Encountering Signs of Faith
My Unexpected Journey with Sacramentals, the Saints, and the Abundant Grace of God
by Allison Gingras
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Pub Date 30 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 11 Nov 2022
After a friend gave Allison Gingras a Miraculous Medal, she began to incorporate it and other sacramentals into her personal prayer time and family devotions. She soon discovered that these tangible signs—which Catholics believe prepare us to receive the grace of the sacraments—helped both her and her profoundly deaf daughter connect with God and the spiritual motherhood of Mary, who is intimately connected to so many of these practices.
Blessings, prayers, devotions, and objects such as rosaries and scapulars are forms of sacramentals. In Signs of Faith, Gingras—founder of Reconciled to You ministries—shares the story of how these helped her discern the adoption of her daughter from China, strengthened her faith as she waited to meet her, helped her bond with the toddler, and taught her daughter about her faith.
Gingras offers examples of saints who inspired and embraced sacramentals, including Juan Diego, Faustina, Bernadette, and Venerable Patrick Peyton. You will also learn about the spiritual benefits of incorporating sacramentals such as sacred images, novenas, prayer cards, lectio divina (sacred reading), and holy water into daily life. Reflection questions and grace-building activities are included with each chapter.
Gingras will guide you and your family to experience these sacred signs in a new way and to connect you more meaningfully to Jesus, Mary, and the saints.
A Note From the Publisher
Gingras developed and acquired six volumes in the Stay Connected Journals for Women series and wrote two—The Gift of Invitation and Seeking Peace. She is a contributor to a number of books, including The Ave Prayer Book for Catholic Mothers, Called by Name, and The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. Gingras has been featured on a variety of Catholic television and radio programs and podcasts. She is a regular contributor to LPI, Diocesan.com, CatholicMom.com, Family Rosary, WINE, Amazing Catechists, and CatholicSistas. Gingras is the cohost of the Catholic MomCast.
She was given the Light of Christ Award by the Archdiocese of Boston in 2008. She is a member of Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha’s Diocesan Revitalization Committee in the Fall River Diocese. Gringras is a member of the Catholic Writer’s Guild, the National Council of Catholic Women, and Catholics Online.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Bridgewater State University and a master’s degree in technology in education from Lesley University. She is a certified paralegal.
"Allison Gingras beautifully unites us as a faithful family by introducing us to people, places, and things that make God’s love real.”
From the foreword by Kelly M. Wahlquist
Founder of WINE: Women In the New Evangelization
“Like sacramentals, this book is a blessing.”
Author of Sisterhood of Saints
“Encountering Signs of Faith is informative and instructive, yet much more. It is at its heart the story of an intimate journey nourished by love and a passion for the faith.”
Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha
Diocese of Fall River
“Real, refreshing, and relatable.”
Coauthor of Divine Mercy for Moms
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 9 members
Beautiful book on faith, sacraments, adoption, and Grace. Reading this is like sitting with a good friend, talking about faith in real time. Highly Recommended! Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!
The best spiritual books are those that make a lasting impression on you, that seem to compel you to want to change your life for the better.
Encountering Signs of Faith: My Unexpected Journey with Sacramentals, the Saints, and the Abundant Grace of God is just such a book. Author Allison Gingras tells the moving story of teaching her daughter, who is deaf, about the faith through the use of sacramentals such as medals, holy water, and the like.
Gingras had to overcome her own fears and anxieties to travel all the way to China to adopt her little girl, Faithy. Their story is one of triumph over the longest of odds. But this is not only Gingras' family story. The author demonstrates how all of us can grow in faith and love of Jesus through the use of sacramentals.
As Gingras movingly writes:
"Each of us has desires that God longs to fulfill for us. Some are so minute they are fulfilled without our ever recognizing that grace played a role. Sometimes he plants the idea in our hearts early in our lives, like my desire to adopt a child. Other times he works through circumstances to lead us along the right path."
Encountering Signs of Faith is a celebration of all that is good and holy and should prove to be a welcomed addition to your home library.
Interspersed with stories of Allison's own spiritual journey as she and her husband adopted a profoundly deaf young child from China is "sneaky evangelism" about grace and the ways it's shown to us—and the ways we hold our faith in our hearts. Allison had to make the faith visible and tangible to her daughter, but the Church made that easy for her through its traditions of sacred art and sacramentals. This book contains not only a fascinating testimony but also an invitation to make your faith personal, by incorporating meaningful devotions, developing relationships with saints, and learning to see God's grace and providence in every aspect of your life. I want to read it again—this time with my journal near at hand. 5 stars. (Netgalley; available September 30 but you can preorder it now.)
Through the telling of her daughter’s adoption story, Allison Gingras beautifully illustrates how Catholic sacramentals can enrich our prayer life and be avenues of grace for everyone. As a parent of both typically-abled children and children with special needs, I especially appreciated her tips for practical application. Encountering Signs of Faith would be a valuable resource not only for parents, but teachers and catechists as well.
Encountering Signs of Faith by Allison Gingras is a look at not only the Catholic Faith and how to grow in it, but also a story of adoption and sharing the faith with a child who is deaf.
The Gingras family felt the call to adopt and their journey led them to adopting a young girl from China. From the beginning Allison's faith is tested in many ways as she waits for the okay to travel. Once in China and united with her daughter, she then begins the process of not only bonding with her daughter but also finding ways to share the Catholic faith with her so that she can experience it and understand it. What happens is a beautiful story with not only many reminders of my faith, but also a story of how children can often teach adults so many things.
I absolutely loved this book. As a convert to Catholicism I love learning about my faith and devotions others hold dear. Faithy's journey to her new family and learning about being Catholic opened my own eyes to things I know I take for granted as someone who can hear.
Reading this book was like sitting down with a friend and hearing a beautiful story. I highly recommend this book to Catholics, families who have or will be adopting, or people looking for new things to appreciate about the beauty that is Catholicism.
I voluntarily received a copy of this book from Ave Maria Press. All views are simply my honest opinion.
This book is a very interesting journey through sacramentals, the adoption of a little Chinese girl and the intercession of saints. As a cradle Catholic I´m familiar with most of the sacramentals disposed in the book, but now I´ve learned so many things that comes with them, especially the graces. I even started wearing a Miraculous medal I had and was forgotten in a drawer and set my phone´s alarm to 3pm so I can now remember the mercy hour. I love to learn about the lives of saints so it was very interesting to see how each sacramental was related to one or more saints and I was introduced to a Ven Patrick Peyton, who I haven´t heard before. What I liked the most was the story of the adoption of Faithy and how God wove her life and that of the Gingras family, showing that she was not born from Allison but was born for Allison and her family.