UP Catholic 11 27 2015 E Edition Page 8

8 November 27, 2015 THE U.P. CATHOLIC www.upcatholic.org BY VICKIE FEE THE U.P. CATHOLIC For the reader on your list, Denise Bosserts book, Gifts of the Visitation, would make an excellent gift. It draws lessons from the Virgin Marys visit with her cousin Elizabeth. Commonly known as the Visitation, this event is the second of the Joyful Mysteries that Catholics meditate upon while praying the rosary. This short, very readable book is divided into nine chapters with reflections on Mary's journey, so it may be read as a novena. Throughout the book, stories from Bosserts own life fiving birth, a close brush with death, her conversion to Cathol- icismare interwoven with the lessons learned from life of the Blessed Mother. The author has traveled to the Holy Land, including the tradi- tional sites of the Annunciation and the Visitation. The profound spiritual impact of this pilgrim- age comes through in the book. As a convert to Catholicism my- self, the author's reflections on her own journey into the Catholic Church especially resonated with me-her improbable journey of faith as the daughter of a Protes- tant minister to Catholicism and the surprising journey of her hus- band into the Catholic Church. In the book, Bossert writes, When we first meet Mary and Elizabeth in the Gospels, they are in the middle of improbable and overwhelming situations.All of us are fiven improbable situations, and each one provides a frame for our acceptance of and entrance into the gifts that arise as a result of our openness to our visitations. Mary wanted to bear Christ to the world, even before his birth. And Elizabeth was perhaps the one person uniquely qualified to understand the angel's message to Mary. Both Mary and Elizabeth had surrendered themselves completely to Gods will and God chose them to accomplish his will in ways they never could have imagined. Some of the gifts of the Visitation re- lected upon in the book are the gifts of spontaneityMary quickly decided to fo to Elizabeth, courageit was a long and difficult journey, and hospitality- Elizabeth welcomes not only Mary, but Christ into her home. The overarching theme of the book is that we are all called to bear Christ to the world and how we can learn so much from Marys example. Gifts of the Visitation is a book to inspire and instruct Catholics in embracing the mission of evangelization, walking in the footsteps of Mary. Bossert has appeared on EWTNs Journey Home and Women of Grace and is a syndicated columnist, whose columns have been featured in di- ocesan newspapers across the U.S., including The U.P. Catholic. She is a travel writer and gives talks at parishes and to womens groups on conversion and spiritual mentoring. Bossert and her husband, John, have four children and five grandchildren. Learn more at www.denisebossert.com. 1405 13th St. MENOMINEE, MI (906) 864-LOVE In the ADVENT you think CHRISTMAS should focus on JESUS, stop by THE GREATEST GIFT for some REAL PRESENTS! (Pun intended.) (Bring in this valuable coupon to pay EXTRA on any item in the store. YES, you read that correctly, ANY item!) Gifts of the Visitation' makes great gift Denise Bossert's "Gifts of the Visitation" was released by Ave Maria Press earlier this year. Bossert contributed a column, Catholic by Grace, to The U.P. Catholic for five years. LaJoie's latest fictional work, 'No One Would Listen,' based on real-life events Upper Peninsula author, Jim LaJoie, has penned a novel depicting the ter- rors of adolescent bullying. No One Would Listen tells the story of Johnnie, an innocent teenager who is the unfortunate victim of unbearable bullying. It offers a real, first-hand look at what it feels like to be a target of bullies and the pain and an- fuish that occurs inside. Although this is a work of fiction, it is de- rived from real-life experiences, either those I've personally been subjected to or those Ive painfully watched, LaJoie said. Bullying, whether its in school or in the workplace, is painfully part of our culture. Im hoping this book draws attention to an issue that woefully needs this countrys attention. The book, priced at $10, is available at Snowbound Books in Marquette, the Falling Rock Caf and Bookstore in Munising, through the author and on www.amazon.com. To purchase a copy directly through the author, simply email LaJoie at jlajoie@charter.net. A portion of the net proceeds, LaJoie said, will be gifted to middle and high schools across Michigan for education- al efforts to address bullying. Jim LaJoie

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