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2019 Spring Gift Guide
Looking for Catholic gifts for Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and for those receiving the sacraments? For Our Sunday Visitor’s 2019 Spring Gift Guide, we’ve found some of the best and latest in gifts that help foster the Faith — anything from saintly phone accessories, that perfect morning coffee mug, Rosary edition playing cards or updated votive candles.
Lori Hadacek Chaplin writes from Idaho.
Himalayan Flower Kashmiri Eggs
Make your child’s Easter basket beautiful with these vibrantly colored wooden eggs hand painted by artisans in the Kashmir region of India. Every purchase through Catholic Relief Services aids artisans living in remote areas.
Price: $24 (set of 3)
Milk Chocolate Speckled Eggs
From Divine Chocolate come these yummy, fair-trade, premium milk- chocolate eggs. The eggs are solid and dipped in candy shell — in shades of green, yellow, pink and orange — with brown speckles to make them look like real bird’s eggs. Each bag contains approximately 18 eggs. According to Serrv International, which works in partnership with Catholic Relief Services, “Divine [Chocolate] benefits 85,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana, enabling them to receive premiums for their beans, fund community projects like wells and schools, and participate in business decisions.”
Price: $6.99 (6 oz.)
“To Hear His Voice: A Mass Journal for Catholic Kids”
“To Hear His Voice: A Mass Journal for Catholic Kids” is a quarterly journal designed for children who struggle to pay attention during Mass. The dynamic book created by Ginny Kochis makes the Mass more accessible for children and helps them to reflect on and to better understand the readings for Sunday Mass. The journal includes prompts about the readings for children to ponder and to help them make connections between the Faith and the Bible. There’s also a weekly examen page to prepare children for going to confession. The book is designed for use both within and outside the context of the liturgy.
Holy Heroes Rosary Edition Playing Cards
Collectors of playing cards know that there’s every design imaginable for decks. Holy Heroes has jumped on the bandwagon and designed a Rosary Edition of premium playing cards featuring images of the Holy Family and the Holy Spirit. For example, the aces have graphics of the Holy Spirit on them, the kings have different depictions of Christ the King, the queens feature the Blessed Virgin, and the jacks are St. Joseph. Also, each suit represents one of the four sets of Mysteries of the Rosary. Includes a set of two decks — one in blue and the other in red.
“Saints Chronicles” Series
The perfect Easter gift for both boys and girls, the Saints Chronicles Collection (1-4) offers a glimpse at the lives of 20 saintly men and women. Each graphic novel features dramatic portrayals of five saints — popular and obscure — including Sts. Willibrord, Ava, Charles Lwanga, Anne Line, Joan of Arc and Dominic.
Price: $14.95 (single paperback), $59.80 (for the set of four)
Works of Mercy Game
The Works of Mercy Game from Holy Heroes is a way for children to become more familiar with the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Using provided illustrated cards, kids ages 4 and up can play “Go Fish,” “Old Maid” and two other games. A Works of Mercy picture book and coloring book also are available.
“Will Wilder: The Amulet of Power” Audiobook
The third in the nail-biting Will Wilder series, “The Amulet of Power” audiobook is narrated by author Raymond Arroyo — news director and lead anchor for EWTN News. Twelve-year-old Will Wilder’s desire to make the Perilous Falls Middle School football team leads him down the wrong path when he steals an amulet with a lock of the biblical Samson’s hair. Will gains superhuman physical strength, but he also alerts an evil that’s bent on destroying his family and his town. “The Amulet of Power” is fun and scary, and it teaches about responsibility and friendship. The book is stand-alone, so young readers do not have to have read the first two books. Suitable for ages 11 and up.
Gifts for Sacraments
Soy Prayer Votive
Providential, a company out of Texas, has created an updated version of the votive candle. Their candles have modern-looking graphics paired with a prayer on the back of the candle. Each premium-grade — 100-percent natural soy wax — candle has a clean-burning cotton/paper-core wick that burns for approximately 90 hours. Choose from the Sacred Heart of Jesus (frankincense blend), Our Lady of Walsingham (rosemary), Our Lady of Guadalupe (rose petals), St. Joseph (citrus and pine), St. Catherine of Siena (blackberry frankincense) and St. Thomas Aquinas (rosemary) scented candles. All of the candle’s aromas are made with phthalate-free fragrance oil, and they also come unscented. They are the perfect gift for baptisms, first Communions, confirmations, weddings and ordinations.
“My Baptism Book”
“My Baptism Book” by Sophie Piper (Paraclete Press) is so popular that it’s in its 15th printing. Included among the sweetly illustrated pages are psalms, Bible stories and prayers for children. From the start, Piper’s words teach a child that he or she is loved by God. “Before I was made, God loved me. When I was born, God loved me. Now I am here, God loves me. Forever and ever God loves me.” “My Baptism Book” is a keepsake that a child will cherish and want to read over and over. It features a dedication page for the child’s name, date of baptism, names of godparents and a line to write the name of the person bestowing the gift.
Miraculous Medal Leather Choker
From artist Jill Simons at Pink Salt Riot is this adjustable black leather choker with a tiny silver Miraculous medal. Simons says if one of her creations reminds a person to pray, “I will be grateful for the opportunity to cooperate with God in that soul for that moment.” Each necklace comes with a “Mother Mary Pray for Us” card.
Junior Saints Litany of Saints Pillowcase
The Junior Saints Litany of Saints Pillowcase — designed by the Catholic Company — makes a cute gift for baptisms or first Communions. The pillowcase, made from soft cotton, features 16 saints, including St. Thérèse of Lisieux, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Our Lady of Fatima, St. Joseph and other saints with the text, “All you holy men and women, pray for us.”
Religious Medal Lambskin Leather Bracelet
Looking for a unique confirmation gift? This handmade Lambskin Leather Bracelet links a bronze twin medal of the Sacred Heart and Miraculous Medal and a tiny dangling St. Benedict medal. Comes in brown, gray or yellow. Adjustable to fit wrists with a circumference of 6-8 inches.
“Road Signs for Catholic Teens”
Using driving as an analogy, “Road Signs for Catholic Teens” talks to teens about heavy spiritual topics in an accessible — but not preachy — manner. For example, the first four chapters, each written by different authors, cover what it means to take up one’s cross, relativism, the narrow path to heaven, and the near occasion of sin — an all-but- forgotten topic. The book doesn’t just point out potential sins to the reader; it offers practical ways to avoid those potholes and slippery spots everyone encounters on the road trip of life. “Road Signs for Catholic Teens” also includes discussion questions to ponder. All in all, this book is the perfect gift for the newly confirmed.
The Catholic Planner
A gift that every conscientious student will appreciate, The Academic Catholic Planner (August 2019 through July 2020) helps students to remember both assignments and what’s happening in the liturgical year. The planner includes the Mass readings, saints’ feast days and holy days of obligation, in addition to pages for brainstorming, listing priorities, classes, to-do lists, prayer lists and notes. Choose from black, pink, navy blue, wine red, turquoise and violet.
Chocolate for Mother’s Day & Gifts for Sacraments
Personalize a sweet treat for moms or those receiving the sacraments. Packaged in the design of your choice is a massive 2-pound bar of premium Belgium milk chocolate or a 45-piece assortment of engraved dark and light Belgium chocolate. In addition to RCIA or confirmation designs, Zazzle has decorative and personalized packaging especially for Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and even designs for priest ordinations. For Mother’s Day, we recommend the Our Lady of Schoenstatt design.
MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS
Marian Cross T-shirt
A pretty tee is difficult to resist. Designer Katerina Deem has created a T-shirt that she hopes will remind Catholics of our Blessed Mother and “enrich and support the journey of faith of Catholics.” The cotton blend T-shirt comes in navy blue. Also check out Deem’s free printable calligraphy lessons on her blog.
“A Prayer Book for Catholic Women”
In “A Prayer Book for Catholic Women: Traditional and Contemporary Prayer for Every Season of Life,” author Agnes M. Kovacs calls her book a prayer primer. She provides an introduction to different forms of prayer while inviting the reader into a deeper spirituality. The book is organized around the seasons and includes traditional, contemporary and original prayers written by Kovacs, and she mentions praying with visual art and music. “Praying with art from different eras and cultures can offer a new appreciation for a story that has become too familiar,” she writes, adding that music engages the whole being and has the power to help connect us with the transcendent.
Price: $14.95 (hardcover)
“Pray a Latte” Mug
For moms who like an extra-large cup of coffee or tea, The Catholic Company’s 16-ounce cobalt-blue ceramic “Pray a Latte” mug is calling her name — especially with the personalized touch of adding a name to the mug.
Price: $17.95 (extra $15 for personalization)
“Praying for You” Greeting Cards
These lovely “Praying for You” cards feature flowers painted in watercolor by Lindsay Trezza. We like them because they’re versatile and can be used for many occasions since the inside is blank. Choose from three colors or a variety pack.
Price: $4.25 (individual card), $34 (pack of 12 cards with envelopes)
“Death by Minivan”
“Death by Minivan” is a book for Catholic moms written by Heather
Anderson Renshaw, a mom of five children. Using her own amusing and relatable experiences, Renshaw takes us on a metaphorical road trip describing how moms can live out the fruits of the Holy Spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control — amid the vocation of motherhood despite any failings.
Black Custom Pocket Rosary/Chaplet
This pocket rosary or chaplet is made from black oval-agate beads and a marbled-gray jasper bead for the “Our Father,” measuring 8 inches long. Other colors are available, such as green jade and blue aquamarine. Buyers can choose between two crosses (a straight cross or a four-way cross) and many saint medals, including Sts. Anthony, Benedict, Joseph, Michael and Padre Pio, making it the perfect personalized gift for any man in your life.
St. Benedict Medal Pop-up Phone Holder
Always keep St. Benedict close to your dad or grandfather with this Benedictine Medal Pop-Up Phone Holder. The expandable holder functions as a stand for viewing a video, video chatting or reading.
Twelve Apostles Crucifix
Looking for a gift with a big impact for dad? From the Joseph’s Studio collection is this unusual 12″ resin crucifix featuring icon-style pictures of the 12 apostles — three on each side of the cross.
Eucharistic Adoration Prayer Book
Newly released from Pauline Press is the Eucharistic Adoration Prayer Book written by Sister Marie-Paul Curley, FSP, and compiled by Sister Mary Mark Wickenhiser, FSP. Bound with soft, brick-red leatherette, the book contains prayers, litanies, Scripture passages, meditations and hymns to help dad contemplate Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Also included in the book are a framework of prayers to pray during seven different hours of adoration.
“Small Things with Great Love”
Maybe you know a dad who’s trying to get his life back on track. Give him “Small Things with Great Love” by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle — a pocket-sized nine-day novena prayer guide, which features a reflection on Mother Teresa’s deeds and words and a corresponding novena prayer. St. Teresa of Calcutta said, “The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody.”