Leah Perrault and daughter Robyn (holding baby brother Atticus) of Holy Family Cathedral Parish in Saskatoon worked together to write a Lenten resource for families entitled Practicing Love.  Photo by Kiply Yaworski

Saskatoon mom and daughter team up for prayer book

By  Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Canadian Catholic News
  • March 27, 2018

SASKATOON – Leah Perrault was already the author of two books when a publisher approached her last summer about writing a family-oriented resource book for Lent.

It didn’t take long for her to realize this was going to be a two-person job, or, rather, a mother-daughter project.

It was one of Perrault’s former editors at Novalis who recommended her to Creative Communications, a U.S.-based publisher.

“They described what they were looking for — something practical for families — and I asked, ‘Would you mind if I did it with my daughter? She is creative and I think she would be able to help think up the activities,’ ” explained Perrault.

The result is Practicing Love, a booklet of daily reflections, activity and prayer, co-produced by Leah and Robyn Perrault of Holy Family Cathedral Parish in Saskatoon.

Robyn, 10, said she enjoyed working on the project, providing input into the daily reflections and ensuring that the examples and ideas would resonate with children as well as adults.

There is a one-page entry for each day of Lent, from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, which includes a Scripture verse, a short reflection, a one-line prayer and a “Practice Love” activity for family members — such as a hands-on craft or action, a ritual of asking for and receiving forgiveness, or finding ways to show love or offer service.

“We tried to make sure there were examples for adults and children, so that it was relevant, and to help both children and adults imagine how a practice or a principle is applicable for all ages,” says Leah, a mother of four and a former director of pastoral services for the Diocese of Saskatoon

“For instance, Robyn knows how hard it is for kids to be patient, but maybe she sometimes forgets that it is also difficult for mom and dad.” 

It was Robyn who suggested that they use the same prayer every day — “Jesus, I give you my heart with my acts of love today” — in order to help families learn and remember it.

Focusing on love as a Lenten practice resonated with the authors, who undertook the project during a difficult time, grieving a miscarriage and the death of Leah’s sister.

“When I was thinking about what our family needed from Lent, it wasn’t penance, it wasn’t pain. Rather, it was finding ways to practice the love that Jesus does, walking toward the cross,” explained Leah. 

Response to the resource has been positive, says Leah. In fact, Practicing Love sold out before Lent began, with some parishes disappointed when orders could not be filled. The mother/daughter team says they would be willing to do it again next Lent, if the publisher is interested. 

“Maybe we could think about practicing hope,” says Leah.

(The Prairie Messenger)

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