As a young girl, I remember reading books like Babysitters Club or The Magic Tree House but nothing like a book encouraging me to seek or explore the call to religious life. Perfect timing, since Sunday (April 21) was the World Day of Prayer for vocations.
When they could not find stories about vocations for children, Fr. Jeff and Peggy Wertz decided to start writing their own books. In 2010 they published, Becoming Fr. Bob,for boys, which quickly became a success.
This January, during Catholic Schools Week, they released their latest book, aimed at elementary and middle-school girls: Becoming Sister Mary Grace.
“Principal Peggy Wertz and I worked alongside a great illustrator and saw Becoming Sister Mary Grace come alive,” said Father Kirby, vicar of vocations for the Diocese of Charleston, S.C. Wertz is principal of St. Mary Help of Christians School in Aiken, S.C., where illustrator Alice Judd is an art teacher.
“We want this book to be attractive to young girls, as well as middle-school girls,” Wertz said, explaining how the cover pictures Claire, the focus of the story, with her little sister. The little sister is the cause of Claire’s excitement as the story opens. With their mother expecting a new baby, this is Claire’s chance to become a big sister.
“We felt all of the youngsters in the country would identify with becoming a big sister,” Wertz said. It was also a nice way to talk about perhaps becoming another kind of “sister” someday.
The book is dedicated to the girls who were part of the St. Cecilia Vocation Club at Mary Help of Christians School when the book was begun. Those girls are now juniors and seniors in high school.
Natalie Gorensek, a junior, was really excited at the launch of the book and stated that, “Everyone knows about marriage and priests, but not everyone knows about nuns. So it’s important we have vocation clubs to get the word out that being a sister is interesting and cool. … Knowing other options (of vocations) is really helpful in spiritual development."
To read more about the book Becoming Sister Mary Grace, check out the artilce published in the National Catholic Register and let us continue to pray and encourage vocations throughout the world.