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Books from local authors make great gifts

Looking for gift ideas for loved ones?

Books by authors in the archdiocese – a university professor, a doctor, a stay-at-home dad, a retired priest, and others – offer a wealth of opportunities for prayerful, faith-filled and entertaining reading this Advent and Christmas season.

An early gift that readers might make even for themselves, to appreciate the season more deeply, could be "The Advent of Jesus Christ: Journey with the People, Events and Prayers of Advent," by Karen and Lawrence Dwyer.

Through the book’s inspiring reflections on the events surrounding Christ’s birth, readers meet the people who first encountered the Savior.

"Seldom do we take the time to meditate on and linger over the first two chapters of Luke and the first two chapters of Matthew, which is all that’s written about the first 30 years of Jesus’ life," Karen Dwyer said.

But in the book, "we take them a little bit at a time to get to know each character. I want people to really enjoy themselves and gain new insights into each of the beautiful people who were first in Jesus’ life," she said.

Several autobiographical works include Dr. Ralph Kramper’s "Ralph on Ralph – Daily Reflections on Life: A Family Physician’s Experience of God’s Love, Grace, Mercy, and Wisdom," and "I Remember Father Flanagan," by retired Father Clifford Stevens.

In his book, Kramper reflects on his life’s journey and medical practice, and the faith lessons he’s learned and hoped to pass on to his family and others.

"In publishing it, I told God that if just one person decided to follow him after reading it, that would make it all worthwhile," he said.

Father Stevens shares stories of his personal contact with Father Edward Flanagan, founder of Boys Town, whose cause for sainthood is underway. As a Boys Town resident, Father Stevens knew and was profoundly influenced by this "servant of God."

"It’s my memories of him, how I met him and quite a bit about his life and the thinking behind Boys Town," Father Stevens said.

For lighter reading and lots of laughs, check out Dan Kenney’s "Dad Genius: Blitherings of a Stay-at-Home Dad." Originally a series of Facebook posts, Kenney compiled his observations on the frantic but rewarding life raising, with his wife, their eight children.

Other books by area authors cover topics such as experiencing and sharing Christ’s love, developing one’s faith and prayer life, homeschooling and more.

Click here for books highlighted in the Dec. 1 issue of the Catholic Voice. The books are available at area gift shops, Catholic or secular bookstores, or online.

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