Sister Catherine Stewart, OP (Springfield) has recently published a new book on the saints through Twenty-Third Publications, in their Learning Centers format. The book is intended for use with elementary students in religious education and includes interactive activities to teach children about the lives of the saints.
The following interview with Sister Catherine is reprinted with permission from JustWords, a publication of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois.
What prompted you to write this book?
I often write articles for “Religion Teacher’s Journal: A Catechist’s Way.” Roseanne Coffey, the editor of the journal, asked me if I had ever considered writing a book. She and I talked about it for a bit and then she submitted my most recent article to the acquisition team for Twenty Third Publications. They were very interested in my publishing a book. I suggested the saints. Twenty Third already had a series of learning centers started and we decided that I would use that format.
What do you hope this book accomplishes?
I hope that this gives catechists and children a deeper understanding and love for the saints. I also wanted to introduce everyone to some of the recently canonized saints.
What was your favorite aspect of writing this book?
My favorite part was creating interactive activities that matched the saint’s life. For example, Kateri Tekawitha is a Native American and was baptized later in life. One of the activities is to learn about the symbols of baptism by creating a Baptism Totem Pole. Another example is Edith Stein, who was Jewish. Students learn about some of the Jewish traditions through making a Star of David Mobile.
I gained a deeper appreciation of the diversity of the saints’ lives and how each one gifts us with different values to imitate. The combination of all of their lives gives us a richer tradition of faith.