JULIE Moran is discovering novel ways to teach the sacraments.
Saving the Bishop, an action-adventure novel, reaches children and adults alike in teaching the sacraments in a fun, educational way.
Julie Moran, under the pseudonym Jordan Knottman, wrote the book after many years working in education, developing a passion for the sacraments.
The book focuses on primary school twins Dan and Maura who solve puzzles and uncover a mystery as they search for answers on the Catholic Church’s sacraments.
It is written for children but Ms Moran wanted adults to read it too.
This is partly because children face challenges reading alone, and there is benefit to reading with parents.
“Sometimes you get kids that are seven (years old), and they’ll fly through the words and they’ll know exactly what they’re reading; and you’ll get kids in (Year) 6 and they’ll be struggling with their reading still,” Ms Moran said.
But it’s also because she said there was a lot of confusion about the sacraments of initiation, particularly because the order of Confirmation and First Holy Communion changed twice last century.
“I also think it’s a great education tool for the parents and a great sharing experience for parents to read with the kids – and then be able to talk about their own experiences and what they went through and all of that,” Ms Moran said.
“I’m hoping a lot of that will take place.”
Ms Moran said stories were a “wonderful way to help young people to connect with things”.
Stories also helped children remember new information and “open up” to the meaningfulness and significance of what they were learning, she said.
This was often the most challenging part about teaching young children theological concepts and traditions – but stories solved that problem.
Stories were also a deeply Christian way of teaching.
“We are a people of stories,” Ms Moran said.
“And Jesus spoke in stories constantly.”
As for Dan and Maura, their story involves adventure, sneaking and quick-wits to get them out of all sorts of tricky situations.
The characters are grounded in a real-world family situation but never lose a sense of Catholic community.
The book comes fitted with a glossary of Roman Catholic terminology used in the book to help guide the readers.
Ms Moran also emphasised the book’s environmental friendliness, being printed mostly on recycled paper and with vegetable-based ink.