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Large Homeschooling Family Needs Your Help

We received this note from a friend of ours and wanted to pass it along. Help this family out if you can:


I’ve spoken with many of you at some point about a friend of mine, Ann Frailey, who is a home schooling mother to 8 children.  This past December, her husband, John, died from complications associated with his fight with Acute Leukemia.   My daughters and I were visiting her family and with them when John died.   The Frailey family is one of amazing strength, stamina and grace.

I am trying to help spread the word about her books.  She is a wonderful author and writes Christian books.  Ann would really like to be able to support her family through her writing.  I am providing some intimate background info with the hopes that it will stir you to help me help Ann and her family.  If you have a contact person who would be helpful, please let me know or have them contact Ann through her web site.  Please read her books and post reviews on Amazon.  She sells them in paperback and I think at least her first trilogy is available for Kindle.

I was in contact with Ann today and I offer this in her own words:

“People have been so generous and kind, but I really don’t want to be given a living…I want to DO something to support my family…thus encourage my kids to find value in that.  In my mind, it is infinitely better to earn a little and live simply, than to take a lot and live off others. I know that being home and present to my children is the greatest gift I can offer them at this point…for now my job is to hang in there and get them as well prepared for God’s vocational call as I possibly can. In all humility, that requires me to accept support from a variety of sources – but if I can possibly give back through my writing – that is my dearest wish.”

Here is her background/book info:

The Road Goes Ever OnA.K. Frailey is a homeschooling mother with eight children between the ages of 17 and 5. She lives in rural Fillmore, Illinois.  She was a public and private school teacher for a number of years before she married and she served in the Peace Corps in the Philippines.  She has been homeschooling for twelve years now and her kids have done very well.  Her eldest son is getting ready to enter a local college in the fall in the LPN program.  All her kids maintain very good grades and have made her very proud by their endurance through some very trying times.   Her husband, John, was a teacher at Vandalia Correctional Center where he taught adult basic education.  He was well loved by both students and co-workers for his integrity and ability to maintain a positive attitude no matter how difficult the circumstances.  He was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia in May of 2009 and he went through months of chemo only to relapse a year later.  He was then given a stem-cell transplant which worked, in that he lived, but he developed Graph vs Host disease whereby his skin, eyes, mouth, teeth and various other parts of his body were ravaged.  In the last year or so he suffered incredible pain and was on permanent disability and needed to use strong pain killers constantly.  He died from septic shock, pneumonia and two heart attacks on December 15th.

Ann is also an author:  The Road Goes Ever On – A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings was her first book, followed byThe Deliverance Trilogy (ARAM, Ishtar’s Redemption, and Neb the Great) a year or so later.  She published The Road through iUniverse and it has sold slow but steady without much help.  The Deliverance Trilogy she self published through Amazon.  It has had very good reviews on Amazon and through other books reviewers.  They are listed on her web page: www.akfrailey.com  The publicity agency Sandpiper has been working with Ann to get word out, but since she could not pay them but for a short time, they have been very kind but cannot do much for her now. They did help to get some wonderful reviews out though.  Reviews help to get the books noticed and hopefully add to sales.  She could really use 30-40 reviews between now and March.  If that occurs, she can get her books listed on www.bookbub.com, where sales tend to be higher with well reviewed books.  Since John had been ill for so long, her marketing efforts were rather dismal….she just didn’t have the time, but she is open to help and suggestions.

AramARAM won runner up for fiction in the 2011 Indie Fiction Contest and has won the Catholic Writer’s Seal of Approval.  Ishtar’s Redemption also won the Catholic Writer’s Guild SOA. Neb the Great is currently under review for both the SOA and the Arts and Letters Contest.

Ann’s next book – unpublished – is called Georgios.  It is a YA  (Young Adult) story set on the island of Patmos in the 1st century. It won finalist in the 2013 Tuscany Prize YA Contest.  (Pitch attached). She also has written a new book which is currently being edited named Melchior set in 5th century Briton after the Anglo-Saxon invasions.  (Pitch attached).

Ann has also given a variety of talks in churches, retreats, home-school groups, and on the radio (St. Joseph Radio, Sun Rise Morning Show, Mary’s Touch,) and EWTN’s Doug Keck Bookmark with other Catholic Guild writers in 2012.  She’s also done a variety of interviews for newspapers.

She has been published in The Latin Mass several times – most recently fall of 2013 and once in the New Oxford Review.


Get the Lenten Companion for your parish and save 37%. For a limited time we are offering theMagnficat Lenten Companion for only $2.50 each when you order in packs of twenty.

Lenten Companion

Are you looking for a way this Lent to return to the Church or to develop a more fervent practice of your faith?

The holy season of Lent speaks to our daily struggles and sorrows, showing how the answer to all life’s troubles is found in the Mystery of Jesus Christ.  This handy little booklet provides a series of original reflections to guide you through every day of Lent into the heart of that Mystery.

By spending a few moments meditating on the inspiring daily reflections and the short prayers that follow them, you will discover all that is true, good, and beautiful about the Catholic faith.  Let the profound yet practical insights you will find in this little spiritual treasury form and focus your spiritual life, filling it with a new conviction and purpose.

This inspiring daily meditation guide for Lent is a customer favorite, year after year.

You can still order individual copies as well.


Catholic Podcast Recommendation

Got Heresy? Get Spiritual Direction!This morning I was listening to The Catholic Weekend podcast (referred to by the show hosts at SQPN.com as a weekly train wreck). Even though it isn’t a really structured podcast – more of a stream-of-consciousness conversation between 3+ people – they always have fascinating things to share. This week, Sarah Vabulous of Catholicdrinkie.com fame, told us about her New Year’s trip to Rome. She got to go to vespers with the pope and visit Assisi.
I went to Rome for a semester in college at the University of Dallas and again for our honeymoon. I really can’t think of a country I’ve enjoyed visiting more. The churches! The monuments! The churches! The gelato! The churches…
What is your favorite place to visit on a pilgrimage? Oh, if you haven’t listened to Catholic Weekend, head over to sqpn.com to check out the show.

Over the years we have become increasingly frustrated as more and more children’s books are sent to China for printing. Since China still thinks that government-forced abortion and sterilization are okay and Catholic priests and bishops are still vanishing, we have had access to a very limited selection of children’s titles.

Fortunately, Magnificat Magazine has started publishing books for children along with the Magnificat Magazine. These books are printed in a variety of countries other than China and are some really fabulous titles. Here’s a quick summary of what’s available:
For young children there is a selection of board books with very cute illustrations.
Little Life of Jesus

Little Life of Jesus

Little Life of Jesus is a collection of eleven stories that go through the life of Jesus with very nice full-color illustrations.

7in. x 7in.
24 Pages

My First Pictures of Mary

My First Pictures of Mary

The My First Pictures of Series is a series of four books written and illustrated by Maite Roche with simple text and pictures. The four books include Mary, Christmas, Jesus and Easter.
6in. x 7.25in.
14 pages

My First Bedtime Prayers

My First Bedtime Prayers

The My First Prayers series is also illustrated by Maite Roche. The books include Mary, My Family, Christmas and Bedtime.
6.25in. x 6.25in.
14 Pages
The Gospel for Little Ones
The Gospel for Little Ones goes from the Annunciation to the Ascension in a heavy-duty board book with darling illustrations.
6in. x 8.5in.
32 pages
The Bible for Little Ones

The Bible for Little Ones

The Bible for Little Ones shares the most famous Bible stories including Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Noah, Moses, David, Mary and the Apostles in full-color board pages.

6in. x 8.5in.
36 pages


These are just some of the books available now from Magnificat Magazine. I’ll share some more in my next post.

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These Aren’t New Year Resolutions

2014 Resolutions

I can’t remember ever making New Year’s resolutions. I see the rationale – the end of the year is a great mental time to start anew. This year with the major changes at Aquinas and More and an upcoming move to a new town for our family, I’ve been making changes throughout the year to get my life and business in better order. Here’s what I’ve been working on:

  1. Getting more done. With ten kids, a full time job and Aquinas and More, my to-do list was a collection of sticky notes, a paper notebook (or two, since I frequently would set it down somewhere and forget), Outlook reminders and my leaky mind. This really wasn’t sustainable and I constantly felt like I was buried in obligations that were so numerous I couldn’t prioritize. Through Michael Hyatt’s podcast I found Nozbe – a simple-to-use to-do list app, website and desktop application. The interface is simple and it syncs across all your devices. You can email and tweet tasks to it and it integrates with Evernote. I had tried several other to-do list apps but for some reason this one just seems to work more smoothly. Oh, you can also create projects and share lists with other users so you can both work on a list at the same time!Nozbe
  2. Read the Bible. I’ve read parts of the Bible but never really committed to regular reading or to any kind of plan. My oldest daughter is going to be doing the Understanding the Scriptures course for school starting next month and my younger kids are reading the Children’s Golden Bible. Last year I did a podcast with the folks at Logos Bible software about their new Catholic product, Verbum. They gave me a basic edition to review and it has an Android app which follows the daily Lectionary readings. I’m going to start with that and help my daughter with her scripture study class.Verbum Catholic Bible Study
  3. Organize my paper. I have a file cabinet with labeled folders and I do a reasonable job making sure that everything gets filed regularly. My problem is all the other things I need to keep track of – that great idea I heard on a podcast, the melody I need to learn for the Thanksgiving talent show (We sang Gaudete this year), all of the notes I take about procedures and processes at the warehouse, ideas for blog posts. There is a lot of information that I need to keep track of and I have found that paper notebooks are great for holding data but lousy for finding it later. A couple of years ago I got an Evernote account to keep track of photos and comments I had about potential locations to move our store. It was simple to use but I didn’t really “get it”. After having read a few books with different ideas on how to organize it as well as some podcasts, I think I see how I can really take advantage of this digital notebook. I’m not planning on going paperless anytime soon, but this is a good start towards better organization.Evernote
  4. Go on a pilgrimage. Before Thanksgiving my wife made an incredibly bold proposal. She suggested going on the pilgrimage to Chartres for our twentieth wedding anniversary. I was blown away. This isn’t something that we can just hop on a plane and do, it is going to require serious planning as well as a commitment to really getting into shape. The pilgrimage is a three day, seventy-five mile hike from Notre Dame in Paris to Notre Dame in Charte culminating in a high Mass at the cathedral. The pilgrimage covers roads, fields and trails and frequently involves rain. If you want to follow my wife’s chronicle of our preparations, she is at Kittle Eleison. We each bought running shoes for each other for Christmas and my parents bought us hiking poles. If anyone wants to watch ten kids for a couple of weeks while we’re gone, let us know!Chartres Pilgrimage
  5. Start learning more about things I like. I’ve attended several of the CNMC events and even had a podcast for a while (which will be coming back next year) but I never really got into listening to podcasts as a regular thing. I’ve had a two-and-a-half hour drive to work several times a week since April and between talk radio itself and the commercials, listening to the radio was getting very tedious. I finally found a decent podcast app for Android – Doubletwist. It has some quirks in the interface but it syncs non-podcast media such as music and audio books with my laptop and wasn’t very expensive. I first started listening to The Catholics Next Door with Greg and Jennifer Willits. They have an engaging show and even though they occasionally Georgia the pronunciation of words like “Guadete” and “Estes Park”, I was able to get past that and I’ve actually listened to every episode. I also enjoyed listening to Catholic Stuff You Should Know. Unfortunately, they are taking a break for several months to finish up seminary. Apart from the Catholic podcasts I’ve found, there are several other life and business podcasts that I enjoy listening to. Michael Hyatt’s This is Your Life and Cliff Ravenscraft’s Podcast Answerman are both great. If you have a lot of driving time, I definitely encourage you to find something other than the radio to listen to. Whether it’s podcasts or something from the Great Courses collection, it’s a far better use of your time. I’m also planning on attending the Modex 2014 Supply Chain expo to increase my knowledge of warehouse management. A lot of you probably have your eyes glaze over at the thought of seeing exhibits showing the latest in storage and order processing but I love this stuff! I might also attend the Catholic New Media Conference and am really considering going to the SCORRE conference next year.The Catholics Next Door
  6. Set goals – and plan to make them. Setting goals is very easy, it’s the reaching them that is hard. Several months ago I downloaded the Life Plan workbook from Michael Hyatt’s site and then forgot about it. A few weeks ago he offered a 5-day program to get goals together for the coming year. I signed up for it as I was having a hard time figuring out how best to attack several of the things I wanted to do next year. It was worth the cost. Apart from having a step-by-step approach to not only planning ahead but taking a hard look at what was behind, the community of participants has a lot of great ideas.Best Year Ever


What did you do this year to improve your life? Not necessarily New Year’s related.


2014 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Win a Christmas Rosary

We’re giving away this gorgeous Christmas Rosary today. To enter, just fill out the form and like our store on Facebook.


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Last-Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

For Young Children
For Children

For the Music Lover

E-books for the Techie

Family Movie Time


We’ve been receiving great entries for our Saints-in-Training contest. Here are a few:

Saint Anthony and the fish:
Saint Anthony and the fish

St. Rose of Lima

St. Rose of Lima

If your parish had an All Saints Day party,be sure to submit pictures of your adorable saints-in-training. You could win an engraved sterling medal from Aquinas and More. Just enter our Facebook contest and our fans will vote on the best costumes.

This guy wins for originality:

St. Lawrence
See more of our great entries.


Oh, When the Saints

From the earliest days of the Church, Christians venerated martyrs on the anniversary of their deaths by celebrating Mass on their tombs. Over the next few centuries relics began to be transferred between dioceses and memorials for several martyrs were celebrated in common. During the persecutions of Diocletian in the early 300s so many Christians were killed that it became impossible to create separate memorials for each so joint memorials became common.

In the late 300s St. Basil the Great sent a letter to the bishops of Pontus inviting them to celebrate a common feast in honor of the martyrs.

The earliest record of a feast honoring all Christian martyrs  is from a homily of St. John Crysostom in the 407 saying that there was a feast celebrated in Constantinople.

Learn more about the history of All Saints Day and take 15% off all of our patron saint items through November 8th.

Catechism lesson:

“All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Sacred Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in any age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offences can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.

This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: ‘Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin. From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.”

– from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1030, 1032

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Splendors of the Creed

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Splendors of the CreedThe Creed. The foundation of the Faith. Magnificat Magazine has taken the Creed, and like an illuminated manuscript, embellished the words with gorgeous works of art and prayerful meditations on each sentence.

Other features of this beautiful book include:

- Commentary on each work of art
– Poetry from famous poets including Gerard Manley Hopkins, Milton, Dante and more providing literary reflections on the themes of the Creed
– Oversized format – over a foot tall – gives the art the space it deserves for true reflection

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View a sample

Also available, Splendors of the Rosary and Splendors of the Magnificat.

Splendors of the Rosary

Splendors of the Rosary

Splendors of the Rosary

Splendors of the Creed

Splendors of the Creed


For the Feast of St. Luke:


Praying with St. Luke's GospelDear and Glorious PhysicianSt. Luke Pendant and Prayer Card