Sunday, 30 November 2014

James Robinson Collection Christmas Cards

Carmel Books is pleased to be able to offer this year a selection of Christmas cards from young Catholic artist James Robinson.

Cards are individually wrapped and come with envelope.

We also have some boxed sets of Christmas cards for sale as well as individual cards from the Madeleine Beard Collection.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The Little Children's Prayer Book

This beautiful, newly illustrated hardcover edition of the classic 1911 title by Mother Mary Loyola is the perfect gift for a First Communicant!

This little 4" x 6" pocket gem contains more than just daily prayers: Two different sets of meditations for the Mass are accompanied by illustrations showing what the priest is doing at each stage.

Add Mother Loyola's excellent examination of conscience, geared especially for children, devotional stories that foster a loving obedience, and the gorgeous full-colour illustrations, and you'll be wishing you had such a book as a child!

The Soldier of Christ

Any book on the sacrament of Confirmation can explain what Confirmation is, but this is the only book that explains, in the most original and engaging manner, what Confirmation does.

It is both a dialogue and a travelogue, taking the reader on a journey from the Crusades to the Crimea; from medieval ceremonies of Knighthood to early modern methods of warfare.

What does it mean to be a Soldier of Christ? For the true child of God, life is a daily battle against a well-concealed foe - that is, our own flaws and failings - and Mother Mary Loyola proposes to arm young recruits adequately for this task, leaving no stone unturned in her quest to root out this 'enemy at home'. This is the sort of basic training no young Catholic should be without.

Jesus of Nazareth: The Story of His Life Written for Children

James Cardinal Gibbons was Archbishop of Baltimore when he asked Mother Mary Loyola to write this story of the Life of Our Lord.

As a revered author himself, and considering the number of such stories available even then, we can only imagine the admiration he must have held for Mother Loyola's rare talent for narrative.

She does not disappoint in this story, for as always, she brings to life the most vivid images of Our Lord, such that the children who read it will feel almost as if they were following the dusty paths Our Saviour trod.

Now enhanced with an abundance of contemporary engravings and lithographs, this newly typeset edition is an invaluable means of impressing upon the minds of young children the reality of God become Man.

Home For Good

The unassuming title Home for Good and the original motivation Mother Mary Loyola had in writing this book - that is, to help young ladies who were finishing boarding school to make the right choices in life - both utterly belie the groundbreaking significance of its content.

While Mother Loyola's King of the Golden City is charming and entertaining; while her catechesis books are both informative and inspiring; and while her devotional works are unparalleled in their ability to reach the hearts of their readers, Home for Good is a rock on which an unshakable faith can be built amidst the storms and calms of everyday life.

Having spent most of her adult life in educating young ladies, Mother Loyola was intimately familiar with the character of youth as well as the challenges young people face when confronted with the temptations of worldliness.

Though this book was written with her young charges in mind, it is no less relevant to young men, who endure the same enticements - and in our own culture, perhaps even greater ones. It is a clarion call to young Catholics to hold fast to their faith and morals in a world that seeks to destroy that faith at every opportunity.

Readers of all ages, both male and female, have equally to gain by reading from this book regularly.

First Confession

The greatest challenge in preparing young children for the Sacrament of Penance is in making confession a habit to which they will be voluntarily attracted. We can require their presence at catechism class, and compel them to go to confession, but without this crucial ingredient, we cannot hope to dispel the all-too-common view that it is an onerous task to be studiously avoided.

It is precisely this difficulty that Mother Mary Loyola addresses with this book. She knew children's minds so well - how they crave being treated like adults - and thus she avoids all that is oversimplified or saccharine, a quality which gives all of her work such broad appeal, even to adults. Her vivid storytelling brings to life an irresistible feeling of the comfort and joy the child will find in the forgiveness of their loving father. Who, then, would dream of ever avoiding such sweet medicine?

Questions on First Communion

By itself, Mother Mary Loyola's first book, First Communion, stands as a monumental achievement in catechesis, in that it teaches children the crucial truths of the Faith in a way that is equally understandable and appealing, despite the fact that more than a century has passed since it was written.

This book of questions, written by Mother Loyola as a supplement to First Communion, takes this achievement one step further, by facilitating home and classroom discussion of the material found in each chapter. Each lesson provides discussion questions, tied to page references in the source material, as well as additional stories designed to reinforce the concepts learned.

Both catechists and parents alike will find this volume helpful in preparing children to receive the Blessed Sacrament.

First Communion

Around the year 1890, a rather extraordinary nun began writing a very extraordinary book: one that would help children prepare for the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. It would revolutionise children's catechism by making the teachings of the Catholic Church both accessible and appealing, and in just over 10 years, its popularity would make her one of the best-known and best-loved Catholic authors of her time, with over two dozen works for both children and adults to her name.

Mother Mary Loyola's work has been reintroduced to a new generation through her book The King of the Golden City, and now modern readers can access the brilliant and engaging works upon which she drew to write that book, especially the one that started it all: First Communion.

This brand new, newly typeset version is dedicated to Mother Loyola in gratitude for her tireless efforts and the fruit they have borne in the lives of countless Catholics the world over.

The Children's Charter

The Children's Charter was Mother Mary Loyola's response to Pope Pius X's 1910 decree Quam Singulari, which lowered the age for reception of First Communion to seven.

Addressed directly to the parents and teachers of children, this is a rare peek into the classroom as Mother Loyola would have it.

Here the author of The King of the Golden City gives sage advice for how best to capture and maintain the interest of little ones in preparing them for Confession and Communion.

Despite the century that has passed since this book was first published, Mother Loyola's advice remains just as relevant, a testament to how well she knew how to reach the hearts and minds of children.


This last of Mother Mary Loyola's full-length works is an object lesson in learning to trust implicitly in God for all things, especially when it is most difficult to do so.

Who better than she to lead us on this path - having begun her long life as an orphan, and now patiently awaiting eternity, bedridden with a broken hip for 5 years?

Her first-hand experience tells in this intimate portrait, as she extols the rewards inherent in the very struggle in which she found herself enmeshed. Amidst her trials, she holds up for us the examples of the saints and the martyrs, the faith of the Patriarchs, and the solicitousness of Our Father in Heaven, Whose gifts to us are without number, and in return asks of us what any loving parent longs for: the unconditional love and trust of His child.

Hail! Full of Grace: Simple Thoughts on the Rosary

Mother Loyola brings her full talent for storytelling to bear on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, in Hail! Full of Grace.

Like a tour guide to the Holy Land, she brings the reader along on a journey through the lives of Our Lord and of His Blessed Mother.

We experience, through her vivid illustration, the breathless anticipation, the drudgery and hardship, the depths of sorrow and despair, and the heights of joy unimaginable.

No detail escapes her notice as she travels on, until her readers feel less that they have meditated upon the mysteries of the Rosary, and rather more that they have experienced them first-hand.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses

Mother Mary Loyola's work on the subject of Confession is not merely groundbreaking, but seems to form one of the most crucial of her strengths, given that the Sacrament of Penance has always been the most avoidable and avoided of all; many Catholics express a distaste for it akin to torment.

For her readers, however, such angst is inconceivable, as she does not merely help to remove all fear and discomfort associated with the Confessional; she also enkindles a deep sense of appreciation for the gift of the sacrament. This, in turn, fosters an eager anticipation of the grace it confers.

Those who make use of Forgive Us Our Trespasses - whether children or adults - will find themselves seeking this healing sacrament with regularity.

Coram Sanctissimo: Before The Most Holy

In these meditations before the Blessed Sacrament, Mother Mary Loyola's distinctive style skillfully guides the reader toward prayerfulness without supplying any formulated prayers.

From Catholic World, May 1901: "There is nothing exaggerated, artificial, or impossible in the pages before us; they contain merely a collection of musings and devotional monologues written with a directness and spontaneity that will appeal strongly to many who can get little profit out of less natural and more fervent writing".

From The Irish Ecclesiastical Record, January 1902: "...Mother M. Loyola is as much at home when depicting the trials, the aspirations, and the consolations of adults as in leading little children along the road of true penance. Each visit seizes, generally with thrilling vivacity, one idea; the subject is weighed in the presence of our Lord, the conclusions are always practical".

Blessed Are They That Mourn

By the early years of the twentieth century, Mother Mary Loyola had cemented her reputation as one of the best Catholic writers of her generation, but the First World War prompted her to write a book of consolation for the innumerable mothers, wives and others who had lost loved ones to its ravages.

Her intimate knowledge of the subject matter gave her unique insight, for she had lost so many in the course of her long life, beginning with both of her parents and two siblings when she was just nine years old, and recently including several of her own beloved students who were fighting in the trenches of the Great War.

She knew only too well the need for a strong faith in these times of intense suffering and loss, and this she amply illustrates in Blessed Are They That Mourn.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Mother Mary Loyola

Carmel Books is pleased to announce that we will soon have in stock several of the works of Mother Mary Loyola. We will offer short summaries of these books on the blog next week.

Mother Mary Loyola was a household name among Catholics of her time. Her writing earned her the love and praise of generations, as evidenced by the comments found in contemporary Catholic journals. For example:

"Catholic literature, doctrinal and devotional, owes a great deal to Mother Mary Loyola. There is a certain wholesomeness, naturalness, geniality about her spirituality that at once wins a place in the Catholic heart for whatever she writes".
     The Ecclesiastical Review, January 1918

"The writings of Mother Mary Loyola have carried the Bar Convent beyond all barriers. She has been beyond doubt the greatest benefactress of the pen known to the present growing generation of Catholics in these islands, and her readers are counted by tens of thousands overseas".
     The Tablet, November 1912

Mother Mary Loyola was born Elizabeth Giles in London in 1845, the second of 6 children in a family of strict Protestants. Her father was a grain dealer on the London Stock Exchange, and they lived a comfortable life. But 1850's London - the London of Dickens - was dirty, overcrowded and rife with infectious disease. When she was just nine years old, her baby brother fell ill, and within weeks, Scarlet Fever had claimed not only his life, but those of her elder sister and both her parents.

Still ill and reeling from the shock of the loss, Elizabeth and her remaining siblings were taken in by an uncle, Samuel Giles, who had converted to the Catholic Faith. The Oxford Movement had recently brought many distinguished converts to the Church, and in the company of her uncle, Elizabeth profited from the sermons of Cardinal Manning and the hymns of Father Faber. After entering the Church in 1854, she attended the Bar Convent School in York, one of the finest in England.

When she had finished her studies there, she felt called to the religious life, and in 1866 decided to return to the Bar Convent, this time as a Sister. For many years she taught in the convent school, even serving as Headmistress and Mother Superior for a time.

Because of her exceptional teaching ability, she was encouraged by Father John Morris, S.J. to write a book for children preparing for First Communion. It was issued anonymously in 1896 as part of the Jesuit Quarterly Series, but it quickly became so popular that she was persuaded to publish it, and all her subsequent books, in her own name.

It was her ability to draw in her listeners with story after story - and not just any stories, but ones that incorporated current events and brand new inventions of the time - that made her writing so innovative. Despite the fact that those events are no longer current, and those inventions no longer brand new, her books scintillate with the appeal of an active mind that could find a moral in the most unusual places.

There were no limits to her missionary zeal - she was known to employ her skill with anyone who would listen, even including the furnace repairman toiling away in the cellar of the convent. She started up a branch of the Boy’s Brigade in York, running it herself for ten years, and its popularity was a testament to her exceptional ability to incorporate elements of faith and morality into the most unexpected activities. Many of her beloved boys would later serve in the First World War, and sadly, some did not return.

Her correspondence was extensive, but it was one particular letter that prompted what would become perhaps her most popular work. A young boy asked her to write him a story that would sum up what he had learned in his Catechism. With characteristic aplomb, she obliged him with The King of the Golden City in 1921. It was a crowning pinnacle to her decades of writing, incorporating the bulk of her prior insight and weaving it all deftly together in allegorical fashion.

But she was far from finished with her writing career. A serious fall in 1923 resulted in a hip fracture, and confined her to bed. She bore the pain with grace, using the time to write more books and a profusion of pamphlets for organizations such as the Catholic Truth Society. It was just before Christmas in 1930 when she passed peacefully from this world to the next, bringing an end to her suffering and to a life spent in the service of our Lord.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Treasure and Tradition: The Ultimate Guide to The Latin Mass

Available now from Carmel Books:

Have you ever:
  • Considered attending a Latin Mass, but found it too intimidating?
  • Struggled to jump back and forth between the pages of a Latin-English Missal?
  • Wondered what all those people are doing at the altar during High Mass?
  • Wished for an effective way to help children to understand and follow along with the Mass?
  • Wanted to know more about the history of the Mass and how it came to be the way it is?
  • Been puzzled by things like Septuagesima, Rogation Days, and other unfamiliar terms, feasts and practices?

This Guide is just what you’ve been waiting for!

Addressed primarily towards poor souls stuck in a Novus Ordo wasteland and nominal Catholics who may wish to learn something about the Faith into which they were baptised, this book is also very useful for children and even for those who have held on to the Mass for years. It not only does a wonderful job explaining the Mass but also delves into the history of the Mass and explains the meaning of traditional feasts, unfamiliar terms and practices.

Inside Treasure and Tradition is found a word-for-word English translation of the ordinary text of the Mass, together with photos, diagrams, notes and explanations that help to not only to follow along, but also to understand the history and significance of the ceremonies. In addition, there are sections explaining the main differences between the Catholic Mass and the Novus Ordo Missae, a discussion comparing the development of the Mass with that of its sister liturgy, the Divine Office, an exploration of the English translations of the Bible, a full glossary, and finally, recommended prayers intended to help you prepare when receiving the sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist.

Hardback. 8.5" x 11". 120 pages.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

For a War Memorial - Father William Doyle, S.J.

For a War Memorial

The Irish military chaplain Father William Doyle, S.J., (1873 - 1917) combined humour, holiness and courage in an outstanding degree.

His death during the third battle of Ypres left intact for posterity the detailed spiritual diaries in which he had recorded for private use his methodical and gruelling path of self-conquest and the growth of his passionate love of Christ.

providence furnished him as biographer the most learned Irishman of his generation: his friend Professor Alfred O'Rahilly.

The resulting biography is a compulsively readable and revealing examination of sanctity under the microscope, by an author whose calm judgement never falters.

Father Doyle had devoted his life to the preaching of parish missions and had received the extraordinary grace of never once failing to obtain the conversion of the straying sheep he sought out, even the most hardened sinners.

But the grace he most yearned for was martyrdom, and he finally won his palm on the bloodiest battlefield of history.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Lions Led By Donkeys

Merry In God: A Life of Father William Doyle, S.J.

This book is mainly for young people, or for old people who are young.

In simple words it tells of one whose story has already gone forth and gone straight to many hearts in many lands, and won their admiration and affection.

It makes little attempt to analyse or explain the spiritual ideals and practices of its hero. All this has been done scientifically and splendidly by Professor Alfred O'Rahilly in Father William Doyle, S.J., from which much of this Life has been taken.

It is the inspiring story of a youth who set out to make himself a saint; who in his search after holiness arouses admiration, amazement, smiles and laughter, kept a most human kindliness, tolerance, and whimsical humour towards others; who all his days longed to die a martyr, and whose body, mangled by a shell, as he ministered to a wounded man, lies in an unknown grave in Flanders.

Friday, 7 November 2014

The Feast of the Holy Relics

8th November- "Protestantism pretends to regard the veneration which the Church pays to the relics of the saints as a sin, and contends that this pious practice is a remnant of paganism.

The Council of Trent, on the contrary, has decided that the bodies of the martyrs and other saints, who were living members of Jesus Christ and temples of the Holy Ghost, are to be honoured by the faithful. This decision was based upon the established usage of the earliest days of the Church, and upon the teachings of the Fathers and of the Councils".

One important relic to English Catholics, particularly, is that of St. Cuthbert Mayne's crown. Cuthbert Mayne, whose feast day is celebrated later this month, was martyred for the Faith in 1577, aged 33 years, and his precious relic is guarded and treasured at Lanherne Convent in Cornwall.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Saint Martin de Porres - Meet Brother Martin!

5th November - "That the truth is stranger than fiction is verified in the life of this holy man who was born on 9th December, 1579, and died on 3rd November, 1639.

He was the son of Don Juan de Porres, a Spanish adventurer and nobleman, and Ann Velasquez, a freed Negro woman of Panama.

Martin's father arranged for some sort of schooling and then had him apprenticed to a barber-surgeon from whom he learned the rudiments of medical practice. This elementary study of the healing arts enabled him to set bones, dress wounds, give doses for the cure of fever and be the good Samaritan for years in Lima, Peru.

Wishing to dedicate himself entirely and freely to the service of others, he became a Tertiary of the Dominican Order. Whilst never a professed religious, he lived as a Third Order member of their convent at Lima, and from it as headquarters went forth to a daily life of utter self-sacrifice for the needy.

The stories of his marvels of healing and the countless works of wonder that he did remind one of the early days of Christianity. Incredible though they sound, they are attested to by reliable witnesses and account, in some way, for the constant devotion to him in South America and the more recent cult to him in North America.

All the works of mercy found him their ready minister. Such practical acts of kindness as getting marriage dowries for young girls and establishing orphanages and shelter for bereaved children were part of his beneficent programme.

His father, who in time, became Governor of Panama never aided him but, in fact, attempted to prevent his ambition to lead the religious life.

Behind these self-effacing and charitable enterprises was a life of profound prayer, furthered by heroic penances".

Monday, 3 November 2014

Remembering the Holy Souls

Please remember in your prayers today and during the Octave the souls of our good friend Fr. Michael Crowdy who was called to his eternal reward at 3pm on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 2006, and of Carmel Books' founder Robin Masterman Pannell and his successor Maurice Marshal, MBE.

Robin, pictured left, founded Carmel Books about 40 years ago to supply solid traditional Catholic materials in a post-Vatican II wasteland.

He was called to his eternal reward on 22nd January, 2008.

Robin was succeeded by Maurice Marshal, pictured below right, who heroically took on the management of the Carmel Books apostolate whilst well into his 70's!

Maurice was called to his eternal reward on 10th July, 2010.

De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine: * Domine, exaudi vocem meam.
Fiant aures tuae intendentes: * in vocem deprecationis meae.
Si iniquitates observaveris, Domine: * Domine, quis sustinebit?
Quia apud te propitiatio est: * propter legem tuam sustinui te, Domine.
Sustinuit anima mea in verbum ejus: * speravit anima mea in Domino.
A custodia matutina usque ad noctem: * speret Israel in Domino.
Quia apud Dominum misericordia: * et copiosa apud eum redemptio.
Et ipse redimet Israel: * ex omnibus iniquitatibus ejus.
Requiem aeternam * dona eis, Domine.
Et lux perpetna luceat eis.
Requiescant in pace.

V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam,
R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.

Fidelium Deus omnium conditor et redemptor, animabus famulorum famularumque tuarum remissionem cunctorum tribue peccatorum: ut iudulgentiam, quam semper optaverunt, piis supplicationibus consequantur. Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. R. Amen.

V. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.
R. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
V. Requiescant in pace.
R. Amen.