Did you know that some of the Catholic publishers, authors, and bloggers making the biggest difference and providing the most valuable reading material are the ones you don't hear about very often? It's true. They're the ones who forge ahead day by day, working for God in humility, behind the scenes, and away from the spotlight. Imagine that! Nothing showy or attention- grabbing about these Catholics, to be sure. So very refreshing!
I am privileged to know many people like this in the Catholic publishing world, and I would like to spotlight these publishers here on my blog throughout the coming months so you can get to know these deeply religious people who are true to their faith and their calling to do the Lord's work...all content to be quietly working in the shadow of God.
Today we meet Cheryl Dickow, author and president at Bezalel Books, a Catholic publisher with a passion for filling Catholic bookshelves, including Catholic classrooms, with quality books. Known for the popular All Things Girl series, as well as The Green Coat (a favorite of mine, blogged about here) a classroom favorite by Rosemary McDunn, Bezalel Books is led by a humble woman who does her work for the glory of God.
"They humbly ask themselves if they were obedient, if they used the gifts God has given them in the way He has asked them," she says.
Among the many offerings of Bezalel Books is the popular The Rosary Workout by fitness expert Peggy Bowes (I reviewed the book here), which gained popularity when Bowes appeared on EWTN's The Journey Home with Marcus Grodi. Bowes, who has a devotion to Blessed Mother, captivates readers with her honest and helpful approach to fitness for Catholic women by combining a healthy lifestyle, exercise, and the Rosary.
Dickow, herself an accomplished teacher and author, has written, among other books, Our Jewish Roots and Mary: A Study of Papal Encyclicals on Mary. Her fiction book, Elizabeth: A Holy Land Pilgrimage, is a fascinating novel about a woman's midlife flight to the Holy Land as she questions her marriage and her life, learning about the matriarchs of our faith like Sarah and Rachel, as well as the true nature of agape love on her pilgrimage of a lifetime.
Dickow says the authors at Bezalel Books are men and women who have taken the 'new springtime of evangelization' to heart and have responded. They aren’t in positions of power where their names can open doors; rather, they are the simplest and most humble of people who have prayed and discerned to know God’s call upon their lives.
"Each and every one of them is a truly gifted writer and has brought to me work that I am proud to publish; work that I have enjoyed reading and can recommend to others with full confidence. Without exception each is a work that entertains, edifies and enlightens and I am honored to give them a platform," she notes.
Dickow feels blessed that her authors are not those whose vanity propels them forward, wanting to see their name in print and their words bound together for profit or for gain. Rather, for them, it is always about serving God and uplifting brothers and sisters in Christ in compelling prose.
"They rightfully believe that this time in our Church isn’t about just a few being called but about all of us being called to step up and serve with our God-given gifts and talents. It is a time for each of us to open a door for another, through whatever means or situation in which God has put us," says Dickow.
Works this year have included incredible titles like He Shall Be Peace by Jennifer Franks and Finding Grace by Laura Pearl. Finding Grace most recently received the prestigious Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval.
Dickow invites everyone to peruse the Bezalel Books bookstore to see many of their other fine titles for adults and children.
When people ask Dickow where she came up with the name "Bezalel" (pronounced Bez-a-lel), she reflects that she wanted the name to have meaning for her company, something that would relay who she was and what she hoped to accomplish as a Catholic publisher.
"Bezalel is Hebrew and means 'in the shadow of God.' It perfectly reflects my own faith walk and my goals for the company," she says. Dickow's humility is evident to those who know her: a quiet and deeply spiritual person who is content to do her own work for God in the shadow of God.
"I hope these authors encourage you to wonder and then respond to the question, 'What is God asking of me right now in this exciting time in our Church?'” she says.
For more information, visit www.bezalelbooks.com. You and your family may just find your next inspiring Catholic read there!