CV NEWS FEED // The Archdiocese of Detroit has announced that it will be sending copies of a new children’s book about purgatory to local diocesan schools to promote praying for the deceased.
The archdiocese’s Confraternity for Holy Souls, an apostolate dedicated to praying for those in purgatory, partnered with Susan Tassone, a bestselling author, to release a children’s book about Purgatory, “New Friends Now and Forever: A Story About the Holy Souls.”
As part of the initiative, the archdiocese is sending a copy to every parish and school. It is asking pastors and principals to promote the book among families to spread awareness about the importance of praying for souls in purgatory.
“This beautifully illustrated and engaging book will be a valuable addition to our faith community,” said Vicar General Fr. Jeffrey Day. “It offers an age-appropriate explanation of purgatory, a topic often viewed as complex and challenging for young minds to grasp.”
The book tells the tale of two young twins, Hope and Ben, who learn that purgatory is a real place but not something to be afraid of. Instead, they learn that purgatory is a way that God shows His love and mercy to each person.
“One of the objectives of ‘New Friends Now and Forever’ was to develop an understanding of why the holy souls suffer and how we can develop a close friendship with them. The book is warm, with a gentle tone suited for children,” said Tassone. “I introduce the holy souls in a welcoming way through friendship with the elderly couple at the parish. Purgatory is described in ways that put a smile on children’s faces — parents, too — rather than frighten them.”
Day hopes the book will help promote the practice of praying for the deceased across the archdiocese and foster deeper conversations between parents and children.
“This collaboration with Susan Tassone represents an important effort in our ongoing commitment to fostering a deeper understanding of our faith and a more profound connection with the Church’s teachings,” said Day. “We are excited about the positive impact ‘New Friends Now and Forever’ will have on our community and look forward to seeing the spiritual growth it nurtures in the hearts of children and adults.”
Included in the book are resources that teach parents about purgatory and special prayers for souls in purgatory.
“We need to form merciful hearts in our children, plant the seed for prayer in their young hearts, and teach them to reverence the deceased,” said Tassone. “This book offers children what they can do here and now. They can participate actively in God’s plan of salvation for the world and help souls reach heaven, building up the ‘Church Triumphant.’ These are the ‘cloud of witnesses’ who surround us with their prayers and support.”