Listen to the show:
Today’s host(s): Scot Landry and Fr. Matt Williams
Today’s guest(s): Jaymie Stuart Wolfe, Associate Editor of Children’s Books at Pauline Books and Media
Today’s topics: Jaymie Stuart Wolfe
Summary of today’s show: Jaymie Stuart Wolfe talks with Scot and Fr. Matt about her years of ministry in the Church, including being a columnist for the Pilot and now working as an editor at Pauline Books and Media. They also discussed her new books that make the words of the Popes more accessible, especially to youth and young adults, and another that explains the Mass for children, including the new translation coming up in Advent.
1st segment: Scot said Fr. Matt is in Maine today on a retreat and is joining the show via the phone. He was in Chicago last weekend for the baptism of a friend’s daughter. He was able to play tourist in Chicago as well and to be part of his friend’s family’s life.
On retreat, he’s been doing some spiritual reading by a Carmelite priest called “Under the Torrent of His Love,” about St. Therese of Lisieux. He explains the spiritual context of St. Therese from the French Revolution to Jansenism in France. At the time, there was a lot of focus on God’s justice without focusing on the mercy of God. Therese looks at it from the perspective of the childlike way and the love by which God sends his son Jesus. A child is completely open to allowing himself to be loved as God loves him. They are so open to receiving God’s love. For Therese, the Sacred Heart devotion was not once per month, but every day.
She has four new books, one she edited, “The Mass Explained for Kids”, and co-edited three others, “Adoring Jesus with the Holy Father”, “Honoring Mary with the Holy Father”, “Praying with the Holy Father”.
2nd segment: Scot welcomed Jaymie Stuart Wolfe to the show. Scot asked about all the many ways she has served the Church. She came into the Church in her senior year of college. She said she read her way out of evangelical Protestantism. She hit the bottom of evangelical ecclesiology and discovered the Church. She got involved in work in the Church through having children (she has 8 and 5 grandchildren) and getting involved in the pro-life movement. She’s done spiritual concerts of music, writing, speaking, and many others. She also has a longtime column in the Pilot, starting in 1995.
She had just had a baby in November, right after finishing her first book, and then a week later a priest connected to the Pilot asked her to write a column. Scot said that’s about 26 columns per year and hundreds of columns since then. She’s enjoyed writing how family life leads you deeper into faith. She’s enjoyed how her life changes because a child enters in. Her kids bring all of their variety and diversity of interests into her own life and enriched it. And then she sees how God’s call everyone differently.
One of her daughter spent the summer working with the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta. She is now a student at the University of Dallas.
Prior to her role at the Daughters of St. Paul, Jaymie was faith formation director and music minister at St. Maria Goretti parish in Lynnfield. She said most adult Catholics have faith at a level of 8 or 10 or 12 years old. They’ve progressed in all other aspects of their life, but their faith life hasn’t matured. Much of that comes from not understanding why we do the things we do. Also, that being Catholic is not about a few hours on a Sunday morning, but a call to life. Baptism is not an event but a calling to a life, an identity.
For most people who graduate from CCD when they’re confirmed, they will never know everything about faith. Theology is not basketweaving. But the beauty of the faith is that once you’re in a relationship with Jesus, you have a reason to learn about him for the rest of your life.
3rd segment: Jaymie said for people wanting to learn more about their faith, they should start with the Bible, and specifically the Gospels. Start with the life of Jesus and listen to what he says and does and the integrity that what he says is what he does. What brought Jaymie into the Church was Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church from Vatican II.
Scot recommended the book The Bible Compass: A Catholic’s Guide to Navigating the Scriptures by Edward Sri. Jaymie also told people to challenge God to prove himself to you, to talk to you in a way that you can hear his voice. He will speak to you in a language you will understand: art, music, liturgy, a conversation with a friend.
Scot asked Fr. Matt what he tells to those who ask where to start. Fr. Matt concurred with starting with the Gospel of Matthew, to ask God to guide as you read. He also recommended the YouCat, the new catechism for youth commissioned by Pope Benedict XVI and distributed at World Youth Day. There are many online resources, including those from the Daughters of St. Paul at Pauline.org.
Scot asked Jaymie about the “…with the Holy Father” books, which break the Holy Father’s words down into bite-sized bits on the same topics. Jaymie said there are lots of gems in the Pope’s words, but it can be difficult to wade through all of the theological language to get to the nuggets. Jaymie said she was inspired by wanting to have her kids be able to listen to the Holy Father and understand him. She took her family to New York in 2008 to see Pope Benedict at Yankee Stadium. Everyone was thrilled, but they couldn’t tell you what they heard and if they went to look at the writings online, all the brilliant words were somewhat inaccessible to the average person. So they approached the Vatican and asked if they could take the words of the Pope and bring them to a level that a 10 to 14-year-old could understand. The Daughters didn’t expect to get approval but they didn’t.
Jaymie said the three books covered the writings of 19 different popes. She read everything from every pope on the Vatican website that was available in English. It took her about a month. Many of the encyclicals that are very heavy have beautiful prayers at the end of them or speeches at audiences or gatherings. She said she got a whole new appreciation for Pope Pius XII, who was pope during World War II. It was how he wrote about Mary and the Scriptures and how he approached his daunting task of leading the Church in a challenging time.
Scot asked why they chose selections of about 100 words at a time. Jaymie said you don’t want to crowd prayer. That’s about the attention span of a reader. She read a sample of one of the selections. Fr. Matt said the books are listed as for young adults, but “young” can have a broad definition. Young can be a new Catholic or even just someone who doesn’t want to stumble over difficult words.
4th segment: It’s time to announce the winner of the weekly WQOM Benefactor Raffle.
Our prize this week is The Battle for the Family DVD by Peter Herbeck and Girls’ Night Out: Having Fun with Your Daughter While Raising a Woman of God, by Michaelann Martin.
This week’s benefactor card raffle winner is Carmela Tringali from Medford, MA. Congratulation, Carmela!
If you would like to be eligible to win in an upcoming week, please visit WQOM.org. For a one-time $30 donation, you’ll receive the Station of the Cross benefactor card and key tag, making you eligible for WQOM’s weekly raffle of books, DVDs, CDs and religious items. We’ll be announcing the winner each Wednesday during “The Good Catholic Life” program.
5th segment: The Mass Explained for Kids has sold 10,000 copies already in just a few weeks. Scot said it’s not just about the new translation of the Mass, but it explains what we’re doing.
Jaymie said it has the liturgical text on one page with color-coordinated explanations on the facing page. She said 75% of Catholics don’t know that the translation is changing on the first Sunday of Advent. It’s an unprecedented opportunity to learn about the Mass and understand what is happening in the Church on Sunday in the central prayer of our faith. Scot said imagine going to a football game and not knowing what’s going on.
Jaymie gave an example of the beginning of the Mass where we will now respond to the priest: “And with your spirit.”
It’s very inexpensive at $1.99 and they’re also creating a smartphone app version as well.