Our newest book is finally here…and what and adventure it has been! In what I have found to be a continual trend with God in my life (and in particular with our business), God has reminded me that He is in charge and has given me an opportunity to trust in Him and not myself. And now through it all I can joyfully say, My First Church Tour is now available to purchase! Preorders have gone out today and orders are now live! So what is this adventure that we experienced? Let me take you back just over 2 weeks ago…
It was a Wednesday and I had just received word from our printer that the books were printed and they had sent a sample copy for final approval that would arrive the next day. All that was left was to sign off on the sample and the full shipment would be shortly behind. Everything was going as planned, then came the snow. The sample was delayed 3 days, but that wasn’t the end of it. After the sample finally arrived and the full shipment was on its way, the snow came again and the books were delayed by another 4 days. It finally seemed like things were on track, but then came the last thing I expected. The day before the books were to arrive I tested positive for COVID. Needless to say, things were again put on hold for another 10 days (we were blessed to have wonderful family receive our all our books on our behalf while we quarantined).I was blessed to have a mild case and for everyone else in the house to stay healthy. But when it was all said and done things were delayed for over 2 weeks which brings us to today.
But God’s timing is always better than our own (I have to remind myself of this regularly). Our first book, My First Catholic Words (order here), was delayed months when the pandemic began, but God had a plan, launching My First Catholic Words on the Feast of the Sacred Heart (our company logo). This time, we are not launching at the beginning of Lent as expected, but rather on March 1st, the beginning of the month dedicated to St. Joseph, in the year dedicated to St. Joseph. As a father, trying to witness my faith to my kids, building a company to strengthen other families, I can’t think of a better intercessor for this second endeavor for Joyful Little Catholics.
So, what is our new book all about? My First Church Tour is a follow-up to My First Catholic Words. This books builds on the terms and objects children learned to identify through our first book. Knowing words is a start, but it isn’t the end. We wanted to help kids go from recognizing and identifying common Catholic terms, to forming an understanding of those objects and parts of the church they worship in.
Each page of My First Church Tour takes the reader on a tour through a different section of a Catholic parish and gives a short child-friendly explanation of the area. It also includes an idea of how a child might interact and engage better in that area. Simple vibrant illustrations bring the parish to life and helps children to connect the book with their own parish.
Our hope is that this book will start conversations between children and parents as they explore and become interested in their Catholic faith. It is so easy for our parish churches to become just another routine place we go without ever really seeing the richness that is right in front of us and knowing how to help children engage in it. And if there was ever a time where we could use help in that area it is now, as our ability to attend Mass may be limited and many children aren't spending as much time as usual in their parish.
Zack Hinger is a husband and father of 3 girls. He worked in parish ministry for over 8 years in all ages of formation from preschool through adulthood. He has a B.A. from the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Theology and Catechetics. His passions are God, his family, and helping others journey towards a closer relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church.