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Catholic Connection Wins Awards!

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The Catholic Press Awards were held in Quebec on Friday, June 23, 2017, with Catholic publications from across North America competing in hundreds of categories. The Diocese of Shreveport’s Catholic Connection took home three awards this year!

Click the links to read the winning entries.

1. Best Coverage of Pro-Life Issues – 3rd Place (Writers – Bishop Michael Duca, Kim Long and Jessica Rinaudo)

2. Best Diocesan Bishop’s Column – 3rd Place (Writer – Bishop Duca)

3. Best Book Review Column – Honorable Mention (Writers – Kim Long,  Katie Sciba and Mike Van Vranken).

Congratulations to the Diocese of Shreveport and the Catholic Connection for a great showing on an international stage!

In Review: Divine Mercy for Moms by Michele Faehnle & Emily Jaminet

by Katie Sciba

The Year of Mercy is wrapping up and, to be honest, I had become so accustomed to hearing about our Church-wide celebration that my enthusiasm had worn off. Then I picked up Divine Mercy for Moms, which must have been God’s will, and realized that when it comes to Jesus and mercy, my heart has barely scratched the surface of either.

Let me start by saying this book makes the abstract idea of Divine Mercy accessible and real. As moms, it’s possible for us to receive mercy and in turn give it to others. I learned that I can perform the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy here in my home and I was encouraged to do so for my friends and fellow mamas.

Divine Mercy for Moms: Sharing the Lessons of St. Faustina by Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet begins appropriately with a historical snapshot of the story of a nun, Sr. Maria Faustina Kowalska, and the incredible apparitions she had of both Jesus and Mary. Her apparitions were so frequent in fact, that she was able to speak with our Lord as easily as a friend, with complete vulnerability. When Jesus charged her with the weighty task of conveying the Divine Mercy to the world and Sr. Faustina felt unsuitable. She was uneducated and lived in a small community where she had no influence, yet what she deemed to be inadequacies Jesus used to further reveal himself to humanity.

The story alone speaks to me as a wife and mom. I’m fully aware of my shortcomings and simplicities. I have wounds, habitual sins, hesitations and quirks like every other woman in the world; yet, as the book conveys, God will use these to move mountains. All I have to do is remain as close to Him as possible for strength and grace.

But to be close to somebody, there has to be trust. My favorite aspect of Divine Mercy for Moms is that among its initial chapters is one dedicated to increasing my trust in Jesus.

“But who has time to up their trust? I don’t have time to pray; and if I do, I’m completely wiped out by the kids and life in general that what I need is coffee, or a glass of wine. And a nap.”

Holiness isn’t something we reach for only in the stillness and quiet; if I waited around for that, I’d be a lost cause!

Ms. Jaminet wrote, “I felt [my vocation] was holding me back from growing spiritually… I soon discovered that each moment I gave to Christ with intentionality and love, I received not only the grace I needed to be a good mother, but true happiness as well.”

I felt so validated throughout this whole book. The authors spoke to the bliss, pain, needs and desires of motherhood, never taking for granted how much we mamas must give for our families. To be a mom is to be a servant to those we love most, and it’s a near guarantee that those we serve will never appreciate the depth of our devotion to them. It’s hard, endless work and Jesus pines to go through it with us. “[T]alk to me about everything,” Christ said to St. Faustina, “for my ears and heart are inclined towards you, and your words are dear to me.”

The end of the Year of Mercy is no time to drop the habit to pick up a new one. It’s a resolution! It’s a chance to keep it with us from here on out. As wives and mamas, we have a particular need to receive mercy in order to give it. I’m quite certain that with Divine Mercy for Moms, I’m ready with a manual on how to live it.