Seventeen Catholic girls from the Pilgrim Cluster, ages 7 to 14, participated in a book study this summer. Saint Therese and the Roses by Helen Walker Homan was the focus of the six-session study, May 30-July 18.
The Women’s Christian Book Study group from the Pilgrim Cluster – which is comprised of the churches of Alton St. Mary, Granville St. Joseph and Hospers St. Anthony – sponsored the girls book study and provided breakfast to start each 8 to 10 a.m. session. After breakfast, the girls broke into small groups to discuss what they had read by answering questions prepared by group leader Bridget Tesch.
Craft time involved making items that corresponded with the reading material. Mothers helped the girls make pink or red paper roses, stringing sacrifice beads to honor the sacrifices St. Therese would make as a child to please the Infant Jesus and painting peg dolls to look like St. Therese and the Infant of Prague. The final craft was creating a lapbook about the life and family of St. Therese.
During the experience, members of the Women’s Christian Book Study posed as “prayer angels” who wrote letters to the girls, encouraging them in their spiritual life and holiness.
The group also took a trip to visit the Carmelite Monastery in Sioux City. The girls delivered gift baskets of food to the nuns, imitating the family of St. Therese, who would bring food items to the Carmelite sisters where they lived in France.
The trip ended with a stop at the Shrine of Trinity Heights Queen of Peace for Mass and a picnic lunch.
Movie night brought the girls and women together to watch the movie Therese after the group recited the rosary. Prayer angels were revealed along with a gift of a red rose for each girl.
The study ended with the girls preparing and serving dinner to the women’s group on Aug. 2 as a thank-you for sponsoring the group.
A new girls’ book study will take place next summer to study another saint and a pathway to holiness.