Susan Perna, author of From Light to More Light: God’s Plan and You. Photo courtesy Susan Perna

Author reveals the majesty of God’s plan

By  Vincent Pham, Youth Speak News Special
  • February 16, 2022

Susan Perna seeks to retell the story of God’s love in a way that resonates with both young and old.

Fresh off the presses, From Light to More Light, God’s Plan and You is an illustrated book based on the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a biblical and liturgical teaching program rooted in the Montessori method. This Italian child education philosophy favours self-directed activities like play, arts and crafts and hands-on, collaborative learning more than formal teaching.

Perna, based in Sundridge, Ont., was a founding board member in launching the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Association of Canada. She has been involved in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for over 40 years.

Now Perna strives to give the masses a taste of the catechesis through From Light to More Light, God’s Plan and You. In it, the story of Creation is spotlighted.

She sketches Earth’s timeline starting with billions of years of God creating the planet, forming man and woman In His image. She spotlights the transformative prophets anointed by God before He sent His Son Jesus to Earth to minister and redeem the world through His death on the cross and resurrection until He comes again.

Perna said she shares the bigger story of God’s plan to help people of all ages come to realize God’s love and great purpose for each of us leading up to Christ’s return.

“We’ve been in this plan for billions and billions of years,” said Perna, “and to reflect on what God is calling me to do, how do I live this life — that is part of it.”  

Perna reflects on how the Catechesis has helped her granddaughter Christine realize the plan God had for her.

“Grandma, I remember doing this when I was a little girl. This was the best,” Perna recalled Christine, now a student of chemical engineering, saying to her.

Christine went on to say, “I need to keep reading this book over and over again because it gives me purpose, and joy, and the connection between using your mind, your heart and your hands to make the world a better place — grandma, that is what I am doing!” 

The book’s pictures are based on Montessori figures used in every atrium (sacred space for the Catechesis). And the figures in the book represents different nationalities. There are also illustrations in black and white — a depiction of a child’s baptism, for example — that children are invited to colour and make their own.

The book is currently available in English, French and Chinese. Eventually, it will be translated into other languages, including Italian and Spanish.

Perna is open to writing future catechetical books. She said her continued interactions with children completing the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd will shape the content and title of this theoretical sequel.

For now, she is hopeful her book will be used in a variety of settings, hopefully leading readers both young and old to a true relationship with God. 

(Pham, 21 is a humanities student at the University of Toronto.)

Last modified on February 17, 2022

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