Children’s Book Encourages Catholic and Jewish Bridge Building
Friday night with the Pope.
by Lisa M. Hendey | Source:
Encourages Catholic and Jewish Bridge Building
Book Review: Friday Night with the Pope
Jacques J.M. Shore
Reviewed by Lisa M. Hendey
Gefen Publishing House, November 2006,
Hardcover, 42 pages
ISBN 9652293709 and 978-9652293701
The papacy of John Paul II
will be remembered for many high points. Now, thanks to children’s book entitled Friday Night
with the Pope young readers can learn about the tremendous efforts at Jewish Catholic reconciliation
made by this amazing man.
Friday Night with the Pope tells the story of author Jacques
Shore’s 2003 encounter with the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II in the Vatican residence.
Accompanied by his mother Lena, Shore shared a Shabbat celebration with the pope. The story is
retold fictitiously through the eyes of 11 year old Jacob. Shore shares the following comments on
recounting the events from a child’s perspective:
“I wanted to share the
story through the eyes of a young boy because many of us felt like children in the presence of the
late Pontiff. I also believe that my story, which explains the lessons of the Pope, would be better
understood by children reading what happened during that Friday night Shabbat dinner. By children
understanding the truths expressed in this book, I am confident that they may be better able to
share the Pope's lessons. It is my wish that it will build bridges among all people on
Jacob is brimming with excitement as he and his mother enter the
Vatican to share this special evening. As they walk, Lena shares stories of her childhood friend,
Karol Wojtyla. She remembers her friend as a young man who loved sports and was always tried to
build bridges between both Jewish and Catholic teammates. She shares that Karol, becoming Pope John
Paul II, went on to continue his efforts to build relationships as the first pope to make an
official visit to a synagogue or to visit Auschwitz. Jacob speaks with the Pope about his call to
the priesthood and a life of serving God and others.
In a beautiful section of the book,
the Pope invited Jacob to say the special Kiddush blessing for their Shabbat meal together. Over the
course of the meal, Jacob learns much about the Pope and his hopes and dreams for a united world
where all people, regardless of religion or ethnicity, care for one another. In taking leave, Jacob
is encouraged by Pope John Paul II to share with others the need for a world filled with a spirit of
love and friendship.
Beautiful illustrations by Amalia Hoffman set off the gently loving
tone of Friday Night with the Pope. In sharing this story with readers of any faith, Jacques Shore
has answered Pope John Paul II’s invitation to share in the dream of a world united in love
and caring. I recommend this book for readers ages five and up and compliment the wonderful message
of hope and reconciliation reinforced in this story.
For more information on Friday Night
with the Pope visit http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/9652293709/catholicmomcom.
Lisa M. Hendey, wife and mother of two sons, is and avid reader and the webmaster of
numerous web sites including http://www.catholicmom.com and http://www.ProductivityAtHome.com. Visit
her at http://www.lisahendey.com for additional information.
© 2007 Lisa M.
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