Saturday, August 19, 2006

Footnote to review of Catholic Mosaic

I wanted to mention that Cay Gibson's Catholic Mosaic - which is an awesome resource on using picture books for the liturgical year, has a few recommended titles that have some apparent oddities about them (and I fully admit to being fussy about books).

It has been brought to my attention that A Peek into My Church by Wendy Good & Veronica Kelly, Mother Teresa by Demi and I Sing a Song of the Saints of God by Lesbia Scott and Judith Gwyn Brown are three that you might want to take a closer look at before using with your children. The third book, in particular, errs in its inclusion of John Donne.


JennGM said...

I'm extremely fussy, too. But can you elaborate and give specifics? I feel like you've left me hanging here.

I'm familiar with two out of three titles. Mother Teresa is squeaky clean in my viewing, and I just reread to check. Is it because some people object to her being beatified and possibly canonized? I can't see anything else there.

"A Peek into My Church" is a resource we love, but dislike a few phrases here and there. I just correct phrases I don't like, such as "altar table" to "altar" and other places. But this has enhanced appreciation of attending Mass with my almost 3 yo. He has learned to identify the priest's vestments and vessels, parts of the church, always looking for the baptismal font, and has learned the sign of the cross well through this book.

Love2Learn Mom said...

A very fair question!!!

I haven't seen any of these three books all the way through yet, just trying to piece together some info and be sure that it's accurate.

I've talked to a number of moms who disliked A Peek into My Church. Overall thoughts seemed to lean towards it being twaddly - not particularly beautiful, etc. as well as some conflicts (albeit subtle) with the rubrics of the Church as set out at Vatican II.

The Mother Teresa book looks gorgeous and quite reverent from the sample pages I've seen. I'll probably use it with my children at some point, though there is at least one sentence that would benefit from some clarification. That sentence is: "It was these miracle that proved to Mother Teresa the existence of God and the importance of her life's work." Inaccurate certainly, but pretty minor in the context of the book, from what I understand. It would be quite interesting, I think, to discuss this with my kids in terms of the respect that non-Catholics have for Mother Teresa.

The Saint book was written by an Episcopalian and, as far as I know, is unobjectionable except for the inclusion of John Donne. It's hard to explain this one clearly and fairly (which is partly why I'm a little uneasy about bringing it up in a picture book with kids). We certainly don't know that he's not in Heaven, but I'm also not ready to proclaim him a saint to my kids. He has a long and complicated history that includes growing up Catholic and clearly and very publicly rejecting the faith.

Hope that helps!


Cajun Cay said...

These books and the criteria of Mosaic book selections has been addressed here:

Also, Catholic Mosaic now has a blog to address the beauty (as well as any concerns or questions) of these books:

Christine said...


Thank you for bringing Donne's past to my attention in your comments. His past was never mentioned in my Catholic high school or college courses. I appreciate the FYI. Still, while I wouldn't portray him as a saint, I do think that his poetry is good.

Love2Learn Mom said...

Thanks, Christine. I strongly agree that we shouldn't reject works of literature, poetry or art because of the life of the artist.