Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Elizabeth V Roach
Discover why Benny wonders why the tree is crying.
 Thomas hears a "little sound."  What is it?
Benabab meets three basket makers. What happens?
What is the new custom from another land that
Peter and Marisa try?
New book available online in paperback and e-book.  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Running Friends

Running Friends

       Kamau wanted to be a long distance runner. He lived in the Kenyan Desert near the city of Bura and he practiced running every day.His friend, Abiria, often ran with him.  One day, as they were on their way to school, Kamau said, “I saw the new teacher. He looks mean, and he is missing one leg.”

Abiria’s eyes opened wide. His mouth was wide open too. “How will he teach us Physical Education without a leg,” he asked.

Kamau shrugged. “I don’t know, but we are scheduled for his first class.” The bell rang as the two boys stepped into the school yard. They hurried to get in line where the new teacher stood.

“Straighten your line,” the new teacher barked in a loud voice. “March,” he bellowed.

Kamau marched tall and confident. He was the best marcher in the school. Abiria trembled, but tried to keep in step with Kamau. When they got to the field for exercise, the new teacher, said,
“I am your new teacher. You will call me Mr.Johnson. Yes, I have a prosthesis for my right leg. I have learned to use it for many things.  So, don’t try anything.”

After class, Abiria said, “Wow, Kamau! How did he get us to do all those stunts with one leg!”

Kamau made a face. ‘He scowls at us. Why can’t he be jolly and laugh once in a while.”

“I don’t know,” Abiria said.  “Maybe the leg hurts.”

Next day, Kamau asked the teacher a question about the exercises? “Sir,” he asked. “Why are we doing this exercise first?  The other teacher did this one after we practiced running.”

“I am not the other teacher. We will do it this way,” Mr. Johnson said. Kamau saw the teacher was string t him and waiting for something. Kamau stood still. The whole class was quiet. Mr Johnson stared at Kamau.

Then, Mr. Johnson barked, “Yes, Sir!”

Kamau mumbled, “Yes, Sir.”

“Speak up,”  Mr. Johnson barked at Kamau.

Kamau shouted, “Yes, Sir.” Mr. Johnson continued the class.

On the way home from school, Kamau complained to his friend. “Abiria, I don’t like that teacher.”

When he reached home, Kamau announced, “Papa, I am not going to Physical Education class.”

“Yes, you are, Kamau,” his father said.

“But I don’t want to go while that new teacher is here. He only has one leg and he’s mean.”  Kamau pouted.

His father said, “Kamau, that is not an intelligent decision. You need to learn the skills of Physical Education.  You don’t hurt the teacher by skipping class. You hurt yourself.”

Kamau said, “I don’t like him!”

“Kamau, everyone likes to be liked.  Like him and you will see he will like you.   Do you know how he lost his leg?”

‘No, and I don’t care,” Kamau said. But next day, Kamau decided to see if what his father said was true.

During recess Kamau walked over to Mr. Johnson who stood alone near the school door. Kamau swallowed and tried to keep his voice steady as he asked, “Sir, How did you lose your leg?”

“It is a long story, young man. I wanted to be a runner. I did not have a teacher and I ran on a highway.  I got hit by a car. Thank you for asking. You are brave to ask,” the teacher said. He smiled at Kamau.

Kamau got all flustered. He said, “Yes, Sir.” And ran back to where Abiria waited for him.

“What happened?” Abiria asked.

“He was nice. He didn’t yell,” Kamau said.

“But what did he SAY?” Abiria asked.

“He got it running. He was running like I do, on the highway,” Kamau said.

Next day, the teacher asked, “Who wants to be a runner?”

Kamau and four other boys raised their hands.  Mr. Johnson said, “Meet me after school.”

After school, Mr. Johnson gave the boys tips on what would help them to run faster. He taught them how to breathe effectively, when to stop, and how much water to drink/.

Each day after school, Kamau and his friends ran. They practiced hard. Mr. Johnson selected Kamau and Abiria to run in the District Competition.

They practiced everyday. They could not wait for the day to arrive. “Tomorrow we run,” Abiria said to Kamau on the eve of the District Competition.”

Kamau said, “Yes, and my father is going to take us there.”  Kamau could hardly sleep that night with excitement. In the morning, he jumped up, ready to go to the competition., but his father was very sick. He seemed to have some acute pain in his right side.

Kamau, s mother said, ‘I am sorry, but you must stay here to care for your little brothers. I must take your father to the hospital. “

When Abiria arrived to travel to the District Competition, Kamau told him to go to the school. He could travel to the competition with Mr. Johnson and the other boys.  Abiria was very sad. He did not want to go without Kamau.

Kamau insisted and Abiria went off to school.

Kamau held back his tears until his parents had gone to the hospital. He sent his little brothers out to play. Then, he sat in the doorway watching them. Tears flowed down his cheeks. He did not weep about not going to the competition.  His fear was much deeper.  How could he go on without his father?

When his mother returned, she said his father would stay in the hospital for a while, but he was going to recover.  “Kamau,” his mother said. “Your father has pain, but he seems even sadder that you had to miss the competition because of him.”

Kamau swallowed hard. He said, “Mama,”, “There will be other competitions. Papa is more important that a race.”

Kamau’s mother patted him on the head. “Your father will be happy to hear that you said that.”

Next day, Kamau went to class. Mr. Johnson announced to the whole school that Abiria had done very well in the competition.  “We must practice now for the National Competition,” he said.

Abiria whispered to Kamau, “I would not have won, if you had been there. Practice, you can win the  National.  Kamau slapped Abiria on the back. You are a good runner, Abiria, and YOU won, but thank you for being such a good friend, too.

The boys continued to run after school. Mr. Johnson coached them. They won many competitions, and their friendship endured.  When they finished school, Kamau went on to join and win many races. Abiria became a doctor, specializing in Sports Medicine. When Kamau competed in a race, Abiria was always there to cheer for him. Abiria married first. He named his first child Kamau. When Kamau married he named his first child Abiria. Mr Johnson was godfather for both children.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Good King Wenceslaus


Good King Wencelaus was a kind and generous nobleman in Bohemia more than a thousand years ago.  He went out of his way to help the poor people on his lands. He was so good that people felt happy just to see him. They came to believe that just being near him was a blessing.
On the day after Christmas, the feast of St. Stephen, Good King Wenceslaus looked out his window.  He saw  a poor servant walking home in a blizzard.
Good King Wenceslaus called a servant and asked him to gather food and firewood. The  King wanted to go to the poor man’s house to help him. He wanted the poor man to have food and a warm house.
Good King Wenceslaus set out in the snow.  The servant walked behind him.  When the servant felt the cold and it was hard to walk in the blizzard.  He said, “Good King, I cannot go on.” If the servant turned back alone, he would get lost in the blizzard.
Good King Wencelaus encouraged him saying, “I will make the path. Try stepping in my footsteps.”
As he walked in the footsteps of Good King Wenceslaus, the servant felt warm again. Together, the King and the servant trudged on through the blizzard. Later, the servant told everyone about how even in a blizzard, he felt warm near Good King Wencelaus.

That is why a famous Christmas Carol begins with the words, “Good King Wenceslaus, on the feast of Stephen, . . ”

The lyrics were written by  John Mason Neale, but the tune was found in an ancient Finnish Hymn Book.

Books by Elizabeth V Roach can be found at

Maryknoll Sisters - Making God's Love Visible in 26 countries!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Jane Shares her Religion Lesson with Her Little Brother

Year of Faith

God loves us!  God loves us!   God loves us!

Jane Shares her Religion Lesson with Her Little Brother

   When Jane came home from school, Billy pleaded, “Jane, push me on the swing Dad made for me.”
   Jane said, “Okay, and I will tell you a story, too.”
She took Billy by the hand and walked him to the back yard. Jane lifted Billy into the swing.  She pushed it gently.
    Billy said, “Tell me the story!”
   Jane said, “Jesus was going around his country telling people about God, his Father.
   Crowds gathered wherever he went.  And people wanted to get up close to see and hear him.
   “Billy, Jesus cured people of all kinds of things.  He could make blind people see, and he fixed the ears of people who couldn’t hear, so that they could hear everything. He even brought people back to life.
   And one day, people were crowding around him. The Apostles, his closest friends, were trying to keep people from pushing and shoving.  Some women wanted Jesus to bless their children.  I guess they were really pushing their children up front.
   So, some of the apostles, stopped them. They told them to get away, because they were crowding Jesus. And do you know what happened?”
   Billy, wide–eyed turned in the swing to look at Jane behind him.  “What happened?” he asked.
   “Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me.’ Jesus really likes children. He talked to them and he blessed them.  
   “And Mr James, my catechist, says Jesus loves us, too. And we can tell Jesus anything at all and he will listen. Right now, we can talk to Jesus because he promised to be with us always.”
   Billy’s eyes opened even wider. “You mean Jesus is here right now?”
  “Yes,” Jane said, “And he likes to be with us. Want to tell Jesus anything?”
   Billy said, “Oh, Jesus, THANK YOU for this swing Dad made for me.”
   Jane said, “That’s a nice prayer, Billy?”

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Jane Prepares for First Holy Communion

Year of Faith! 

  Jane came running in from school. She wanted to find her little brother Billy, but he was playing in the back yard.  "Billy, Billy?  Where are you?"

As she ran through the house, she grinned from ear to ear. She opened the screen door and ran into the yard.  "Billy," she said.  "I am going to make my First Holy Communion!"

Billy was busy filling his little pail with black dirt. He was going to plant flower seeds his mother had given him. When he saw his sister,  he looked up.
Jane grabbed him by both shoulders and repeated, "I am going to make my First Holy Communion!"
"What's that?" Billy asked.
"Billy, you know. You see Mom and Dad going up to the front of the church every Sunday. They are receiving Holy Communion, and I am going to do it, too.
"But Mom and Dad always tell you to stay with me. Am I going to be all by myself now?"
"No, Silly! Mom and Dad will figure out something."
"Jane, what's Holy Communion? Why can you and Mom and Dad get it and not me?"
"First," Jane said, "You are not old enough. You have to reach the age of reason."
Billy made a face. "Age of reason?"
"That means you have to be at least seven and understand what's right and wrong."
"I am five and a half, and I know what's right and wrong."
"Well, sometimes you do, but not always. Like the other day when Dad saw you sitting in the car and trying to start it.."
"Dad was mad about that! But he said he will teach me when I am old enough to get a license. There are a lot of things only old people can do."
"Billy, I am not OLD!  I am just old enough to receive Jesus."
"You are going to receive Jesus? How?"
"That's what I'm telling you. Jesus is going to come to me in Holy Communion?
And Mr. James is going to prepare me."
"How is he going to do that?"
"I don't know, but he said the first thing is to tell Jesus everyday that I want Him to come to me."

Friday, May 24, 2013

God Loves Us!

Year of Faith


God Loves Us!  God Loves Us! God Loves Us!

Mom! Mom! You know what Mr. James taught us today?”
“No, Jane. What did he teach you?” Mrs. Santos asked.
“Mr James says, “We need to know four things to be followers of Jesus and members of his Church.”
“Only four?” Mrs. Santos asked.
“Yes. We need to know:
        1. What we believe.
        2. What will help us increase our faith,
        3. How to live what we believe
        4. And how to talk with God.
“That sounds like a pretty big order,” Mrs. Santos said.”
“Mr. James says we need to know how to talk with God. God can show us how to do the first three.”
Billy came running into the kitchen. “Jane, did Mr. James tell you any stories about Jesus today?”
“Yes, Billy, Mr James said Jesus taught that brothers have to be good to their big sisters.”
Billy waved the comics at Jane and asked, “What about sisters being good to their little brothers?”
Jane laughed and said, “Okay, okay. I will read the comics for you.”

Billy, Jane's Little Brother
[1] See Prologue to Catechism of the Catholic Church I–3 and 
Acts 2:42

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Year of Faith

  God Loves us, God loves us, God loves us!
Jane and her friends ran into the house singing "God loves us." Jane was excited, "Mom, Mom! Guess what? Jesus brought a little girl back to life! Mr. James, told us all about it.  He says, Jesus did that so we would understand he is God.
"I wish I could have seen that. Just imagine!  Everybody was sad, and the girl's father didn't know what to do, but he must have heard that Jesus was nearby.  He just went and asked Jesus to heal his daughter.

"And his servants came and said not to bother because she was dead. Jesus said she was not dead, but just sleeping. He went to the house and took the little girl by the hand and asked her to get up.

"And she got up, and then he told them to give her something to eat.

"And that is in the Bible in Matthew, chapter 9, verses 18 to 26.

"Mr. James says Jesus didn't do miracles to show off, or to become famous. He did them to show that he is God and that God loves us.  Isn't that great?"

Jane's mother said, "Yes, we better celebrate that. Would you girls like a cold drink and some cookies?"

One of Jane's friends said, "Gee, Mrs. Santos, this is like a miracle. I smelled the cookies and I wanted one so badly!"

Mrs. Santos laughed. "You girls are just charmers. I am sure God has great plans for you. When Jesus tells you to stand up for what you believe, I am sure you will do as he asks."