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A sad anniversary and a free chapter of Trusting God with St. Therese

This is my family (plus two friends) on June 10, 1974. I'm the one with the braids in the front. Terri is behind me next to my mom.
This is my family (plus two friends) on June 10, 1974. I’m the one with the braids in the front. Terri is behind me next to our mom.
Here is how our car looked thirty minutes later.
Here is how our car looked thirty minutes later.


Today is the fortieth anniversary of one of the saddest events in my life so far. On June 10, 1974, our family was driving to the annual Catholic Charismatic Conference at the University of Notre Dame. We began our journey in Spokane, Washington, where we had spent a weekend on retreat. Just outside Missoula, Montana, the car rolled over three times, landing in the median of the freeway. I was in the back with the seat down and no seat belt. So were two of my siblings and two friends.

I ended up with stitches in my leg and a bump on my head. My sister Terri, who had been sitting next to me, was thrown from the car and died. She was ten years old.

Why did God let this happen? Didn’t He know where we had come from and where we were going? Hadn’t He heard Terri’s voice, when she had volunteered that morning to pray for a safe trip?

Trust in the midst of tragedy

How can we trust God when tragedy hits us? How can we live without fear of something like this happening again?

I have spent the past eighteen months delving into these and other questions. For years I had read that I needed to trust God in order to draw closer to Him, but nobody showed me how to go about it. I wanted to trust God. I wanted to live a life of joy and peace. Instead, I was angry, frustrated, fearful, and distraught. I was beginning to doubt God’s promises.

Then something I read about St. Therese woke me up. Instead of trying to live her high level of spirituality all at once, I began asking how she arrived there. How did she move from a sad little girl, devastated at losing her mother, to total confidence in God? As I dug deeper into her life and teaching, I reflected on specific actions I could take to follow her way of trust. Those reflections started as blog posts. They eventually became the basis of my book, Trusting God with St. Therese.

A free chapter, exclusively for subscribers

Trusting God with St. Therese tells the story of St. Therese’s life in dramatic form. At each stage of the story, I delve into the challenges to trust the saint faced. How did she overcome them? I place my story of struggling with trust alongside St. Therese’s, and show that it is possible for average, sinful people to follow St. Therese in trusting God completely.

Today, I am giving away chapter 3 to my current subscribers and anyone new who signs up to receive my posts by email. “Dealing with Childhood Tragedies” tells how St. Therese fared after her mother died. It also tells the story of our family’s car accident in detail.

Drawing on St. Paul, Victor Frankl, and my experience, I help you move beyond the question why?  I give you practical suggestions to begin forming habits of trust.

You can move beyond your fears and frustrations through the grace of Christ. I am doing it. And I am not much different from you.

Subscribe today by clicking here and receive your free chapter at the end of the sign-up process.

If you are already signed up, you will receive a separate email with a link to download the chapter within a few minutes, if it hasn’t arrived already.

Please share this post with your friends, family, and social media connections. God reward you!

Connie Rossini

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We have a winner for Can You Find the Saints!

Monica from Equipping Catholic Families has won Can you Find the Saints? Congratulations, Monica! Please email me with your mailing address and I will send your book out to you early next week.

Thank you to everyone who entered and shared the giveaway post. Thanks to for donating the book to us.

Please leave a comment telling me what other resources for homeschooling or improving your relationship with God you would be interested in winning. I will take your comments into consideration when planning our next giveaway.

Have a great weekend!

Connie Rossini

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Win a free book for a first communicant or other child!

Can You Find Saints? Introducing Your Child to Holy Men and Women

Update: If you have liked my facebook page to enter, please leave a comment on this post. I have discovered that Facebook contests have strict limits and I will have to investigate that more. Sorry for the inconvenience. Please enter the contest by leaving a comment here instead. offered me a free first-Communion gift to review and give away to one of my readers. Since my boys are currently interested in hidden picture books, I chose Can You Find Saints?: Introducing Your Child to Holy Men and Women. After the review, I will tell you how can enter to win this book.

Can You Find Saints? is one in a series of four  books by Philip D. Gallery. The series also includes Can You Find Jesus?, Can You Find the Followers of Jesus?, and Can You Find Bible Heroes? Janet L. Harlow illustrated all four books. They combine hide-and-seek fun with learning about the faith.

The quality of some of the illustrations will surprise you

Given the cover and the genre, I was prepared for cartoon illustrations similar to the Where’s Waldo? series. Harlow provides more than that. The inside front and back covers contain a parchment-like timeline of saints, beginning with Abraham. “Search 1: Mary Lives a Life of Perfect Virtue” delighted me with its depiction of the mysteries of the Rosary and approved Marian apparitions, encircling a Renaissance Madonna and Child. A  version of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam above St. Peter’s Basilica forms the background for “Search 7: Saints Who Were Popes.”

There are 13 searches in all. Each is two pages wide, with a sidebar that teaches about some of the saints and asks children to find specific portraits. Search 2, for example, teaches about angels, martyrs, and saints who lived lives of heroic virtue. Other searches focus on saints of the Bible, saints invoked in the Liturgy, and saints who founded religious orders. Your children will also learn about Justin Martyr, Paul Miki and companions, and Maximilian Kolbe, among others.

Ten of the same items are hidden in each picture, including a child in modern clothes  to show “that saints aren’t just from times long ago or only for adults, but that saints’ stories should be a part of our lives, guiding and encouraging us to do what God wants us to do so that we, too, will one day be with him in heaven.”

There are some other great surprises I will let you discover yourself.

Read this book with your child for the best learning experience

Be aware that this book is not perfect. Although all the doctrinal information is correct, I did find a few errors of other types. At least twice in the sidebars, the pictures children are supposed to find don’t match the description. The section on Teresa of Avila says she “wrote books to help people find hope in God’s mercy.” Was she mixed up with St. Faustina? The picture of St. Therese and her sisters shows them in black habits, even though Carmelites wear brown. But if you consider the hundreds of saints depicted in this book, it’s not surprising that there would be some errors.  If you read it with your child–as the Parents Guides at the back encourage you to do–there will be plenty of opportunities to correct any mistakes you find. You can have your child do the research on certain saints himself to see if the information is accurate. This could develop into a lesson on how to critique sources.

When I first opened the box Can You Find Saints? arrived in, my son M said, “I love that!” Since there are four books in the series and I have four boys, we might have our first Christmas gifts picked out.

How to enter the giveaway

If you’d like a chance to win Can You Find Saints?, please comment below. I’ll give you one extra entry if you retweet or share this post. You must be 18 or older, and live in the continental U.S. or Canada to enter. I will accept entries until Friday, April 19 at 8 p.m. CST. The winner will be chosen by using, and announced sometime that weekend. I will ship the book to the winner as soon as I can after that.

Please consider ordering your First Communion gifts from, so we can do more giveaways in the future.

Good luck!

Connie Rossini