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Saints for moms: Author writes devotional book to refresh busy lives
October 26th, 2011
By Valerie Schmalz

A new book by a California blogger is aimed at helping mothers be better people – by reflecting on the lives and writings of saints who have special meaning for mothers.

“I do believe that society often has an impression of saints that they lived pious lives separated from the struggles and realities that so many of us face in our day to day world,” said Lisa Hendey, who blogs at and whose previous book was “The Handbook for Catholic Moms.”

“A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body, and Soul” (Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, Ind. 2011) profiles 52 saints for the 52 weeks of the year, with daily spiritual readings or ideas for each day of the week. The book is intended to be read individually or to be used as family reading. It was published just in time for All Saints’ Day.

“I find great hope in reading these stories and great joy in sharing them with other moms,” said Hendey, who said she has been reading the lives of the saints every day for many years, using a well-thumbed book on saints that her mother gave her father in 1975. Among the saints profiled, some well-known, some obscure, are St. Josephine Bakhita, St. Francis De Sales, and St. Mother Theodore Guerin as well as Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph.

“In researching the lives of women like St. Gianna Beretta Molla or St. Margaret Clitherow, busy, working moms with families and responsibilities, we can find timeless themes that show they shared our same challenges and that their faith was their personal path to sanctity,” said Hendey in an email interview with Catholic San Francisco.

“A Book of Saints” is commended by Jesuit Father James Martin, who writes that it is a book “every mother (and father, son and daughter, too) will find accessible, inviting, and above all, useful.”

Hendy’s book intersperses personal reflections with biographical information about the saints, activities for moms and children based on the lives of the saints and a family prayer to each saint.

She said it offers moms spiritual intercessors and role models but also presents the information in a way that is manageable with a mom’s busy schedule and that can be adapted into a daily devotional time.

A mom “can spend a few quiet moments learning from, praying through the intercession of and sharing the wonderful stories of these holy men and women,” said the Fresno-based author, who is married with two sons.

“I don’t know that moms ‘need more help’ than the average Catholic, but the truth is that moms are so busy serving everyone around them that at times they may not have time for personal prayer time,” Hendey said.

“It was amazing to me in researching the saints covered in the book and in reflecting upon my own personal relationships with them, how relevant their lives are to our own,” she said.


From October 28, 2011 issue of Catholic San Francisco.



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