Review and Giveaway: "Stay Connected: Becoming Holy, One Virtue at a Time"


Win Stay Connected Journal

I was once asked, “What is your trigger that makes you most angry?” Pre-kids, my answer was simple: repeating myself. To this day, three kids in, my temper starts to boil when I hear myself repeating instructions once, twice, four times. Boiling temper leads me to yelling, which leads the kids to (sometimes) crying, and lands me in the confessional more times that I care to admit.

As I sat with the newest installation of the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women, produced by Allison Gingras, I paused. Would the author of the most recent, Sara Estabrooks, be able to help me curb my yelling? Would I be able to identify my faults without getting overwhelmed by the burdens of falling short? Ultimately, would the book assist me in “Becoming Holy, One Virtue at a Time”?

Sara’s book has a simple format – after an introduction, the reader is invited to connect deeper with the three theological virtues (Faith, Hope, Love) and the four cardinal virtues (Prudence, Justice, Temperance, and Fortitude). In fact each chapter of the book focuses on one virtue. This allows for the reader to engage deeply, ponder the virtue, and truly work through the virtues with precision focus.

Stay Connected Journal Becoming Holy

Throughout Stay Connected: Becoming Holy, One Virtue at a Time, Sara weaves anecdotal experiences, theological insight, and biblical knowledge to target each virtue. There are areas in the book to write thoughts on our hearts, invitations to ponder lessons a little more, and even ways to connect with scripture by opening up the Word at home, and diving deeply into one’s Bible.

Each chapter opens and closes with reverent prayer, gently reminding the reader of the importance of communicating with God, especially when we work toward change in our daily lives. And, as Sara reminds us at the outset of Becoming Holy, One Virtue at a Time, “Holiness is for saints,” and we are all called to sainthood … which means that holiness is for each of us. Ultimately, holiness rests in our relationship with God, and at the cornerstone is the power of prayer.

At the end of the day, I haven’t entirely stopped yelling. However, I would say that Becoming Holy, One Virtue at a Time has certainly caused me to pause a little more, and reflect a little deeper on the virtues I lack at the time I am losing my anger. Is the vice of anger rooted in my temperance (or lack thereof), my prudence (or lack thereof), or fortitude (or lack thereof)? Depending on the scenario certainly depends on that answer. When everything is said and done and I am doing an examination of conscience before bedtime, have I lived a life of faith, hope, and love? And, I am challenged with Becoming Holy, One Virtue at a Time to identify those areas that need a little more work.

Becoming Holy, One Virtue at a Time is a great starting point for familiarizing readers with the virtues, but also a phenomenal experience to growing further toward holiness. It would be a great study with other like-minded women in all various stages of their spiritual journey, and is an equally powerful study just as an individual.

Have you experienced a Bible study which is able to touch your heart, and in doing so, impact your life? If so, I would love to hear about it. And, if you are looking for one to touch your heart and impact your life, you will not be disappointed in Stay Connected: Becoming Holy, One Virtue at a Time.

Win a copy of this Stay Connected journal

Our Sunday Visitor is offering a copy of Stay Connected: Becoming Holy, One Virtue at a Time to one CatholicMom reader! To enter, answer the following question in the comments:

Do you plan to use this Stay Connected journal for personal study or with your prayer group?

Winner must have a mailing address within the USA. This giveaway is open through 11:59 PM Wednesday, March 4. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to reply and claim the prize. If the prize is unclaimed, an alternate winner will be chosen.

Copyright 2020 AnnAliese Harry


About Author

AnnAliese Harry is a proud Army wife to her husband Chris, and a mother to their young children. She has a BA in History, a Masters in Social Work, and has worked with disabled veterans, troubled teens, and in early childhood intervention therapy. AnnAliese volunteers with several military chapel communities and serves as a lector, EMHC, Adoration coordinator, and Catholic Women of the Chapel (CWOC) chapter president and vice president. She blogs about Catholicism, parenting, and military life at A Beautiful, Camouflaged Mess of A Life. Follow her on Twitter, on Instagram, or on Facebook.


  1. I would use it for my own personal study, but it I think our Mom’s group could benefit I may suggest it for our next book club/Bible study.

  2. I would first use it for my own personal study, but if I thought it to be helpful I would suggest it as a future book club/Bible study option for my mom’s group.

    • I plan to use this personally and then bring it to my women’s group! I would like to read over if myself then present it to our group to go through together!

  3. Veronica Vasquez on

    I’d love to use the Stay Connected Journal with my 2 sisters to draw us closer as a family and to bring us back to our Catholic faith. All through Mary, All for Jesus.

  4. Amor Hernandez on

    The women on my church staff would surely benefit from the Stay Connected Journal. This sounds like a great resource to help us focus and bring us back to ministry after a tough year in our Catholic Faith.

  5. Hello. I would use the journal as a personal journal. I try to journal often but my thoughts are jumbled and go off in all directions at the same time. I am still a work in progress…. Regards, felicia

  6. This looks like a wonderful book! I would enjoy using it for my own personal journal as a tool for a deeper relationship with God. Thank you for presenting this opportunity!

  7. Bernadette Nelson on

    I will use the journal for personal use. I have used the Gift of invitation and loved every minute of it. I am in the middle of the stay connected journal about the classics. These journals are wonderful.
    I would love to win a copy.

    Thank you for creating such wonderful journals.

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