Hundredfold: A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry came out in June of 2015! Writing a book was never my plan. Honestly, I was asked what I could do to help others working in the field of vocations in Houston. I said I would write a pamphlet, a short road map to success. You know just a tri-fold. That weekend, I wrote 27 pages. I no longer had a pamphlet. I kept writing, adding activities that we had done at St. Cecilia.
Praise God, I received a grant to have the booklet edited professionally. Have I mentioned that I am not a writer by trade? I was an English teacher for 6 years prior to my daughter being born, but I had been home, raising two children for 14 years. It has been said that writing a book is like having a baby, and I can tell you that editing a book is like the last trimester of pregnancy when you are so ready for that baby to be born, but you have what seems an interminable time before that beautiful gift from God arrives.
Finally, the editing was over, and I submitted the book to Vianney Vocations, a Catholic publisher that only publishes vocation-related books, pamphlets, prayer cards, and the like. Waiting that week, waiting to hear back from Vianney Vocations was LONG, but finally when the call came, I had a publisher! It actually came down to another Holy Spirit moment. Vianney Vocations hesitated publishing the book until a friend of their who had been working at her own parish for years for vocations read it and said, “I wish I had this when I was starting a Parish Vocation Ministry.” That sold the deal! Thank you, Lord, for that woman who changed my life!
This was in November, 2014, and I just thought the hard work was over! The publisher, who was now acting as another, final editor, said “Let’s get rid of the first FOUR chapters and start over.” What?!?!? The book is much better because of this purging, but those labor pains were fierce I tell you!
Finally, I finished the actual writing, and the publisher sent it off for a theologian to review for any doctrinal or moral error, and more praying ensued! This was at the end of April, and the book was supposed to be printed in the spring of 2015! We were pushing it!
Thankfully, it received its imprimatur from Bishop Hartmayer, OFM, Diocese of Savannah, Georgia. If writing a book that was granted an imprimatur was not surreal enough, when I actually held a copy of Hundredfold in my hands for the first time in June, I was in disbelief! God is so good! The baby was born! And just like having a baby, the work really just starts when they are born! More about that next time! God bless you! St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us!