Saturday, November 28, 2020

The Vatican Christmas Cookbook, by David Geisser and Thomas Kelly, Sophia Institute Press, 2020.

Book review by Rosa M. Sautner, Catholic Homeschooling Mom of Two. 

 



A sequel to The Vatican Cookbook also by David Geisser, this Christmas edition is worthy of its name. Exquisitely illustrated, with delicious, inspiring recipes, this gorgeous cookbook deserves a place of honor in your kitchen. 

The recipes are categorized into Advent, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Christmas around the World, and Epiphany recipes. Some of the outstanding recipes include: Pumpkin Soup Amaretto, Polish Borscht, Filet Mignon with Racy Pepper Sauce, Roasted Trout with Fennel and Baguette, Ricotta Lemon Ravioli, Maple Cream Cake, and Chocolate Cake Surprise. 

Between the pages of the more than seventy recipes you will find full-color photographs of the Swiss Guards, the Vatican, four of the Popes, religious paintings, and an illustration of every recipe in the cookbook. 

For that very special cook in your life (or for yourself!), this is the perfect gift. Beautifully bound, delightfully illustrated, and filled with delicious recipes, this is one of the most beautiful cookbooks I have ever seen.  

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The Spider Who Saved Christmas, by Raymond Arroyo, Illustrated by Randy Gallegos, Sophia Institute Press, 2020.

Book review by Rosa M. Sautner, Catholic Homeschooling Mom of two. 

 


by Raymond Arroyo, a New York Times Best-Selling Author, spins a magical tale in this story about The Spider Who Saved Christmas. Sweet and inspiring, this story explains the meaning of the Christmas tinsel, and gives a lesson of seeing God's action and providence in the most insignificant details and dark moments of our lives. 

The tale is captivating and the illustrations haunting. This splendidly told legend will inspire and move its young readers. It will make a cherished addition to your family's Christmas book collection.  

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The Grumpy Old Ox by Anthony DeStefano., Illustrated by Richard Cowdrey, Sophia Institute Press, 2020.

 by Rosa M. Sautner:  Catholic Homeschooling mom of two.


 

This is another delightful book by Anthony DeStefano.  This rhyming picture book is the tale of a blind, disgruntled ox who comes to learn the meaning of unselfishness in the birth of the Savior on that cold night in Bethlehem so many years ago.

    With colorful illustrations and easy cadence, this new Christmas book will surely be a favorite addition to your family's Christmas book collection.


 

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Sophia Press is having a BIG Black Friday Sale: Ends November 30, 2020

 


Consumers get 35% off and free shipping with promotion code: BLACKFRIDAY35.

The sale ends, Monday 11/30.


Saturday, November 14, 2020

A Family Guide to Spiritual Warfare by Kathleen Beckman, L.H.S., Sophia Institute Press, 2020.

 Reviewed by Rosa Sautner, a Catholic  homeschooling mother of two.

 

In a letter to Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, then Archbishop of Bologna, Italy, Sister Lucia dos Santos, one of the three seers of Fatima said, ‘The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about Marriage and the Family.’ (CNA. (2016). Fatima visionary predicted 'final battle' would be over marriage, family.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/fatima-visionary-predicted-final-battle-would-be-over-marriage-family-17760)

    It is no surprise then that we are seeing such unrelenting attacks on marriage, the family, and children.  We are in a warfare, the battle between good and evil, between Christ and the devil.

    Kathleen Beckman has done families a great service by compiling this resource of strategies and prayers for protecting families against the attacks of the devil.  

    In this book the reader will find "Five Common Entryways for Demons" (p. 54), "The Six Categories of Demonic Activity" (p. 91), "The Ten Commandments and The Diabolical Counterparts" (p. 127), and "Unmasking Diabolical Disguises" (p. 173.)

    Chapter 8, "Unmasking Dangerous Diabolical Disguises" is exceptionally useful in explaining some common ways that the devil insinuates himself into the lives of unsuspecting people who sometimes unwittingly play the devil's game.

    A particularly instructive and rather chilling part of the book is Appendix B "Family Deliverance Case Histories," where Kathleen Beckman explains how certain sins can draw down the influence of the devil in a family.

    This book is highly recommended and I would go so far as to say that it should be required reading for every family today.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

ACN announces $120,000 emergency aid for jihadist-plagued Mozambique

 


CABO DELGADO, the northernmost province of Mozambique, has been going through great turmoil ever since October 2017. In a series of more than 600 brutal attacks in nine separate districts, armed insurgents, who claim allegiance to the Islamic State, as well as in counter attacks by the national security forces, it is estimated that more than 2,000 people have been killed, while over 310,000 others have been forced to flee their homes.

 

The most recent massacres by the group calling itself “Islamic State in Central Africa” (ISCA) are just now coming to light: on Nov. 8, alleged jihadists are reported to have attacked the small town of Muidumbe, beheading and dismembering the bodies of dozens of people in a local football stadium.  Also reported is the massacre of more than 15 children and young people, along with their adult tutors, who were preparing them to take part in the traditional initiation rites of the Makonde tribe.

 

“It seems as though they are trying to evict the entire population of the northern part of Cabo Delgado province, expelling the ordinary people without the slightest vestige of compassion,” Sister Blanca Nubia Zapata told Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). She was speaking from Pemba, the capital of Cabo Delgado Province.

 

“More than 12,000 people have arrived here in the past two weeks. We cannot keep up. Women and children are arriving, and older people who have been walking for days. Some have died on the way, on the roads and the forest tracks.”

 

“It is 115 miles, but you can’t imagine what our ‘roads’ are like; it’s terribly difficult walking along these tracks, and across the countryside, three or four days on end without food, without water, carrying their children on their back. There are women who have given birth on the road,” said Sister Blanca, a member of the Theresian Carmelites of Saint Joseph.

 

In the last few weeks hundreds of small boats have been arriving by sea. Whether in boats or canoes, the people are desperate to escape the barbarous killings. “We are doing all we can. Very often we can do no more than listen, ask how they are feeling and listen to them. They’ve left everything behind, hoping to escape with their lives,” said the sister.

 

“All they want to do is to get away from there; they are simply terrified. Many of the families have asked our help, and we have rescued the families of the children at the school, with immense difficulty, with private vehicles and the help of third parties,” Sister Blanca recounted.

 

Around a week ago, in a video by Caritas Mozambique that was sent to ACN, Bishop Luiz Fern├índez Lisboa, the bishop of Pemba, describes the situation as seen from Paquitequete, a suburb of Pemba, on the coast: “Already there are around 12,000 refugees who have arrived and they are continuing to arrive. Some are coming in the wake of the attacks they have suffered, while others have fled in advance because they are afraid.”

“When they arrive here, they have nowhere to sleep; there are just blankets and makeshift shelters, and still there is no place that has been designated for accommodating them. Some people have been taken in by local families, whether because they have relatives here or simply because people are moved by their situation and have taken people into their homes.”

 

“It is an extremely difficult situation and hundreds of people are simply sleeping here on the beach. Sadly, there have been some people who have died on the journey, in some cases because these people spent two or three days in boats, at sea, and arrived sick and dehydrated.”

 

“This is a desperate humanitarian situation, for which we are asking, indeed begging the help and solidarity of the international community,” Bishop Lisboa said.

“Following this appeal from the bishops, we want to help the Diocese of Pemba and the neighboring dioceses with emergency aid—for a total of $120,000 for the victims of Cabo Delgado, on top of the projects we are already sponsoring in the dioceses for its priests and religious.”

 

“In addition to this aid, for blankets, clothing, food, basic hygiene products, and also seeds and tools—whatever is needed—we want to help ease the worst of the suffering and trauma. So, we have already set up a program for diocesan teams to provide psychological support and counseling to the traumatized refugees in the parishes,” said Regina Lynch, head of the projects department at ACN International.

 

“It looks as though there is finally some international attention being paid to this long-running and largely forgotten tragedy over many long and painful months. Already back in February, ACN published an exclusive interview with Bishop Fern├índez Lisboa about the crisis and the fear the people were suffering. They have burned down churches and destroyed convents, and also abducted two Sisters.”

 

“Almost nobody has paid any attention to this new focus of terror and jihadist violence in Africa, which is affecting everybody, both Christians and Muslims alike. Let us hope that there will finally be a response to this crisis in northern Mozambique, for the sake of the poorest and most abandoned,” said Ms. Lynch.

 

—Maria Lozano

 

 

With picture of displaced people in Cabo Delgado (© ACN)

 

 

Editor’s Notes:

 

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Directly under the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need.  ACN is a Catholic charity - helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.

 

Founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope John Paul II named “An Outstanding Apostle of Charity,” the organization is now at work in over 145 countries throughout the world.

 

The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, 43 million Aid to the Church in Need Child’s Bibles have been distributed worldwide.

 

For more information contact Michael Varenne at michael@churchinneed.org or call 718-609-0939 or fax 718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384.  www.churchinneed.org

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

ACN-USA News - Nigeria - ‘Our land is now a pool of blood’

 

n an October 1 message marking the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence from British rule, Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto was harshly critical of the country’s President Mohammadu Buhari, faulting him for failing to rein in ongoing violence, much of it targeting Christians.

 

“Where are the Chibok daughters? Where is Leah Sharibu? Who are the sponsored murderers who have overrun our land? Our land is now a pool of blood. Mr. President, please reset the clock before it is too late.”

 

“I pray for you that God will touch your heart so that you embrace the ideals of those who came before you. This is not the Nigeria they dreamt of,” said the bishop in the statement sent to Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

 

Against the backdrop of the killing of Christian farmers by largely Muslim Fulani herdsmen, the prelate added that in violation of the Constitution, “nepotism has become the new ideology of this government. In following this ideology it is estimated that the President has handed over 85 percent of the key positions to northern Muslims and has ensured that men of his faith hold tight to the reins of power in the most critical areas of our national life; the National Assembly and Security Agencies!”

 

Bishop Kukah charged that the “President has been quite diligent and focused in the pursuit of an agenda that is clearly alien to the aspirations and hopes of our people across religious lines. Nigeria was nothing like this before he came. How long will this lie last before it melts in our faces? We are living a lie and we know it.”

 

“In Nigeria, governance is a criminal enterprise, not a call to service,” the bishop said.

 

Full message received by ACN in English can be read here:

 

—Joop Koopman

 

 

With picture of Bishop Kukah (© J. Nicholls/ACN)

 

 

Editor’s Notes:

 

kin-logo red 10mm rgb

 

Directly under the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need.  ACN is a Catholic charity - helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.

 

Founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope John Paul II named “An Outstanding Apostle of Charity,” the organization is now at work in over 145 countries throughout the world.

 

The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, 43 million Aid to the Church in Need Child’s Bibles have been distributed worldwide.

 

For more information contact Michael Varenne at michael@churchinneed.org or call 718-609-0939 or fax 718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384.  www.churchinneed.org