If you are looking for a great faith-based book study, I would love to invite you to St. Teresa’s Online Book Club starting this Jan. 6th. This Catholic faith-sharing group is a great way to read awesome Catholic books with friends from everywhere! The next book we will be reading together is a book I co-authored with Michele Faehnle, The Friendship Project.
Now some of our Catholic Moms might recall that we did this study in the fall at CatholicMom.com, but if you missed it or want to work through the book a second time, join us at St. Teresa’s Book Club. This club is open to all women of faith.
So Why Friendship?
In The Friendship Project, we explore the cardinal and theological virtues with an eye toward friendship. Focusing on faith, hope, love, prudence, gratitude, loyalty, generosity, and prayerfulness, they help us answer questions such as, “What does it mean to be women of hope, and how does that change our lives and make us more compassionate friends during difficult times?” and “How does prayerfulness teach us how to listen to and talk with both God and our friends, which helps us reach out to those we love?”
We choose to answer these questions and more by employing Church teaching and telling us stories of their own friendships and those from the lives of saints and biblical women — including the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Elizabeth, St. Thérèse of Lisieux and her sister Servant of God Léonie, and Sts. Perpetua and Felicity. Not only will you be drawn closer to friends both new and old but you’ll also be reminded how these friendships — and the virtues you practice to nurture them — draw you closer to God.
My Personal Lessons Learned By Writing this Book
I came to appreciate how faith-filled friends can help you become more healthy, happy and holy. At different stages of my life I have been like many women and put friendship on the back burner, and by doing so, I have missed out on the joy and support that can come from awesome friends. Now despite how busy I am as a mother of 7 children ranging from 18 to two, I need to choose daily to slow down my life to develop meaningful friendships which are leading me closer to Christ. No one needs to be too busy for friends!
I have found that we must be deliberate in developing faith-filled friendships. The Friendship Project has shown me that despite all the friends I might have on social media, one face-to-face conversation is priceless. I can fall victim to too much screen time, so I have to remember to put my screens down and invest in my relationships. This is why we encourage our readers to practice “Friendship Friday” — call, text, pray and visit with friends! Friday is a great day to reach out to friends.
Because of this book, I try to coordinate for a “Friendship Friday” moment each week. This could be as simple as praying for my friends in a specific and special way, calling friends and checking in with them or making plans to get together with them. I have heard from so many other women who have started “Friendship Friday” in their life and they are seeing friendships blossom and discovering the gift of slowing down enough to connect with other people outside of your family.
What Are Women Saying?
- I have learned so much by reading it. My favorite part was reading about how to grow in each virtue, the obstacles to each virtue and how to avoid these blocks. Thank you for writing this and for helping me meet so many faith-filled women by doing the study together. It has helped me in my faith life and walk! – MaryBeth
- Faith-Filled easy to ready, interactive and full of stories and insights! Absolutely LOVE this book! The Friendship Project has helped me reflect on my friendships; not only my current friendships but also the ones I’ve had over my 42 years of life. It has been an eye opener; thinking about the virtues of friendship and where I may have missed opportunities in being a loyal, prayerful and generous friend. Initially when I began reading this book, I was placing some of my friends in certain categories as what kind of friend they are, but as I read on, I realized I was to reflect upon myself and the kind of friend that I AM! Friendships are a gift and having faith filled friendships make them even more sweet! This book is not only for Catholic women but women of any faith and age! I have ordered many copies of this book and plan on giving The Friendship Project to all my friends, new and old for upcoming birthdays! I would recommend this book to any size church or Bible Study group! – Jody
- I love the richness of The Friendship Project. Not only the inspiration of friend-saints, but also the the practical takeaways!! You hit a homerun on this one! – Brooke Tylor
- “The Bible says that ‘a faithful friend is a sturdy shelter and he that has found one has found a treasure.’ The same goes for finding this book! We are all a work in progress, and while finding virtuous friendships can be difficult, they are vital in life. The Friendship Project shows us just how to find and invest in these intentional and virtuous friendships.” –Sarah Swafford (Speaker and author of Emotional Virtue: A Guide to Drama-Free Relationships)
So Where Do I Go From Here?
Find this group on Facebook and sign up. Next, order your book at a local Catholic bookstore, directly through Ave Maria Press — and enjoy a special discount: use code Friends40 for 40% off through 3/1/2018, Barnes and Noble or Amazon. Life is always better with friends!