Adorable to quirky, a Catholic gift guide

Say a Hail Mary and hope for the best – the holiday season is upon us, and you know what that means: it’s shopping season.

As the old adage goes, Catholics are well-aware of the “reason for the season,” but even so, buying gifts is a fun part of a holidays, giving those courageous enough to brave the crowds a chance to show their loved ones how much they care about them. While many stockings will no doubt be filled with the latest gadgets and gizmos this year, being Catholic affords the chance to seek out those meaningful, lasting and sometimes quirky gifts that just keep on giving. Here are a few ideas for some practical, some unique, and some off-the-wall Catholic gifts that’ll be sure to put a smile on the recipient’s face.

For the young lasses and lads

Dear Pope Francis by Pope Francis
Loyola Press, Hardcover, $18.95
Buy it heredear-pope-francis

This adorable book is a compilation of letters from children around the world to Pope Francis accompanied by his responses to them. Main takeaways: yes, the pope is old, and kids are way more theologically astute than we give them credit for.

Operation: Noah’s Ark
$31.95, catholicompany.com
Buy it here

Kids will love this Catholic take on the classic Operation game, in which they help rescue animals and are penalized with a lightning bolt sound for touching the sides.

A Missal for Toddlers
Ignatius Press, Hardcover, $10.99
Buy it here

The perfect companion for that squirmy kid of yours to follow along with the Mass and teach them the deeper meanings of each part of the liturgy.

For the St. Peter-types

Rugged Rosaries
cordbands.com

rugged-rosary

These rosaries are made with paracords (the cords used for parachutes) and were originally designed with military troops in mind. Not only do they come in a wide variety of colors and styles, they’re the toughest rosaries money can buy. Whether you have a relative in the military or that friend who’s a bit of a daredevil, you can bet they’ll appreciate having one of these.

Barbatus Beard Balm
$10 + shipping
catholicbalm.co

St. Augustine once said, “The beard distinguishes the grown men, the earnest, the active, the vigorous, so that when we describe such, we say, he is a bearded man.” The Catholic Balm Co. created the Barbatus Beard Balm with this philosophy in mind. Keep that face rug in check and smell like a freshly baptized baby with the chrism aroma beard balm.

For the lovely ladies

Daughter of the King: Wait, Where’s My Crown? by Kaylin Koslosky & Megan Finegan
Independent, Paperback, $12.95
restoreyourcrown.com
Buy it here

51pzrwl28zlLocal authors Kaylin Koslosky and Megan Finegan wrote this book with high school and college-aged women in mind. They bring a fresh-out-of-college perspective to hot topics such as love, faith and relationships, while keeping their approach grounded in the Church’s teachings.

 

Little Flower Lip Balm
$10 three-pack + shipping
catholicbalm.co

The female alternative to Barbatus Beard Balm, this lip balm is made with four simple, high quality ingredients, and comes in three different scents. A portion of the proceeds made from the balms go to various ministries, parishes and individuals that Catholic Balm Co. supports.

For everybody

Lumibox
lumibox.co
$29 – $34 per month

Lumibox is a totally cool company started by a local Catholic couple aimed at enriching the lives of others through art, music and more. Each month, they’ll deliver a curated box of Catholic stuff right to your doorstep that can contain daily devotionals, CDs, or a smorgasbord of other items.

Mystic Monk Coffee
mysticmonkcoffee.com

monk_shot_box_with_cups_mystic_monk_blend_grandeThese holy roasts are made by a community of Carmelite monks in the middle-of-nowhere, Wyoming, and, based on reviews from coffeereview.com, are quite delicious, smooth and of the highest quality. The monks make a variety of coffee and tea, and they even offer K-Cups, approximately titled “Monk-Shots.” For the coffee drinker in your life, this is a must-get.

Birra Nursia
birranursia.com

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This beer is brewed in the Belgian monastic tradition by Benedictine Monks at a monastery in Norcia, Italy, and trust us: it’s incredible. Yes, it’s a bit on the pricey side since it has to be imported from Italy, but it’s worth every dime, and all of the proceeds go to sustaining the monks’ monastery and way of life in Norcia. They need all the help they can get due to the recent earthquake, and Lord knows we need their prayers.

COMING UP: Q&A: USCCB clarifies intent behind bishops’ Eucharist document

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Last week, the U.S. bishop concluded their annual Spring meeting, during which much about the Church in the U.S was discussed. In particular, the bishops voted to draft a document on the meaning of Eucharistic life in the Church, which was approved by an overwhelming majority.

Since then, speculation about the nature of the document has run rampant, the chief of which is that it was drafted specifically to instigate a policy aimed directly at Catholic politicians and public figures whose outward political expressions and policy enactment do not align with Church teaching.

The USCCB has issued a brief Q&A clarifying the intent of the document, and they have emphasized that “the question of whether or not to deny any individual or groups Holy Communion was not on the ballot.”

“The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life,” the USCCB said. “The importance of nurturing an ever
deeper understanding of the beauty and mystery of the Eucharist in our lives is not a new topic for the bishops. The document being drafted is not meant to be disciplinary in nature, nor is it targeted at any one individual or class of persons. It will include a section on the Church’s teaching on the responsibility of every Catholic, including bishops, to live in accordance with the truth, goodness and beauty of the Eucharist we celebrate.”

Below are a few commonly asked questions about last week’s meeting and the document on the Eucharist.

Why are the bishops doing this now?

For some time now, a major concern of the bishops has been the declining belief and understanding of the Eucharist among the Catholic faithful. This was a deep enough concern that the theme of the bishops’ strategic plan for 2021-2024 is Created Anew by the Body and Blood of Christ: Source of Our Healing and Hope. This important document on the Eucharist will serve as a foundation for the multi-year Eucharistic Revival Project, a major national effort to reignite Eucharistic faith in our country. It was clear from the intensity and passion expressed in the individual interventions made by the bishops during last week’s meeting that each bishop deeply loves the Eucharist.

Did the bishops vote to ban politicians from receiving Holy Communion?

No, this was not up for vote or debate. The bishops made no decision about barring anyone from receiving Holy Communion. Each Catholic — regardless of whether they hold public office or not — is called to continual conversion, and the U.S. bishops have repeatedly emphasized the obligation of all Catholics to support human life and dignity and other fundamental principles of Catholic moral and social teaching.

Are the bishops going to issue a national policy on withholding Communion from politicians?

No. There will be no national policy on withholding Communion from politicians. The intent is to present a clear understanding of the Church’s teachings to bring heightened awareness among the faithful of how the Eucharist can transform our lives and bring us closer to our creator and the life he wants for us.

Did the Vatican tell the bishops not to move forward on drafting the document?

No. The Holy See did encourage the bishops to engage in dialogue and broad consultation. Last week’s meeting was the first part of that process. It is important to note that collaboration and consultation among the bishops will be key in the drafting of this document.


Featured photo by Eric Mok on Unsplash