Review: TAN’s Saints Calendar & 16-Month Planner 2019

In anticipation of my Europe Pilgrimage in March, as you may have noticed, my recent posts have reflected Catholic travel items and this post is continues with that theme. As my trip quickly approaches I have been planning for a memorable and packed 2019 year.

If anyone knows me well, they know that I prefer paper and pencil when it comes to dates rather than using my phone. All dates on my Google Calendar are transferred into a hard copy planner. For some time, I have been experimenting with several planners from yearly planners, academic planners, monthly planners… the type varied from year to year. However, there is a pain when you go to Dollarama or Walmart to get a planner: you can’t get one with the Liturgical days and you have to write all the saints days by hand.

At the end of August, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and found a post on TAN’s Saints Calendar & 16-Month Planner. I immediately contacted TAN books and was in awe by the planner when it arrived weeks later, just days after the academic year started.

Taking the planner out of the package, I am greeted with St. Veronica, based on its description is an oil on canvas painting by Lorenzo Costa in 1508.

At first, I thought that  TAN’s Saints Calendar & 16-Month Planner was simply a weekly planner. I was wrong. I am going to outline the contents of this packed planner:

  • The Angelus and Regina Caeli Prayers printed in the inside front cover for easy access
  • Saints’ days and non-movable feasts in the calendar
  • List of patron saints
  • List of the 36 Doctors of the Church and 14 Holy Helpers
  • Monthly Calendars
  • Weekly planner section
  • 2018-2019 “Year at a glance” section
  • Holy days and holidays in 2018, 2019 and 2020 lists
  • Notes section
  • Catholic ID cards and pocket 2019 calendars (2)
  • 2020 and 2021 calendars

Wow, certainly a packed calendar. Some of the features here can speak for themselves but I want to go through the monthly and weekly planners themselves:

Monthly planner: Fair amount of space to put your own notes in the boxes. It indicates the Solemnities and important feast days of the year and even includes the “fish” symbols on Fridays as reminder of abstinence and a different coloured fish for fasting and abstinence days.

Weekly planner: At the beginning of each week, a short biography of a saint is introduced. Some saints are well known while some less known than others. Unlike the monthly planner calendars, the weekly planners contain not only the Solemnities and Feasts but also the days of the saints in three categories of calendars: the historical calendar, the traditional calendar and the new calendar. Therefore, this planner is not only ideal for “new” Catholics, post-Vatican II but ideal for traditional Catholics. On a practical level, I like the large numbers and the ample space for notes since I am a note-taking guy.

One mistake I found was March 19. Instead of indicating the 19, it indicates 29 instead. I looked to that date in the calendar since March 19 is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, my baptismal patron. That was the only error I found in the calendar.

One recommendation I would make is to add the Liturgical colour of the day. I know that with the many saints in the calendar, it may be somewhat difficult to do so, but perhaps after the name of the feast/the saint of either the new or traditional Liturgy, in brackets, the Liturgical colour could be indicated. For example, for the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the Liturgical colour could be indicated with a (W):

The Presentation of the Lord (New, Trad.) (W)

Like most planners in stores, this planner is spiral-bound. This allows the planner to lay flat on one’s desk.

Generally looking at the date range, I like how it is both an academic and annual planner since it has weekly planning pages and calendars from September 2018-December 2019. This allows for a longer planning range.

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On The Catholic Man’s Scale

★★★★☆ 4/5

This is a very good, packed Catholic planner with ample space for your own notes and needs. It is also a great devotional tool that will help Catholics grow closer in devotion to the Saints.

Purchase a copy of the planner HERE from TAN Books

Stay tuned for many more reviews from The Catholic Man, especially in these months leading up to my Europe pilgrimage and Christmas Gifts series!

 

 

 

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Q & A: Catholic Bible 365 Challenge

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I have announced over the summer on various social media pages that starting September 30th, 2018, I will be challenge myself to read the Bible in 365 days. However, I wanted to open the challenge up to others. Today, I want to deliver a blog post that pertains to this challenge. Unlike other posts, I will do it in Q & A form for easy reference.

What is the Catholic Bible 365 Challenge? The Catholic Bible 365 Challenge is a program that will help Catholics worldwide read the Catholic Bible in 365 Days. It is a “challenge” spiritually. It is a call to be committed both to prayer and to reading the Bible.

Why should I participate in Catholic Bible 365 ChallengeThe Bible is a book that should be read in its entirety at least once in a Catholic’s lifetime. Have you ever read the Bible in its entirety yet? This is not a page skimming, but a sincere challenge for oneself to set aside 15 to 30 minutes a day everyday for a year to read the Word of God. In a world where we are so distracted by technology, we tend to make excuses for not fulfilling prayer time or reading scripture. However, “Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ,” said St. Jerome. To not set aside time reading scripture, we put Christ to the sidelines of our life.

Who are in invited to participate in Catholic Bible 365 ChallengeEveryone is invited to participate in this challenge, Catholic or non-Catholic, Christian or non-Christian.

Is there a sign up sheet or form? No, you may “like” the official Facebook page (@CatholicBible365), or you may let this challenge be one just between you and your friends and God. This is not a contest, but a challenge for that will benefit one’s spiritual life.

When does the Catholic Bible 365 Challenge start? The Catholic Bible 365 Challenge starts on September 30th, 2018, the memorial of St. Jerome. St. Jerome is the translator of the Vulgate Bible into Latin. He is a saint of scripture and had a deep love for the Word of God. The challenge will end on September 30th, 2019.

Which Bible will you use for the Catholic Bible 365 ChallengeThroughout the duration of the challenge, I will use two copies of the same translation, the New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE). One is Oxford’s Catholic Study Bible Third Edition, which I reviewed back in 2016. I don’t want to skim through the Bible, but I want to read it thoroughly and read the footnotes at the bottom of the Bible. However, I will be on several trips and retreats this year and it is not feasible to bring along a thick Study Bible. Instead, on such occasions, I will be using Catholic Book Publishing’s St. Joseph Edition of the New American Bible Personal Size Gift Edition which I will review in the near future on The Catholic Man Reviews. I have always liked the NABRE because of its detailed footnotes and it brings me assurance that the this translation is an approved translation by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. I do have the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Catholic Edition on my shelf, which is the official Lectionary translation in Canada. However, the lack of notes in that version steers me away from it. The NRSV though is a more ecumenical translation, used by a wider population of Christians in different denominations. It does not matter which Catholic translation. Just make sure it is a Catholic translation. Non-Catholic translations may not bear some books, the Apocrypha and its notes may be misleading for Catholics.

I don’t have a Catholic Study Bible. What other resources can I use? There are many Catholic Bible resources available online including:

How do I make time to read scripture? “What would happen if we turned back when we forget it, if we opened it more times a day, if we read the message of God contained in the Bible the way we read messages on our cellphones?” Pope Francis asked the people on a Sunday Angelus in March 2017. We constantly make excuses why we leave our bibles out to collect dust. We put aside out phone and/or social media when we want to do something we like, such as watching a movie or playing sports. When it comes to faith-related activities, we tend to procrastinate. Make God the centre of our lives. When we do that, we let the celebration of Mass, prayer, and scripture reading sink into souls and it is only then do we understand and love what we do as Catholics.

Is there a prize for completing the challengeNo, there is no material prize for completing this challenge. Rather, there is a spiritual prize: When one sets aside time to read scripture everyday, one gets to know God and His Church better. A lot of what we do in Catholicism derive from scripture. For example, reading Leviticus, one can see some parallels of the ancient rituals with today’s liturgical practices. Ultimately,  when we set prayer and scripture at the centre of our lives, we will see changes in the way we act, see and live among God’s people.

How do I know what passage to read each day? I found a chart online, which I reformatted to fit one page. This can be printed, folded in quarters and slipped into your Bible. Find the PDF here:

Feel free to print as many copies as you need, and share it with others so that others can join you in the challenge!

Please share the Catholic Bible 365 Challenge so that your friends and others can may want to join you!

Throughout the duration of the challenge, many aids and videos will be shared on the Official Facebook Page (@catholicbible365), or simply click here:

www.bit.ly/catholicbible365

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Review: Sunday Cool Custom Christian Apparel

Note: As summer starts wrapping up, The Catholic Man reviewing more frequently before things get back on the roll during the school year. Thank you to all companies and publishers who have allowed me to review their products and services.

Image result for sunday coolI never heard of Sunday Cool until I was looking for possibilities of custom made t-shirts. However, I bumped into http://www.sundaycool.com and saw some pretty cool products and designs. Sunday Cool is a fairly “young” company, established with the name Sunday Cool only two years ago in 2016.

Sunday Cool sent me a sample of one of their t-shirts, two stickers and two woothoops. 

First, I want to remark on their website, http://www.sundaycool.com. I really like the clean, simple design which is customer friendly, easy to navigate. I also like the use of modern fonts, making the site attractive. This simplicity and modernity seems to be reflected in Sunday Cool’s artwork for their clients.

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Unlike the review I did for Totally Catholic Tees, I didn’t pose with this t-shirt, because the t-shirt was too large… x-large size. I only wear medium-sized shirts and I didn’t want to misrepresent Sunday Cool‘s products, so I thought it was best to display the t-shirt as it is. Some remarks I have to make about the t-shirt:

  • I looked at the tag on the insider of the t-shirt and found that it was a totally custom made tag, with Sunday Cool on it, no Gildan or Fruit of the Loom. Sunday Cool has their own line of t-shirts.
  • I really like the texture of the t-shirt. It is super soft. I have used many Gildan brand t-shirts and unlike them, Sunday Cool shirts are much softer.
  • The design on the shirt is not “stiff” compared to the many screen printed t-shirts I have been given at retreats. The screen printing ink used by Sunday Cool is said to be, “water based”.

This would be a t-shirt that I would want to wear during the summer.

Sunday Cool also sent me two woothoops. At first, When I took these out of the box, I questioned what they were. At first, I thought that they were some sort of hair tie since they had some elasticity to them. However, I went on Sunday Cool’s site to look them up, and found them to simply be wristbands. This is the first time I have seen such wristbands for promotion. The unique part about them is that they are reversible. in designs; 2-in-1. This would be a good promotion for youth groups. Personally, the designs they sent me are not of my taste, but that is quite subjective.

sticker I was also sent two stickers as well. I did not see any custom stickers as one of their products, but it would be nice if they did custom stickers.

On The Catholic Man’s Scale

T-shirt: ★★★★★ 5/5

Wootbands: ★★★★ 4/5

Overall. I like Sunday Cool’s t-shirt… just wish a medium shirt was sent 😉 . They would be great for any Christian youth group. Catholic youth groups can ask them for assistance when designing conference t-shirts too.

In regards to Sunday Cool’s wootband, they are a great marketing tool to giveaway. They are an interesting alternative to silicone wristbands that I have loads of them at home.

Will The Catholic Man launch a t-shirt and merchandise line with Sunday Cool? That is under consideration.

If you are interested in Sunday Cool’s products, pay them a visit at www.sundaycool.com.

St. Joseph Sunday Missal Canadian Edition

9781941243787St. Joseph Sunday Missals, from what I see, are the most commonly bought and used hand Missals used by Canadian Catholics weekly, likely because there are only two missal options, the St. Joseph one or the Living with Christ. Some prefer a Missalette monthly subscription by Living with Christ or the Word Among Us. I am jealous of American Catholics since they have a wider variety of Missals to choose from. (The Catholic Church in Canada uses different Lectionary translation from the United States.)

For me, St. Joseph Sunday Missal is still by far my most favourite Canadian missal. This year, Catholic Book Publishing Corp. sent me several complimentary copies of their 2018 Sunday Missal, some I distributed to youth leaders at my parish. Prior, I have bought one of their  Sunday Missals once (in June at a discounted price… but I was to follow the Lectionary for half a year!) But I have encountered St. Joseph Sunday Missals at several parishes and even old copies at thrift stores.

Hand missals have been a great tool for the congregation attending Mass, especially before the reforms of Liturgy since not many people understood Latin. It seems like Catholic Book Publishing Corp. has been around for a long time. Just go on EBay and do a search for St. Joseph Daily Missal and you will see a variety of Pre-Vatican II hand Missals (in which I have tried to get a hold of one). Yet, the role of missals for the congregation has been greater since Vatican II as a tool for people to actively participate in the Mass. For decades, Catholic Book Publishing Corp. has been committed to providing quality missals with quality content.  The layout seems to not have changed much over the years.

I like the fact that the inside cover of the missal contains a simple Liturgical Calendar outlining the celebrations of each Sunday. A notable feature is the edge marking system for easy access to various parts of the missal.

The missal has four parts: (1) the Order of Mass, (2) the propers, including the prayers from the Roman Missal and Canadian lectionary readings (3) a small treasury of prayers and (4) common hymns. These four parts have appeared in all of their Sunday Missals. These parts form to make a great companion for prayer year round.

I like the layout of the missal. I also like the fact that the rubrics are in red in the Order of Mass. Many little illustrations are scattered throughout the missal, something I did expect in Catholic Book Publishing publications. The art used is appropriate in my opinion, but I have seen many comments online regarding the horrible art in post-Vatican II missals.

The missal like many typical Sunday Missals contain the texts for major solemnities such as Christmas and the Paschal Triduum.

I like how at the beginning of each Sunday, the missal user is greeted with a header image that reflects the text of that day’s gospel.

The text size in the missal is readable and clear, about 12pt font with rubrics in 10pt.

One thing that I find of great assistance is the fact that many rubrics of the Roman Missals have been printed in this Missals, not in summary. This is good in the case if he priest forgets his Roman Missals when celebrating Mass outside of a Church. However, such hand missals should only be used in extreme cases for priests celebrating Mass. It is certainly not a substitute for the actual copy of the Roman Missals on a daily basis.

The Hymns section of he Sunday Missal is quite interesting. I see some traditional hymns such as Faith of Our Fathers and For All the Saints. I also see some contemporary hymns such as Marty Haugen’s Gather Us In. But where are the commonly used Latin Chants in its Latin lyrics such as Tantum Ergo, O Salutaris Hostia or Salve Regina?

The treasury of prayers is a very helpful tool. The prayers include the common prayers and devotions, including the mysteries of the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross…with beautiful illustrations. There is also a morning and evening prayer section. I notice that the form is very similar to that of the Liturgy of the Hours. Also, worth noting are the blessings one can use within the family before and after meals.

Image result for St. Joseph Sunday Missal Canadian EditionNow, I want to remark a bit about the cover. The cover has a photograph of a church, as was the case since 2014. However, going back to my “missal archives”, the cover contained an illustration depicting an altar with the Missal and the Eucharist. Each year was a different colour (e.g. 2010=green, 2011=red, 2012=blue). I assume the sequence was year A=Red, B=Blue, C=Green. I personally prefer a simple cover over a photograph of a church.

The cover is laminated on the outside to withstand weekly use. The paper for the interior is not high quality, but rather newsprint paper. This is the case with most monthly or annual missals, as missal users rarely retain them once the year is over.

 

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On The Catholic Man’s Scale

★★★★★ 5/5

I really admire the St. Joseph Sunday Missal. I like that it is merely not just a tool for Mass but a prayer tool for the domestic church as well. For a travellers on the go either for recreation or business purposes and Mass is not celebrated in English, having a missal of compact size like this one good to allow one to participate in Mass in a foreign language. Even for regular church-goers, having a missal to follow along with the Mass is very helpful, therefore allowing one to actively participate in the Liturgy per the definition of Liturgy by the Second-Vatican Council.

Annual Missal or fixed Sunday Missal? I don’t know. It would take time. I would certainly love to review a copy of St. Joseph Sunday Missal Complete Canadian Edition one day.

Check out Catholic Book Publishing Corporation’s newly designed website HERE!

Review: The New Oxford Annotated Bible (Fourth Edition)

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This image is only representative of the review. The actual cover of the reviewed copy has slight differences (see slideshow)

Note: I received a copy of this Bible almost a year ago. Due to its length, it was only until now that I was able to review it. However just recently, April 2018, the fifth edition was released. Therefore, the contents of this review only pertain to the fourth edition of The New Oxford Annotated Bible.

I have reviewed many Bibles from Oxford, including Oxford’s Catholic Study Bible. I have never been disappointed with Bible from Oxford, and The New Oxford Annotated Bible (Fourth Edition) was no exception. Straying away from Catholic specific Bibles, this Bible is an ecumenical study bible, meaning that it can be used in more than one Christian denomination. This version I am reviewing contains the Apocrypha.

First, I have to remark about the physical qualities of the Bible. It is a hardcover book, 6 9/16 x 9 inches dimensions, of fair weight, similar to that of a University textbook. I like the fact that it has a sewn binding, ensuring that the book will last for years, especially for those who will vigourously use this bible. The bible lays flat when opened.

Regarding the visual aspect, the type is readable, approximately size 11pt or 12pt with the notes in a smaller font, probably 9 or 10 pt. The font of the bible text is in a font similar to Cambria, while the notes, headings and essays are in a sans-serif font.

The bible text itself is in a two column format, common in most bibles. However, unlike Oxford’s Catholic Study Bible, the footnotes that correlate with a specific verse are all in single column format at the bottom of the page.

As expected by Oxford, there were many different charts, maps and essays. I especially like the chart comparing the Ten Commandments of the different Christian denominations. There is also a timeline at the back which I like. There are many essays that expand on certain dimensions of the scriptures (e.g. The Canon of the Bible, Textual Criticism). You can surf through the slideshow to see some more amazing features.

There is also a detailed introduction to every section and book of the bible, giving the reader a structure overview of the book and what to expect in the section/book.

One thing I always remark about study bibles are the maps. I am never disappointed with Oxford’s maps, considering that they have also published academic atlases. Not only are there maps scattered throughout the bible in black and white, but also a series of coloured maps are available just like Oxford’s Catholic Study Bible.

Finally, to wrap up this review, I have to emphasize that this study bible focuses more on the historical and geographical dimension of the scriptures. Unlike Oxford’s Catholic Study Bible, this Annotated Bible gives the readers a background of the scriptures of the time of Jesus, giving the reader a historical context and give the reader a wider picture of the scripture they read.

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On The Catholic Man’s Scale

★★★★☆ 4/5

Though The New Oxford Annotated Bible (Fourth Edition) is a good study bible in the historical context and biblical geographical context, as a Catholic, I prefer Oxford’s Catholic Study Bible.

Like Oxford’s Catholic Study Bible though, I would prefer if the bible had a bookmark ribbon or ribbons.

Even though this is a review of the fourth edition, I believe that the fifth edition would be better with its supplements.

Click Here to Purchase The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha (Fifth Edition) 

 

Review: The Order of Mass in Nine Languages by Liturgical Press

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This review could also be found on www.thecatholicpilgrimblog.wordpress.com

Have you ever travelled internationally and was not able to attend Mass in English or a language you are fluent in? Want to participate actively in the Mass without bringing several missals when travelling? Liturgical Press published The Order of Mass in Nine Languages five years ago.

9780814634561.jpgThe Order of Mass is provided in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, Tagalog and Vietnamese were compiled into one 80-paged booklet, 7″ x 10″. Honestly, I was surprised that Vietnamese was included as one of the nine languages because honestly, I find Vietnamese is often excluded from multilingual publications.

The texts are laid out as nine boxes on a page (3 boxes by 3 boxes). At first, I thought the the text would be laid out in columns, but having nine languages in one book, I figured that would result in very narrow columns. The text is in readable 11 or 12 pt font. The people’s responses are in bold, while the presider’s parts are in regular text. The rubrics are not present in The Order of Mass in Nine Languages, as it would probably result in a thicker booklet. Some headings though, are printed in red.

Regarding the content itself, The Order of Mass in Nine Languages contains ALL of the dialogue and people’s responses during the Mass, in the nine languages indicated. It even contains the text of the four standard Eucharistic Prayers (EP I, II, III, and IV). In one copy of the Order of Mass in Vietnamese, I only saw Eucharistic Prayer II printed. The booklet however, does not contain the propers such as Collects or Prefaces.

Reading the copyright page of the booklet, I see that the booklet has been “published with the approval of the Committee on Divine Worship United States Conference of Catholic Bishops”. Below the notice, the copyright of every Ordo Missae from the Missale Romanum of each of the nine languages are indicated. Both the notice and copyright assures me that (1) The booklet is simply not a compilation Ordo Missaes of other languages from the internet and (2) The project has the approval of an episcopal conference.

The price of the booklet is affordable, $9.95 USD. I brought the booklet for my pastor to see for his interest, and joked with him, each language in the book would be worth a little more than $1! To me, it is a great deal.

The booklet is softcover, with a matte finishing which brings a really nice texture. I would like to see a hardcover version made for travellers, but I assume that would mean the book would rise in price.

On The Catholic Man’s Scale

★★★★★ 5/5

This book is probably one of the shortest and simplest reviews I will write on The Catholic Man Reviews as the booklet itself is simple. However, The Order of Mass in Nine Languages is an invaluable resource for those who attend Mass in a foreign language and would like to actively take part in the Liturgy. I will certainly bring The Order of Mass in Nine Languages when I am on my Europe trip next March.

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The Catholic Pilgrim is here!

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Dear friends of The Catholic Man Reviews,

First, I thank you all for all the support through your loyal readership and sending review copies or samples of your products. You have given The Catholic Man Reviews life and power to evangelize and gives me the chance to give honest reviews on Catholic products. Many more reviews are coming soon, especially during the summer.

In preparation for my trip to Europe Trip in March of 2019, I have launched a sister-blog with The Catholic Man Reviews, called, The Catholic Pilgrim (www.thecatholicpilgrimblog.wordpress.com). I have decided to register for my school’s 12-day long trip to Europe, including Spain, France and Italy. This is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and therefore, I want to prepare for this trip not only financially, but spiritually. I hope to blog and give my reflections on the theme of pilgrimage and talk about the holy sites I will visit.

Many of the reflections I write on my personal blog, http://www.vincent-pham.tk, and future reviews for http://www.thecatholicmanreviews.wordpress.com will also be featured on The Catholic Pilgrim as preparations for the pilgrimage.

A pilgrimage is also not possible with out finances. I am working this summer to offset costs of my pilgrimage. However, donations of any amount are greatly appreciated.

Financial Donations

Please use this page to donate by Visa or Mastercard:

https://www.explorica.ca/My-Account/My-Tours/TourCenter/Fundraiser.aspx?ref=AB9438 

Product Donations

Please contact me at vincent.vq.pham@gmail.com and I will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Thank you in advance and may God bless you!

In Christ,

 

Vincent Pham

The Catholic Man Reviews moderator

 

Book Review: Our Lady of Fatima Coloring Book and Graphic Novel

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May is the month of Mary and within this month, is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. In honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of the Church (whom we commemorate for the first time this Liturgical Year), my sister Ivy Pham and I will be reviewing another product by Deo Gratias Company: Our Lady of Fatima: The Graphic Novel and Coloring Book. Before Christmas last year, I reviewed Deo Gratias’ Catholic Saint Flash Drives and simply in awe at these cool gadgets.

Our Lady of Fatima: The Graphic Novel – review by Vincent Pham

I was amazed at how beautiful Our Lady of Fatima: The Graphic NovelFirst, I would like to remark at the length of the novel. When one hears the term novel, one may envision that a book would be a couple hundred of pages long. However, Our Lady of Fatima: The Graphic Novel  is only 48 pages long.

The graphic novel is printed on glossy paper and in full colour, similar to that found in children’s picture books. When one opens the book, one may say that it is in comic book style with text boxes and speech bubbles.

Our Lady of Fatima: The Graphic Novel captures the spirit of the message of Fatima through the lens of Lucia, one of the three Fatima Seers. As one reads through Our Lady of Fatima: The Graphic Novel one can envision themselves in the shoes of Lucia, walking with Francisco and Jacinta through the joys, hardships and pain.

The book is beautifully illustrated. I can imagine how much work the illustrator had to go through. Interestingly, the author/illustrator and illustrator who coloured the illustrations wishes to remain anonymous… such an act of humility for a beautifully made graphic novel.

On a personal note, I love the pages recounting the Miracle of the Sun. Perhaps these are one of the simplest illustrations in the novel, but puts one in awe of the miracle, allowing one to see the power of God, especially for those like me, who was never able to witness the miracle.

I like how at the end of the novel, there is a one-page biography of Saint Francisco Marto, Saint Jacinta Marto and Sister Lucia dos Santos. The novel was probably published to coincide with last year’s Fatima Centenary.

This novel is not only for children and teenagers, but emphasize on the cover as, “The Message of Fatima for All Ages”. Indeed, those who have never heard of the apparitions in Fatima, this is a good read that is visual.

On The Catholic Man’s Scale

★★★★★ 5/5

Great graphic novel, emphasizing the message of Fatima in a beautiful way! However, the publishers in my opinion, get an Imprimatur from the local bishop.

 

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Our Lady of Fatima Coloring Book – review by Ivy Pham

So it looks like I’m back, but this time for a joint review! Our Lady of Fatima: The Graphic Novel also has a coloring book to go with it by the name, Our Lady of Fatima Coloring Book.  It has a paperback cover with is common for coloring books. The cover is made of a nice cardstock with a glossy finish.  The pages inside are much whiter hat of a classic coloring book. They don’t have that “fuzzy” look or feel that most coloring books have.  The paper is more like regular white printer paper, but possibly a bit thicker.

The drawings are very nice.  They are done in a cartoon style – attractive style.  Because of the style it is drawn in, I think it is well suited for children.  That being said, some of the details can get quite small so I wouldn’t recommend it for a very young child, or one with a lack of patience (although it could be a good way to teach them the virtue of patience).   This should be expected as it is in graphic novel format. I recommend pencil crayons over regular wax crayons. I like to draw, so i couldn’t help but notice how a lot of the people’s hands are abnormally large compared to the rest of their body, but now I’m just nitpicking.  

You may have noticed the coloring book’s cover is the same as that of the actual book.  Well just a heads up – the entire book is the same with the exception of the of colour. Because the content is the same, I find it a bit excessive to have both, but as the buyer, it is your call. I think the coloring book would be a better option for a child who prefers hands on learning and likes coloring.  It would help the child find an interest in Mother Mary and perhaps even the Catholic faith as a whole. I think some adults might like it as well.

Overall I think the coloring book is a good find.  It is a different and more interactive way of learning about Our Lady of Fatima, but I don’t think it is worth getting both for one person.  On the other hand, if you choose to give one of them away, or give each piece to a different person, that might be a good reason to buy both.  Once again, I don’t like rating things, so if you like how this sounds, then it’s all yours to purchase:

 

 

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Book Review: A Dictionary of Quotes from the Saints compiled by Paul Thigpen

Image result for A Dictionary of Quotes from the Saints paul thigpenI have a lot of different types of dictionaries lying around in my house. However, a dictionary that I have found to be inspirational is, A Dictionary of Quotes from the Saints compiled by Paul Thigpen, published by TAN Books. I have also reviewed a title from TAN last year, Eucharistic Miracles and Eucharistic Phenomena in the Lives of the Saints for books on anything about the saints, I would run to TAN.

The review copy TAN sent me is the TAN Edition that has been re-typeset in 2016. The dictionary was originally published in 2001 by Servant Publications. I like how this edition is in hardcover with a dust jacket. I believe most reference books should be hardcover to withstand frequent use.

In a world where a quote can be searched up easily, why not just use the Google Search bar?

Br. Casey Cole of Breaking in the habit made a video back in October 2017, he talked about quotes attributed to St. Francis, and how even the Peace Prayer, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace…”, may have not been penned by him.

I noticed that the peace prayer was in the Dictionary. Acceptable I would say. I was relieved to find that none of the quotes mentioned by Br. Casey, such as “Start by doing what’s necessary then do what’s possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible,” did not appear in the dictionary.  I am certain that much research went into the compiling of the quotes.

This Dictionary‘s quotes were not sorted according to the saint, but rather, by theme alphabetically, A-Z. The theme, Abandonment of self to God was first and the last theme was Zeal.

The book also contains a section, Saint Biographies at the end, containing quick facts (birth and death years, nationality, role in the Church and title e.g. Doctor of the Church) about the saints whose quotes are featured.

Talking about the physical aspect of the book, I was surprised at how thin the book was. At first, I thought the book would be thick, on bible paper. However, it was the complete opposite. This Dictionary is only 325 thick on regular, cream coloured paper. The book is hardcover, and comes with a dust jacket.

On The Catholic Man’s Scale

★★★★★ 5/5

A Dictionary of Quotes from the Saints is a very simple but inspirational book. It is not only a reference book in my opinion. It is food for the soul.

Due to its quality and amazing presentation, this would make a good gift, especially for this Confirmation and Graduation season.

Purchase a copy of A Dictionary of Quotes from the Saints HERE from TAN Books

 

Book Review: A History of the Church in 100 Objects by Mike and Grace Aquilina

It is sort of like a history textbook, but more than that. If the proverb, “A picture is worth ten thousand words,” is true, then the pictures of this book combine to 1 million words, not including the actual texts.

This book, A History of the Church in 100 Objects by Mike Aquilina and Grace Aquilina is the work of a father and daughter. I have never read the History of the Church in such format before and I saw the format appealing.

I received a review copy of A History of the Church in 100 Objects at the end of November of last year. I spent a week reading it. A majority of it was read while I was retreat.

A History of the Church in 100 Objects is a self-explanatory title. The book leads the reader along the timeline of the Church through pictures of various artifacts. Some of the artefacts I have heard of and seen pictures of them before such as the Silver Star in Bethlehem and Michaelangelo’s Pietà. However, there are some objects I have never even knew existed such as St. Thérèse’s curls and the Seton rock. I found reading the book to be very eye-opening about the history of the Catholic Church.

I am amazed at how the Aquilina managed to compile all the artifacts. I liked how everything flowed. I do recognize some Papal artifacts from Fr. Richard Kunst, the curator of a large collection Papal artifacts and relics.

I also like the text accompanying the objects. The passages are very straight forward and easy to understand. I wish though that the passages would be longer. Sometimes, I read the end of the passage, wanting to know more. But the Aquilinas probably understand readers may want more. Therefore, at the end of each object passage, there is a For More section, with recommended titles that will build on what was said in the passage.

To my surprise, the images are in colour along with the headings. At first, I thought that only the cover (like most books) would be in gray-scale. A History of the Church in 100 Objects is an exception. All the images are in colour, and that livens up every artefact and allow the reader to look at the object in more details than a gray scale image (some people may disagree). I also noticed that there are some blank pages. The reason for this is so that the image of the artefact will always be on the left side of the book with the chapter heading on the right. I find this very convenient. The blank pages could be used for notes which I find as a good feature.

A History of the Church in 100 Objects has gained praise from Cardinal Donald Wuerl, George Weigel and other well-known Catholics. I would say, “Simple, concise and beautiful!”

This book was also on Catholic-Link’s 44 of the Best Catholic Books of 2017 list. Indeed, I believe it deserves this honour!

On The Catholic Man’s Scale

★★★★★ 5/5

Overall, I think A History of the Church in 100 Objects is a good title for those who want to dig into Church History and does not want to much heavy reading. A History of the Church in 100 Objects seems to be a good book for introductory to Church history and good for youth like myself to get to know the Church a little bit more, including its bright and dark moments.

Purchase A History of the Church in 100 Objects here from Ave Maria Press. 

Update from The Catholic ManI will be undertaking a trip to Europe, including Barcelona Spain, Provence and Côte d’Azure, France and Florence, Rome and Sorrento, Italy in March of 2019. In preparation for the trip, I will be starting a travel blog in conjunction with The Catholic Man Reviews, known as The Catholic Pilgrim Reviews, which will hopefully be launched sometime next month. Many of the reviews will also be shared on The Catholic Man Reviews. However The Catholic Man Reviews will still be up and running with its unique reviews of Catholic books and products. A lot of reviews coming in the near future so please visit http://www.thecatholicmanreviews.wordpress.com!