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  • Writer's pictureSisters of St. Francis

All we want for Christmas...

One lament that has been near constant here at the convent has been how much we miss having people around. We’ve been essentially shut down since mid-March, and we miss having people join us for Mass, we miss having people here on retreat, we just miss people!

We hope that you are doing well, that you are coping with things, and that your spiritual life has been okay through this time of trial and crisis. One thing that each of us knows – from long experience (or in my own case, short experience) – is the value of good books in bolstering us in the spiritual life. The Good News Book Shop has essentially been closed since Mid-March, but we still have all of the books... If you are interested in acquiring some new spiritual reading, you can shop our book store over the phone (816-252-1673) or by email ( As we still are not able to let you into the convent building, we will arrange curbside pickup at a time convenient for you.

If you want a new book (or just want to support our book store ministry) but aren’t sure what to get, consider some seasonal reading for Advent and Christmas. We have books of daily devotions for Advent and Christmas as well as a few titles that are not daily devotions but can still help you prepare for Christmas or enjoy some seasonal cheer! If you're looking for something different or would like advice on picking out books for yourself or for others, feel free to give me a call!

- Sr. Colette Marie

Daily Devotionals for Advent and Christmas (With their Publishers' marketing blurbs):

Advent and Christmas with Mary Cover

Advent and Christmas with Mary - Dr. Mary Amore


“Prepare for and celebrate Christ’s coming with brief daily meditations for the Advent and Christmas seasons. Scripture, personal reflection, a question to think about or act to consider, and a short prayer to Mary are sure to touch your heart and lead you to a deeper relationship with Jesus and his mother, Mary.”

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Welcome Baby Jesus - Sarah A. Reinhard


“Advent is a season almost forgotten by the secular world. With new toys and electronics available, why should we focus on this time of anticipation? Most everyone cannot wait for Christmas morning to arrive, but is it for the right reason? Sarah A. Reinhard designed Welcome Baby Jesus for you and your family to capture some of what's intended by the liturgical season of Advent. Each day has a Scripture quote from the Sunday gospel readings, a brief reflection, and an action to complete. With each passing Sunday, your Advent Wreath will grow brighter, your family's faith will grow stronger, and the true meaning of this season will be discovered.”

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Advent with the Saints - Greg Friedman OFM


Christians know that St. John the Baptist prepares the way of the Lord. Which other saints can accompany us during the four weeks of waiting for the birth of Jesus? Through insightful reflections, Greg Friedman, a pastor and radio personality, connects you to the lives of the saints and holy ones suggested by the Scriptural readings of Advent. Fr. Greg draws on his love for the saints to offer daily inspiration during this season of preparation. Each day of Advent until Christmas Day, find: brief reflections on each Advent lectionary reading saintly connections to each reading suggested actions for each day prayers to help you slow down and savor the season of waiting and hope

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Advent with St Francis - Diane M. Houdek


By pairing the words and deeds of St. Francis with the Scripture readings for Advent, Advent with St. Francis: Daily Reflections helps readers explore how they, too, can live the Gospel in the circumstances of their daily lives. It is written in a simple and engaging style that will draw readers in to the life of Francis as they grow in their faith and spiritual practice through the inspiration of this beloved saint.

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Let Us Adore Him - Richard N. Fragomeni


Let Us Adore Him will enhance your preparation for and celebration of Christmas. From the First Sunday of Advent through the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, you will find inspiration for your Advent and Christmas prayer time. Noted liturgist Fr. Richard Fragomeni weaves the Communion Antiphons from each day's liturgy into the daily seasonal liturgies and weaves them into a thoughtful, prayerful meditation.

Prepare Your Heart

Prepare Your Heart - Pope Francis


Prepare your heart for the birth of Jesus with the inspiring words of Pope Francis. This daily devotional includes scripture citations for each day of the season, a selection of the Holy Father's writings, reflection questions, and a prayer. It will be the perfect volume to remind you to slow down and breathe in God's spirit, no matter how busy you are!

Ideal for individuals or groups desiring greater spiritual awareness during this short but powerful season, Prepare Your Heart can also renew faith at the start of the liturgical year. For anyone seriously desiring to welcome Christ anew, this book can be wise, humble companion to help us put Jesus first during this special season to rediscover the joy that makes our lives complete.

Waiting for Christ - St. John Henry Newman*


Saint John Henry Newman was one of the most beloved and well-known preachers of his time. Originally an Anglican priest, Newman converted to Catholicism and became a Catholic priest and cardinal. Known for his beautiful prose and exultant preaching, Newman has long been a source of inspiration for those in the Church. In this new and compact compilation of his sermons, you’re invited to journey with St. John Henry Newman through Advent into Christmas and Epiphany, meditating on the coming of Christ and the Christian life. Newman’s masterful knowledge of the lives of the saints, Catholic doctrine, and, above all, Sacred Scripture, will help you immerse yourself in these liturgical seasons of waiting, wondering, and joy.

These beautiful meditations guide you through reflections on:

Preparing for the Lord’s coming at Christmas and the end of time / Our dependence upon the Lord’s goodness / What happens when we do not seek truth / Mary’s role in salvation history / God’s call for each and every one of us to holiness / Glorifying God in the world / True joy / Martyrdom, affliction, and consolation / Love as the one thing needful

Waiting for Christ, provides an opportunity to spend a few minutes with St. John Henry Newman and Christ every day of the Advent and Christmas seasons, preparing for the coming of the Lord.

*I read this book last Advent and thought it was wonderful!

Advent Journal : Mother of Life


"The one who has hope lives differently; the one who has hope has been granted the gift of a new life."(Pope Benedict XVI Spe Salvi, 2)

The season of Advent is a time of hope-filled anticipation for the birth of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Mary, Mother of Life, is the first one to behold the Word, listen to the Word, ponder the Word in her heart and lived differently.

The Mother of Life Advent Journal is written to guide you through a prayerful reading of Scripture –lectio divina. By personally encountering the Word, you, too, will experience hope-filled anticipation and live differently as a joyful disciple of Christ.

This journal Includes the Sunday gospel readings for Liturgical Year A, B and C.

(Written and Compiled by the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist)

Books for the season & for spreading cheer (Also with the Publishers' marketing blurbs):

Prayers around the Crib - Juliette Levivier


A joyful book for young children preparing for Christmas, which explains the meaning of the Advent season with its special calendar and wreath, the Christmas tree, the various figures of the Nativity scene including the angels, shepherds, the three Kings, Mary, Joseph, Jesus and more.

Each of these important Christmas symbols is explained with a little story followed by a simple, heartfelt prayer. Illustrated throughout with sweet four-color pictures.

Joy to the World - Scott Hahn


What could be more familiar than the Christmas story -- and yet what could be more extraordinary? The cast of characters is strange and exotic: shepherds and magicians, an emperor and a despot, angels, and a baby who is Almighty God. The strangeness calls for an explanation, and this book provides it by examining the characters and the story in light of the biblical and historical context. Bestselling author Scott Hahn who has written extensively on Scripture and the early Church, brings evidence to light, dispelling some of the mystery of the story. Yet Christmas is made familiar all over again by showing it to be a family story. Christmas, as it appears in the New Testament, is the story of a father, a mother, and a child -- their relationships, their interactions, their principles, their individual lives, and their common life. To see the life of this "earthly trinity" is to gaze into heaven.

Drinking with St. Nick - Michael Foley


Michael Foley, author of Drinking with the Saints, presents cocktail recipes and wine, beer, and cider recommendations that will keep hearths warm and parties joyful throughout the holidays. With stories about the history of St. Nicholas and other saints, as well as an advent calendar leading up to Christmas, this gift book is a must for anyone who starts stringing lights and playing Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving. Let the Christmas games begin!

Teeny-Tiny Nativity


Bring back the magic of the holiday season with this beautifully-illustrated wooden nativity set.

In a unique package that transforms into a mini stable, this collectible kit includes an adorable wooden nativity set along with an illustrated mini book The Story of Christmas. The perfect stocking stuffer, Teeny-Tiny Nativity reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.

(Not technically a book, but this would make a great gift for Christmas or St. Nicholas’ Day!)

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