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Leader columnist’s new project on confirmation

Writing for children: Selina Venier and daughter Alessia who is “a great sounding board”.

Writing for children: Selina Venier and daughter Alessia who is “a great sounding board”.

WITH the Feast of Pentecost around the corner The Catholic Leader columnist Selina Venier has released her latest children’s book, Invisible Fire, about the sacrament of Confirmation.

Like Invisible Mud, the first book in a series of three, Invisible Fire traces a conversation between two friends as they share the experience of the Church and the sacraments.

Ms Venier said the characters explored some “whys and wherefores” to help children better understand the sacraments.

“All the books in my ‘invisible’ series are borne from my love for the Church and the sacraments,” she said. “It’s been an absolute joy to see them come to life and my heartfelt prayer is they reach and help families who are preparing for one or more of the sacraments of initiation by way of a different kind of explanation, one based on ‘story’.”

Ms Venier said Confirmation was the sacrament “to sometimes go over people’s heads in terms of understanding and appreciation for any one of a variety of reasons”.

“I’ve always thought the sacraments of Penance and Eucharist are very tangible,” she said.

“Children, generally, can understand the ‘black and white’ of sin and, by the time they are old enough, have been going to Mass and have seen adults share in Jesus’ Body and Blood for a significant time.

“Confirmation, who the Holy Spirit is and what happened at Pentecost is worthy of much time, prayer and discussion.

“I think back to my Confirmation as a child and certainly put myself in the category of it ‘going over my head’.”

Ms Venier has again paired with Brisbane graphic designer and illustrator Veronika Plant for this latest publication.

Asked if the characters are based on anyone in particular Ms Venier was reminiscent of her ministry in Brisbane parishes.

“To look at the characters, yes, they are modelled on two children I helped catechise recently,” she said.

 “But their questions and general conversation I would say is a real mix of what most children might be feeling, wondering and thinking as they prepare for the sacraments.

“(And) my own daughters are constantly full of questions and opinions.”

Invisible Mud (about the sacrament of Penance) and Invisible Fire are both available from St Paul’s bookstores in Brisbane and Sydney and through The Catholic Leader.

Invisible Presence, about the sacrament of First Holy Communion, will be released in June.

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