The Child Jesus

Today we celebrate the feast of our beloved St. Therese, who found a direct way to God through her Little Way of being humble and simple. Her Little Way of serving God is a model for us all, young or old, rich or poor. She promised to let fall a shower of roses to all who seek her help, and she has sent so many lovely roses my way. I smile when I think of them all.

I love you, St. Therese! Therese of the Child Jesus, most loving Saint, pray for us!

"Believe that I shall be your true little sister for all eternity."

—St. Therese of the Child Jesus

Loving God, you blessed St. Therese with a capacity for a great love. Help us to believe in your unconditional love for each of us.
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