Family Fully Alive Articles


 

Sacred Art for Families

Catholic dad brings beauty to print and prayer

Accepting direction from his professional supervisors with obedience. Striving to be the best assistant attorney general that he can be. Treating both coworkers and the people that he serves with respect and dignity. Husband, father and member of Monsignor John A. Gabriels Council 11099 in Lansing, Michigan.

To these personal descriptions, Will Bloomfield recently has added another – president of his own religious publishing company, with materials designed for families with young children. In its new Sacred Art Series, Bloomfield Books offers The Holy Gospels of St. Luke and St. John and the Rosary Flip Book, both of which are filled with beautiful art from the Church’s rich tradition.

Bloomfield and his wife, Anna, live in Lansing with their four children. Associate Editor Jason Godin corresponded with Bloomfield for this interview. (The views expressed below do not necessarily reflect the views of the Michigan Attorney General.)

How do you choose images for the Sacred Art Series?

My ultimate goal for the Sacred Art Series was to make the text of the Gospels more accessible for those unfamiliar with reading the Scriptures, especially children. A secondary goal was to increase readers’ knowledge and appreciation of sacred art by using paintings from some of the greatest artists of Christendom. To this end, I generally chose works from the high Middle Ages and the Renaissance; and where possible, I tried to feature multiple works from some of the greatest painters to increase familiarity with these painters. So readers will find many paintings from masters like Fra Angelico, Duccio, Giotto, Titian, and Caravaggio. At other times, I simply chose the best art I could find to support a particular story.

Explain how The Holy Gospels of St. Luke and St. John brings together the best features of children’s bibles and adult Bibles.

Children’s bibles use a story-by-story format with large fonts and many pictures; but the pictures are often of dubious quality, the bindings are cheap, and they do not feature the complete biblical text. This means that when a child graduates from a children’s bible, the next step is an adult Bible; but these are generally beyond a child’s capabilities because of the tiny fonts, many footnotes, thin pages, and lack of pictures. The Sacred Art Series fills the gap by presenting the complete text of the Gospels of Luke and John in a story-by-story format in large print alongside beautiful images of sacred art; and it is beautifully bound with a leatherette cover, gilt pages, and a ribbon so it will be treasured by the reader and will endure as it is read and re-read over the years.

What do these publications offer to men of faith and their families?

As fathers, two of the greatest spiritual habits we can instill in our children are the daily reading of Scripture and the daily recitation of the rosary.

The Holy Gospels of St. Luke and St. John is now the easiest and most beautiful way to read the Gospels. Simply give this book to your child – ideally when they are still young, such as at First Communion – and encourage him or her to read a story a day. If your child can read the Narnia Chronicles or the Hobbit, he can read the life of Christ. And the great thing about the Gospels is that they can – and should – be read over and over again. And once your child is ready for more Scripture, you can guide them on to other books of the Bible.

For praying the rosary, the Sacred Art Series publishes the Rosary Flip Book (both a large and a small size) and the Luminous Mysteries Rosary Flip Book. These unique books stand on their own like a desktop calendar, and each page presents a beautiful image of the mysteries of the rosary. This is immensely helpful for families as it reminds everyone, both children and parents, which mystery they are on and helps them to meditate better on that mystery. And by leaving the Rosary Flip Book displayed throughout the day, whether on the mantel, on a home altar, or in a prayer corner, it helpfully reminds the family to pray the rosary each day – whether one decade or more.     

Does your Catholic faith inform your work as assistant attorney general for the Michigan Attorney General?

As a Catholic, my faith informs everything that I do – or at least, that’s my goal for every day. For the most part, as an assistant attorney general, that means being a good attorney, treating my co-workers and the people of Michigan that seek my assistance with respect and dignity, and accepting direction from the Attorney General of Michigan and my supervisors. (Since you asked about my job with the Attorney General, I’m required to disclaim that my views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Attorney General.) As my model attorney, I’ve always looked to St. Thomas More, who was an excellent attorney and a prayerful, family man.

For more information, visit SacredArtSeries.com.