Colleen at the Future Women of Hope Conference with her book, Celebrating Advent & Christmas With Children.

Living the Liturgical Calendar: Colleen Rooney, Celebrating Advent and Christmas for Children

The ALJ’s first segment of the Living the Liturgical Calendar segment features Colleen Rooney, a former Aquinas Learning mentor for the fourth-sixth grade girls for three years at AL Manassas, former assistant director of religious education at St. Veronica’s Church in Virginia, and a mother and grandmother. She is also founder of Living Advent and author of the 2013 book, Celebrating Advent and Christmas for Children: Food Celebrations with the Saints for Home and School.

Celebrating Advent and Christmas with Children introduces children to traditions and customs drawn from many cultures as they prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Learn to make an Advent Bread Dough

Wreath or an edible Advent Calendar. Meet St. Nicholas while baking Speculaas cookies and other treats—but don’t stop with St. Nicholas, there is a line-up of saints to keep children busy with baking as your family or class prepares for the great celebration of the Savior’s birth!

What can you expect from this book? It contains much more than recipes! Parents and teachers will find a new resource to expand their children’s understanding and enjoyment of the Advent and Christmas seasons. It contains background information on the Christian calendar, its seasons and special feast days, along with recipes drawn from Catholic cultural traditions. There are prayers, poems, and illustrations that warm the heart and remind us to take time to prepare, celebrate, and then savor the beauty of Christmas with our children. You’ll also find planning calendars, Advent and Christmas symbols for the children’s artwork, as well as a great resource section in the back of other books and DVDs that complement the saints’ feasts highlighted in the recipe book, and an explanation of the liturgical calendar (Christian Calendar) in the front of the book.

 At Amazon, you can open a visual copy of the book, browse the table of contents, and see the first pages. Every recipe is also photo-documented in more detail on Colleen’s blog; go to archives, click on 2014, scroll back to September 17, 2014, and, as you work forward, you will see every recipe photographed that appears in the book. Her book can also be followed via Facebook for seasonal liturgical cooking inspiration.

Colleen also has recently had a book review accepted for future publication by the Homiletic and Pastoral Review on The Feasts: How the Church Year Forms Us as Catholics by Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina. It’s a book she heartily endorses for parents—it came out after the publication of her own Advent book, and is hence not in the resource section. And Colleen is currently writing a book on the legacy of Catholic grandmothers.

Normally sold for $27.99 at Amazon, Colleen is offering a special price to Aquinas Learning parents for her book of $21.00 (the author’s price). Email her at to indicate that you would like to purchase the book and whether you prefer “media mail” shipping or direct delivery to Aquinas Learning Manassas.


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