What a Moment!

What a Moment!

You can see in the picture here a great moment. It’s St. Anthony Messenger‘s managing editor, Susan Hines-Brigger, receiving the first copy of the new book she wrote, A Catholic Family Advent: Prayers and Activities. That’s  Franciscan Media acquisitions editor Mary Carol Kendzia, on the right, sharing the excitement. It’s Susan’s first book, inspired by her “Living Simply” column in St. Anthony Messenger magazine.

Susan spins her warm, family-friendly suggestions for how to make Christmas season a time both of joy and of  faith-connections for families with children at home. She’s an expert on the topic,  a busy mom raising her own children (with Mark, of course!).  Susan knows the weeks leading up to Christmas can easily become a nightmare of whiny behavior, crowded to-do lists, and a less-than-spiritual experience.

Her book offers a solution, an entry for each day of Advent with a Scripture passage for reflection, a short meditation, a fresh idea for an easy family activity, and a short prayer. We’re blessed to have such talent among us.

A Catholic Family AdventThere’s nothing like the look on an author’s face when she first sees her book in print! So many months, so much writing, so many changes, letting go of your manuscript while others make a book out of it—and now, the book!  I happened to be in Susan’s office when Mary Carol stopped by with that first look for Susan. I ran for my camera—I couldn’t resist!

Congratulations, Susan. May many families be touched by your wonderful writing in the coming holiday season and beyond.


About the Author

John Feister is editor in chief of St. Anthony Messenger magazine. He has a B.A. in American Studies from University of Dayton, and master's degrees in Humanities and in Theology from Xavier University. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada, and was previously an adviser to the Communications Committee of the U.S. Catholic bishops (2000-2006). His latest book, Thank You, Sisters: Stories of Women Religious and How They Enrich Our Lives is available from the Franciscan Media catalog. He has cauthored four books with Richard Rohr (Franciscan Media), and coauthored, with Charlene Smith, the biography of Thea Bowman (Orbis books).