This month at CatholicMom.com, we are thrilled to celebrate the launch of the newest book in our CatholicMom.com Books imprint with Ave Maria Press. From the moment I saw the early draft for Divine Mercy for Moms: Sharing the Lessons of St. Faustina, I prayed that this book would become a part of our series. I did so not only because I truly LOVE the book’s authors Emily Jaminet and Michele Faehnle (both contributors here at CatholicMom.com), but more importantly because the gift this book gives to mothers. Many of us have tried (and, I’ll admit it) unsuccessfully to wade our way through St. Faustina’s Diary to better understand her beautiful spirituality. When I read Divine Mercy for Moms: Sharing the Lessons of St. Faustina, I knew that I had finally found a resource which brought the teachings of Divine Mercy truly alive in my heart.
Today, I’m thrilled to share an introductory conversation with Michele and Emily about this new book of theirs. I urge you to purchase a copy of this book for yourself and also to consider leading a small group study with your friends or at your parish. And definitely check out DivineMercyForMoms.com, which holds a treasure trove of resources to enhance your experience with this lovely book.
Q: Michele and Emily, congratulations on the publication of Divine Mercy for Moms: Sharing the Lessons of St. Faustina. We at CatholicMom.com are so pleased to celebrate the launch of this, our newest book in our CatholicMom.com series with Ave Maria Press. We’re also blessed to have both of you as members of our community of writers. Please introduce yourselves and your families to our readers.
Michele Faehnle: “Emily and I like to joke that we are MBAs (Mothers, Bloggers and Authors). I’m blessed to be a wife and mom of four. I graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville and worked as a labor and delivery nurse for twelve years. I decided to put nursing on hold after the birth of my third so I could be at home with my family and especially enjoy volunteering for the Church. My favorite ways to serve are the codirector of our Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference and chair of my children’s school’s Catholic identity committee.”
Emily Jaminet: “I also graduated from Franciscan University and after a short stint in the professional world, I left to be at home with my (rapidly) growing family. Now as a wife and mother of seven, it’s the deepest desire of my heart to help mothers, especially with my radio reflections ‘A Mother’s Moment.’ I also enjoy volunteer work for our Church, especially helping with the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, my parish, and my children’s schools.”
Q: What inspired this book? Why did you feel so compelled to share the beautiful message of Divine Mercy with mothers?
Michele: “About four years ago, my son Jacob became very sick with a rare illness called Guillian Barre Syndrome. He went from being a totally normal and healthy little eight year old to being completely paralyzed from the chest down. We spent a long time in the hospital that year as he recovered and mercy was showered down on my family. We had so many meals, cards, visits, gifts, and—most importantl—prayers from people all over the country. Some were from people we knew, some were friends of friends that heard about Jacob’s story and just wanted to help. After being the recipient of so much mercy, I felt called to be a giver of mercy and also to share this message with other moms. I’ve been friends with Emily for more than twenty years and brought her into the project because of her strong ministry helping moms here in Columbus. She also has an amazing gift for hospitality and always knowing how to reach out to those hurting and ask the merciful question.”
Emily: “Both Michele and I were introduced to this devotion in the ‘90s had the opportunity to visit St. Faustina’s convent and tomb in Kraków, Poland, when we studied abroad. It was there we were touched by the inscription on the bottom of the image hanging in the chapel which reads ‘Jesus, I trust in You.’ For me, the seed was planted, but didn’t really bloom until I became a mother. This devotion is about trusting in God and placing our lives in His hands. In a society that is spiraling out of control, we know this is the only way we can live in peace. Christ doesn’t promise an easy path to his followers, but when we give our lives over to him in trust, we are better able to live out our vocation as moms.”
Q: What will readers discover in this book?
Michele: “If you are feeling under-appreciated and that your job as a mom is unimportant, you will learn that your tasks have a value that can change the world. You’ll find a friend in St. Faustina, the great apostle of mercy, and how the beautiful devotion to Divine Mercy can soften your heart to be more like Christ’s. You’ll also discover new ways to live out the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy as a mother, and that Mary, the Mother of Mercy, is your mother too.”
Q: Please say a few words about the role of Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC, in this book. Why was his participation important to you?
Emily: “We were blessed to go to college with Fr. Gaitley at Franciscan University and always knew he was going to be an amazing priest! His first book, Consoling the Heart of Jesus, deeply transformed both our spiritual lives about six years ago and helped us to draw deeper into the ocean of mercy and begin live out better our vocation as wives and mothers. Since then, he has been a spiritual father to us and his works continue to inspire us to share the message of Divine Mercy and Marian Consecration. We knew he would give the mothers who read our book the perfect introduction. We love how he shared that God has called everyone into His ocean of great mercy, but we as moms have a special calling. We are ‘special ops’ in the great mission of transforming the world through Divine Mercy one motherly task at a time.”
Q: For those unfamiliar with Divine Mercy, please say a few words about how this beautiful spirituality of St. Faustina can be a true gift and a practical tool for moms.
Michele: “The message she promoted has five simple aspects—the image of Divine Mercy, the Novena, the Hour of Mercy, the Feast of Mercy and Spreading the Honor of the Devotion. They are all simple to incorporate into the life of your family and offer great graces to those who are open to them. By inviting Jesus into our homes with this image, we are reminded every day to invite Him into our hearts and to trust in Him. The chaplet of Divine Mercy is a simple rhythmic prayer that all our kids love where we ask God to have mercy on us and on the whole world. What better prayer could we pray as mothers? We also love the three o’clock hour ‘reset. Whether you are finishing up a work day or picking up the kids from school, three o’clock can be a tough time for us as moms. Taking just a moment to pause and pray can reset the day and give your family the grace to continue. There are even great, practical tools to help you remember, setting a reminder on your phone to pray the chaplet—and you can even use the official Divine Mercy App to help you pray it!”
Q: During this Jubilee Year of Mercy, what are a few ways that the average Catholic mom can bring more mercy into her home?
Emily: “Practically speaking, when we pray for each of our children as we fold their laundry, make their dinner, and wash their dishes, we can turn these simple tasks into ones with eternal value. We also can reach out in our deeds, words and prayers without even leaving our homes to those people in our life who are suffering, One example we like to share is what we call ‘mercy in the mail.’ We fill out a Mass or greeting card, tuck a small gift card or even a promise of prayer in our mailbox, put up the flag and, voila, we have done a work of mercy for our neighbor in need.”
Q: You’ve created some amazing tools for groups who want to share this book together. Please tell us about these and the other resources available at your website DivineMercyForMoms.com.
Michele: “We know small faith-sharing groups have had a huge impact on both of our faith lives, so we wanted to create something that could be done in community and was all part of the package. The study questions are provided right in the back of the book and free YouTube videos are available on our website for each chapter. We’ve even provided helpful tips and videos on how to start up a group and provided invitiations you can edit and send to your friends.
We also have our very popular free downloads of the “Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy Checklists for Busy Moms,” the “Examination of Conscience on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy” Guides and the “Divine Mercy for Moms Year of Mercy Jar Labels” for you to start your very own Mercy Fund to help those in need.”
Q: What’s next for the two of you?
Emily: “We are open to wherever the Holy Spirit leads us! We are doing some speaking this year and are prayerfully considering some new writing projects.”
For more information:
- Order Divine Mercy for Moms: Ave Maria Press, Amazon or your local Catholic bookstore
- Visit DivineMercyForMoms.com
- Connect with Divine Mercy for Moms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
- Check out other CatholicMom.com Book Titles
Copyright 2016 Lisa M. Hendey