- I’m raising gifted and Twice-Exceptional Catholic kids, and I want them to own their faith. The Catechism of the Seven Sacraments is perfect for Catholic families, especially families raising exceptional Catholic kids. (Guess what – you can enter to win one of three copies below!)
I received a PDF preview copy of The Catechism of the Seven Sacraments in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
My kiddos are unusual people. They are gifted, and I’m not saying that to brag. We face a lot of emotional and developmental hurdles, and as deep thinkers, they have an insatiable desire to know. Catechesis and sacramental preparation have been sticky subjects for this reason. I’ve spent a ton of time and money on resources to serve their quest for understanding without sending them into crisis mode.
Take my middle child, for example. She’s had an uncanny understanding of the nature of sin since she was a toddler. She’s also highly sensitive, imaginative, and anxious – a difficult combination for any kid. Her First Reconciliation was heartbreaking for all of us; I haven’t gotten her back in the confessional since. Clearly, this poses an obvious problem. I want her to love her faith and know the beauty of reconciliation. I don’t want her to be terrified of the sacraments or church.
Her sister – my oldest – is a puzzle also. As a highly-gifted Twice-Exceptional, she questions everything. Her giftedness places her at higher risk of abandoning the faith. She needs solid catechesis that explains the truths of our faith as deeply as possible. She needs to know the why and the how of what we believe, and I want to provide that for her.
Enter the new Building Blocks of Faith Series from StoryTel Publishing. The Catechism of the Seven Sacraments is exactly what we need.
The Catechism of the Seven Sacraments: Lego Catechesis for Exceptional Catholic Kids
The Catechism of the Seven Sacraments is a 300-page labor of love. A beautiful, full-color treatment of sacraments in comic book format, The Catechism of the Seven Sacraments features Lego illustrations designed and built by the author’s children. Led by parents Kevin and Mary O’Neill, the entire family worked for two years to bring this book to fruition.
It’s a brilliantly accessible example of the New Evangelization, the perfect catechetical resource for any Catholic home.
Catechism Through Typology – the Perfect Way to Teach an Exceptional Catholic Kid
Catholicism is the one true faith, steeped in scripture and Tradition. As Catholics, we are members of the Body of Christ embracing the mystery of faith. And yet every sacramental doctrine of the Church can be traced to a rational, biblical beginning. The O’Neill’s use this concept, called typology, to explore the nature of the seven sacraments.
“While telling the story of salvation history through scriptural teachings of the sacraments, we make use of typology, one of the best ways to teach the faith and a favorite tool of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. Typology is a method of biblical study in which elements found in the Old Testament are shown to prefigure those in the New Testament.”
The O’Neills use a clever side-by-side format to show how “the New is revealed in the Old.”
The book begins with an overview of the Holy Eucharist, then proceeds through each of the seven sacraments through Anointing of the Sick. Each section contains a wealth of information about the sacraments, including their history, matter, and form.
The Holy Eucharist
The discussion of the Eucharist reveals Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, laying out the clear connection between Moses and the Passover and Jesus and the crucifixion, with a section on the rosary and Mary as the new Eve.
The O’Neill’s trace the presence of water in the creation story, the flood, the parting of the Red Sea, and the ministry of John the Baptist to the cleansing of original sin through Baptism
This chapter begins with a discussion of the Israelites in the wilderness, covers the ten commandments, and clearly explains venial and mortal sin.
The authors reveal confirmation as a sacramental relationship with Christ, reviewing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and detailing the confirmed’s role as a soldier for Christ.
In The Catechism of the Seven Sacraments, marriage is portrayed as Eucharistic, life-giving, sacrificial, and a model of the Church.
The section on Holy Orders begins with a study of Melchizedek, leading to the profession of faith, a discussion of Papal authority, and reviews in detail the various vocations to a religious life.
Anointing of the Sick
In this final section, the authors review both the physical and spiritual effects of the anointing of the sick with special attention to St. Joseph.
Fully Accessible Catechesis for Exceptional Kids
The Catechism of the Seven Sacraments is engaging and theologically rock solid, but its Lego illustrations really set it apart. Corresponding scripture verses are listed in the margin; difficult vocabulary words are quickly defined within the text (or in the glossary courtesy of Fr. John Hardon). Mr. O’Neill, the primary author, has a gift for translating and unboxing catechetically difficult concepts. After reading through the section on the Eucharist, my oldest declared it the best explanation of the Eucharistic typology she had ever read.
Why I love this book for special kiddos
While The Catechism of the Seven Sacraments is perfect for any family, I absolutely recommend it to families of children with special needs. There is no doubt this text makes the elements of the sacraments uniquely accessible. It is charismatic, entertaining, and most importantly, gentle. It fits the needs of our Twice-Exceptional family.
For Children with Anxiety
The Catechism of the Seven Sacraments takes fear out of the equation. The use of Legos, a familiar item, makes the heavier topics much less intimidating.
For Children with ASD
The Catechism of the Seven Sacraments showcases full-color illustrations using a favorite building tool. It is more likely to hold a child’s attention as a result.
For Children with ADD/ADHD/Dyslexia
The Catechism of the Seven Sacraments uses a comic book format. The bite-sized sections of text are easily accessible, and the vivid, detailed illustrations hold the reader’s attention.
The Catechism of the Seven Sacraments kept my whole family engaged.
My children loved searching the images for clever details and had a blast identifying Lego pieces they have here at home. Most importantly, though, this book instructed my whole family about the truths and facets of Catholicism. We were able to dig deep into the scripture and Tradition of the sacraments and plumb the rich depths of our holy faith.
While we received a PDF preview copy courtesy of StoryTel Publishing, hardcopy versions of the book will be available April 4. You can pre-order your copy from StoryTel Publishing, or try your hand at winning a copy! I’m partnering with the authors to bless three families with one copy of The Catechesis of the Seven Sacraments.