Friday, February 5, 2010

Book Review: "The Handbook for Catholic Moms"

The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body, and Soul
by Lisa M. Hendey
Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 2010

Reading "The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body, and Soul" is like having a warm and inviting conversation with a group of your closest Mom friends. Lisa Hendey, founder of, shares her own wisdom garnered from 18 years of parenting, as well as the collected wisdom of the Catholic Mom community.

Divided into four sections, Heart, Mind, Body, and Soul, Hendey explores all aspects of a mother’s life. Heart focuses on “developing nurturing relationships with our family, our friends, and ourselves.” Mind centers on “becoming life-long learners, seeking creative outlets, exploring career and work issues, and employing time management and personal productivity tactics. Body stresses “nutrition, fitness, sleep, stress reduction, and preventative care matters.” Soul spotlights “coming to know and love the many resources, devotions, and concepts in the fullness of the Catholic Church that can help us care for ourselves and for the most important people in our lives.”

“The Handbook for Catholic Moms” offers concrete advice on all of these topics. The suggestions are based on real-life experiences. For each topic, Hendey offers personal stories and counsel from other Catholic moms (I was honored to be among those invited to offer a reflection). Each chapter features “Mom’s Homework” which includes suggestions on action steps one can take to work on the issue under discussion. There are also web resources for further information.

“The Handbook for Catholic Moms” is the perfect resource for moms at all stages of their parenting journey. You will find yourself nodding in agreement, laughing at some of the stories and tearing up at others. You will gain important kernels of knowledge you can put to use. Most importantly, you will feel encouraged in your vocation as a Catholic mother.

Reviewed by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

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