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The Catholic All Year Compendium: Liturgical Living for Real Life

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If you've been wondering how to bring the rich traditions of the Catholic Church's liturgical year into your home and into your family, this is the book for you. If you have no idea what the liturgical calendar is, this still might be the book for you, if you are looking for ways to bring your faith home from Sunday Mass, in every season, all year long.

Catholic blogger and mother of many, Kendra Tierney shares how her family incorporates traditional Catholic practices into today's family life throughout the Church year—from Advent and Christmas, through Lent and Easter, to Pentecost and beyond. She provides ideas for stories, decorations, activities, and foods that will help you to celebrate your Catholic faith with your family and friends without expertise or much advance planning. She also offers tips and tricks from her fifteen years in the Catholic mommy trenches on things like surviving bringing young children to Mass and saying a family Rosary.

Whether you're a convert or a revert, an expert theologian or a brand-new Catholic, a member of a big family or a little one, a stay-at-home or a working parent, you're sure to find ways to make your Catholic faith a memorable and meaningful part of your busy family life.  And have fun doing it!

345 pages, Paperback

Published October 7, 2018

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About the author

Kendra Tierney

25 books33 followers
Catholic wife, mother, homeschooler, and blogger at Catholic All Year.

You can follow her on instagram at: http://instagram.com/kendra_tierney

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5 stars
303 (77%)
4 stars
72 (18%)
3 stars
10 (2%)
2 stars
5 (1%)
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0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 54 reviews
Profile Image for Amanda.
798 reviews
October 25, 2018
I am a longtime fan of Kendra Tierney’s blog, which I have read almost since its inception and which helped me on my path of reversion to the Catholic faith, so I preordered this right away. Lots of times, books by bloggers are mostly blog material repackaged, but I decided that was fine - it’s good to have liturgical suggestions in order, in a book, and I am glad to support writing I have been receiving for free. But the Compendium, as I am going to affectionately call it, is a lot more than blog posts. She offers ideas about how to teach kids difficult concepts, brief histories of saints’ lives and legends, and fun feast celebration activities. Plus, I actually laughed out loud. I read the whole thing in an evening, because it was entertaining and edifying - and it would be for a well-catechized Catholic or someone who’s never heard the word “Triduum.” Bonus: amazingly simple list of indulgences in an appendix. Double bonus: It didn’t make me feel awful that we don’t already do everything, but inspired that I could handle adding ideas. Highly recommended
Profile Image for Stef.
145 reviews8 followers
February 2, 2022
Great reference book, wish I had this when the kids were younger, although it's not too late to glean new ideas at this point. Kendra Tierney's writing has always felt personal and intimate to me, so even though I haven't met her reading this book feels just like chatting with my friends about plans for the liturgical year. Love how she makes everything sound accessible and simple, even a young mom would not have to feel overwhelmed reading this book.
Profile Image for Genevieve  Rodas.
10 reviews
November 5, 2022
One of the best books ever to use as a guide and reference for Liturgical Living in the home. One of my biggest takeaways as a mother who is just starting is to begin with baptism anniversaries and namesake days. There's so much more after that and this book makes it easy to refer back to when our family is ready to take on more.
Profile Image for Ashley Strukel.
189 reviews
October 6, 2019
This book is fantastic and I 100% recommend it! It is worth the price even if you never plan to make a liturgically appropriate meal ever. I have learned so much about the church and the liturgical year, not to mention the stories of so many wonderful saints. I can't recommend this book enough. Kendra is informative while also being relatable and entertaining.
206 reviews1 follower
June 13, 2021
Lots of gems in this book. I wish I had had it when my kids were young and homeschooling. So many fun yet easy ideas. Some meals ideas are more involved, but she adds that she often opts for corn dogs instead. There are also good tips for helping your kids understand Santa Claus, Halloween, and more. And she starts the book giving good tips on how to start, since you can't expect to do everything in the book every year.
Profile Image for Anne.
541 reviews
January 8, 2019
This is such a fun read and not at all reference-manual-y. Her voice comes across so clearly, and it is informative and organized while still being warm and lighthearted. Her suggestions also feel natural and within reach of someone whose attempts are not pinterest-worthy...
Profile Image for Ann Warren.
424 reviews
June 21, 2020
I loved the ideas in this book. Quirky, fun and informative! I’ve already put a lot of her ideas for liturgical living into practice and look forward to more! Would recommend for any Catholic mamas out there! My kids are loving living their faith more as well!
Profile Image for Katie Fitzgerald.
Author 3 books193 followers
April 20, 2019
#CathLit2019 challenge: A recently published Catholic book

I have been reading Kendra Tierney's blog since I've had kids and have implemented some of her ideas for living out the liturgical year. This book makes it so much easier to keep track of all the feast days and their associated traditions, activities, etc. While some of the meal suggestions strike me as gimmicky, everything else included, from information on indulgences, to the prayers associated with certain saints, to the list of potential All Saints Day costumes, makes this book worth owning. I marked dozens of pages with sticky notes as I read, so I would remember to come back to them when the appropriate liturgical season rolls around, and I've already used the book to look up the prayers for the Epiphany House blessing and to brush up on the Fourteen Holy Helpers, one of whom is my oldest daughter's patroness. Catholic families who want to more strongly develop their homes as "domestic churches" can't go wrong with this well-organized and easy-to-read guidebook.
191 reviews
November 25, 2019
I have been reading this book month by month to help prepare my menu and family plans. It has been fabulous. The ideas she has are easy to incorporate and often quite hilarious. I have recommended this book to numerous people. I should get a commission I’ve recommended it somany times! Whether or not you were Catholic, if you are trying to incorporate more liturgical living into your family life this is the book for you!
Profile Image for Jaime K.
Author 1 book43 followers
January 5, 2019
One of the best things about this book is that Tierney repeats over and over again that certain things are done in her house but 1) no one is expected to do it all (and even her family doesn’t do it each year) and 2) parents know their children best.
I equate it to the unending plethora of educational materials that can be used out there and my supervisor saying “pick one new thing to do this year. If it works, add on to it next year. If it doesn’t, reassess and see if you can modify it next year, or pick something new.” It’s one thing to intrinsically know that; it’s another to be verbally reminded of it.

“This book isn’t about Catholic perfection; it’s about celebrating our common faith with family and friends.” - Introduction

Baby steps every year (or two or three) can help to enrichen how one celebrates their Catholicism. But, in order to do so, we must plan ahead.
This book is great for that.

Tierney naturally weaves humor in with various ways one can celebrate each Church season, as well as feast days. At one point, she mentions that her kids choose not to understand certain reasoning...it makes me think of how students will sometimes behave (and choose to ignore directions). It’s also a pretty funny scene she paints, and one I would like to see.

Reading through the appendices as I came across them in text helped me a lot as I read further along.

I really enjoy learning of their parenting and food choices. I will sometimes think that the Tierneys are completely out of my league, and don’t even bother comparing myself to them all that much. Too, Kendra’s skillsets are in something near-opposite of my own, and I love what brings ME joy. And yet, her words help me with my mental comparisons and helps me to remember to downsize at times (with gifts, meals, actions, whatever).

I freaking LOVE that she includes St. Gerard Majella, albeit not his feast day. But he’s mentioned...and he’s my family’s favorite. Seeing his name always makes me smile.

I did NOT know the information about March 25th, including why it’s the date of the Annunciation (and no, it’s not from counting backwards 9 months from Christmas).

While some of the Halloween information wasn’t new to me, most of it was. I had no clue that anti-Halloween (ahem, Catholic) sentiments are just a few years older than I am.

Yeah. This is a fantastic book.
218 reviews12 followers
December 14, 2021
Let me preface by saying that I had been waiting and waiting to get my hands on this book- I even went through the gruesome waiting process of requesting for my city library to order it. I was beyond excited when it arrived.
Immediately when I went to open it, though, my spirits dropped a bit. The cover (beautiful) is not representative of what’s inside at all. It’s extremely visually unappealing and written in long paragraph forms. I was expecting lists, pictures, diagrams, etc. I don’t know. It wasn’t enough to deter all of my excitement, though, so I began reading.
Yes, this is clearly an unpopular opinion, but I almost couldn’t finish it towards the end. She writes in a very preachy and condescending way. I felt the entire time that I was being reprimanded by her ‘better than thou’ writing. We get it- you’re *sooo* pious.
The point in which I finally got fed up was her Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity section. She goes on to tell readers to not explain the Holy Trinity to their children because it is heresy! Don’t compare the Holy Trinity to water, you heretic! Don’t compare the Holy Trinity to a shamrock, you heretic! “And for the record, Saint Patrick never said the Trinity is like a shamrock in any of his writings.” Heretic. The Trinity isn’t like anything else. “So it’s best not to try.” I closed the book at this point. The huge problem when I opened it back up again, was the next section when she hypocritically talks about making a turducken (chicken in a duck in a turkey) for the meal for this day to represent the Trinity. Sounds like what you just cried ‘heresy’, Kendra.
Also, bullying and peer pressuring your kids into eating locust and not allowing them food if they don’t eat it? Wow…
I digress… the book had a few cute little ideas for kids to be involved in the Liturgical Year (I didn’t need the author’s preachy stance/opinion on everything) and some good short biographies on a few saints.
A majority of what’s written in here I have seen similar things on Pinterest or in blogs, but it’s a good book for those that either have NEVER heard of Liturgical Living before, or know almost nothing about it or how to facilitate it. I’m guessing that’s where all of the four and five-star ratings are from after reading the reviews.
I’m almost never upset over having read a new book, nor am I now. Thanks for the read. (But I’m glad I didn’t pay for it.)
883 reviews9 followers
April 19, 2019
At this point in the year, this was the best nonfiction book that I read! It was informative and entertaining. I felt like I was having a conversation with the author as she was going through the liturgical year. For example, she was talking about Martinmas and another feast day that both involved Goose and she would say "if you are going to cook goose let me know." There was another conversational moment, where she was like "We do not do this except I think we will now." I learned so much about the different saints and something about my own faith, which was cool. For example, Halloween has Catholic roots, which I did not know. I also thought it was a nice touch to have an appendix on fasting and abstinence, because that can be a little confusing. I do not remember seeing this in the appendix, but I wish there was a definition of two small meals for they cannot equal a whole meal. I really want to do some of the activities she mentioned beyond the Advent Wreath, which my family used to do and I want to reinstate it for this up-in-coming Advent. I think I might want to try some of the feast days she mentioned for the season of Ordinary Time between Pentecost and Advent for I may have my own copy by that point. Overall, I thought this was very accessible, enjoyable, and recommendable.
4 reviews
January 3, 2020
I got this book from my mother (who is not Catholic) last year for Christmas. She picked it up on a whim when in Barnes and Noble. Upon receiving it, I immediately dove in and was overwhelmed. I was sure I had not been doing enough as a Catholic mom and wife based on what Kendra Tierney does! That being said, I went back and re-read the first chapter that starts "Making the Liturgical Year Your Own" and "How to being by 1. Start with the liturgical living you're already doing". When I realized this was NOT a to-do list on how to to be all things Catholic and instead listened to God direct me as to what I needed to add to what I was already doing, I was less overwhelmed. Kendra does remind us her journey to daily liturgical living has been a 20+ year process for her. I was not going to change everything in one year.

This is a wonderful book to help you embrace the Catholic liturgical year and live it daily instead of just on Sunday's. Among traditions suggested in the book, our family adopted a prayer board, St. Nicholas Day, Lent activities and a more focused Rosary schedule. I am currently in the process of re-reading this book for each season to glean out other inspiring ideas.
Profile Image for Hillary.
15 reviews
February 24, 2019
Kendra's book introduces liturgical living at a very manageable level, mostly consisting of ways to make the dinner you would already make fit with a feast's or saint's theme, with a few crafts, procession ideas, and particular prayers woven in. I think her proposed way of living a distinctly Catholic lifestyle in community with others is a perfect addition to the conversations already happening in our corners of the world (i.e. "Benedict-option"), but also offers a path very easy to implement for the average family. Invite a few other families you know, incorporate a theme into the potluck/park day/picnic you already wanted to have, and say some seasonally appropriate prayers after. Voila!

I can't wait for my daughter to be old enough to start trying out some of her ideas! Most of them seem best suited for the catechesis of children, not necessarily for celebrations just between my husband and I. (Oh who am I kidding. My husband and I would love to whack a giant Satan piñata on Michaelmas. Who wouldn't?)
Profile Image for Audie.
118 reviews
March 22, 2019
This book is amazing and I can't recommend it enough. It's constantly out at my house as I (try to) look ahead for the upcoming liturgical year. I'm always looking for a reason to celebrate (especially with breakfast for dinner), which this book covers well, but it also dives deep into other Catholic traditions like indulgences.

Also, this is one of those books that could easily have been filled with Pinterest-worthy pictures, but it's now and that makes it so much better!!
This is full of great ways to look at celebrations in the Church, and because she gives a background on everything you can develop ones that work best for your family (she also has great suggestions that have worked well for her family).
And yet, her writing tone keeps the reading fun, while not sounding like a blog post, and most importantly without the guilt that you aren't doing enough.

This will be a Christmas present for every Catholic family I know.
Profile Image for Amy.
95 reviews
November 14, 2019
I purposefully read this book over the course of a year so I could soak up all of Kendra’s teachings and suggestions in “real time”, starting with the New Year of our Catholic faith, Advent. Even though I am a cradle Catholic (born into the faith), there were many things I learned while reading this compendium. But most importantly, it inspired me to “bring the faith home” in our daily lives as a family. Thanks to her suggestions, we’re each adopting a patron saint to learn about each year (asking for their intercession and celebrating their feast days); we’re celebrating our Baptismal anniversaries and calling to thank our Godparents; we’re celebrating other feast days and holy days of the Church that we may have forgotten to in past years; and we’re growing together as a family in our faith. We look forward to creating more traditions and memories, and growing closer to Christ and the communion of saints. - Amy, @createdbeloved
Profile Image for Patti.
196 reviews
April 11, 2021
This book is so fantastic.

The concept has so much potential to come off as preachy and overwhelming and guilt-inspiring and it is none of those things. The author blends doctrine of the church with stories of the saints and history and tons and tons of ideas to incorporate liturgical living into your family life. She does an excellent job of giving so many ideas without the reader feeling like they should be doing them all. She is thorough. She is passionate. She is funny. (There is even humor in the appendices). You can read it as a reference book, or just straight through... either one works, I just loved it. We are even incorporating one of her ideas today... making Divine Mercy Sundaes on Divine Mercy Sunday. ;)

This is my new favorite gift to give for a baby shower! Highly recommend.
Profile Image for Michelle Rogers.
299 reviews22 followers
April 18, 2021
A wonderful collection of ideas on how to live out liturgical living. I have read several liturgical living blogs and books, but this is a very nice, easy to read collection of feasting, fasting, and how to truly live the rhythm of the liturgical calendar in your family life. The book's index and table of contents make it fairly easy to reference back to particular feasts or liturgical seasons to make it easy to read cover to cover and then utilize later as a reference book.
I loved all her creative ideas and reminder that it's OK to not do all of the ideas or to choose some of our own feasts to celebrate. "This book isn't about Catholic perfection; it's about celebrating our common faith with family and friends." It would be a great book to read either to start integrating liturgical living into your family life, or to help continue to grow in intentional liturgical living.
Profile Image for Missy.
56 reviews10 followers
December 26, 2018
Fantastic book. Well researched and informative. The author's writing style is conversational enough to feel like I'm listening to another mom over a cup of coffee, but serious enough to highlight the importance of the subject. Tierney is also realistic. She repeatedly advises to start small, make it your own, and explains her own inventive routines and ideas in a way that had me thinking of how I could create traditions for my own family. Tierney wanders off into catechesis and history, but every time it was worth the aside. I can see myself recommending this book over and over, and I've already bought a second copy as a Christmas gift.
Profile Image for Taylor.
4 reviews
March 3, 2019
I am absolutely so grateful for this book. I heard about it on The Gathering Place, and literally pulled over so I could order it on Amazon. As a twenty-something single woman, I’ve been dying for some ways to live out liturgically. THIS BOOK IS THE ANSWER. I’ve already used some of the ideas with my friends and we love it. Kendra’s voice made a compendium actually quite enjoyable; I caught myself laughing out loud many times. This book encouraged me to strive for sanctity in the season that I’m in, and God willing one day I can live out my vocation as a mother as beautifully as Kendra does. Thank you for your ministry to the Church. I will be sharing this with anyone who will listen!
Profile Image for Barb.
1,041 reviews51 followers
December 1, 2018
New from Ignatius Press, The Catholic All Year Compendium puts all the liturgical-living information you need into one book. You won’t have to dig through the free calendar you pick up at church, five websites, and four books about the lives of the saints to find some ways to observe the Church’s feasts, fasts, and everything in between — and make them work for your family.

Read my full review.
12 reviews
January 19, 2020
I love how simple Kendra makes liturgical living, it doesn’t have to be big things, it can be little things scattered throughout the year.

I also loved how she explained how she explains various topics to her children. As a young mother just starting my family, this content was very much appreciated.

This book is a fantastic resource that I will be coming back to throughout the year, every year. And it may even become a staple wedding gift for Catholic couples!
Profile Image for Abigail.
247 reviews
November 23, 2021
This book has SO MUCH information but still manages to be so accessible and not intimidating. I learned so much about Catholicism and so many fun ways to bring my faith into my day to day life.

I will continue to grow because of this book and am a better person for having read it. I think I’ll loosely be rereading it pretty much all of the time.

Also I now know how to make stock this winter for soup thanks to Kendra so I got some mommying out of it too.
January 1, 2019
I had been looking forward to this book for a long time, and it was even better than I’d hoped for! Kendra offers wonderful, practical suggestions for bringing the liturgical year into your home, with both easy things for beginners and stuff to stretch even people who have been doing this for years. An invaluable resource.
Profile Image for Anjanette Barr.
Author 2 books38 followers
April 14, 2019
I have quoted or referenced this book over and over in my writing and conversation, and while planning out upcoming months. Five stars for being practical, readable, AND inspiring! I've only been Catholic for a year. The liturgical year is one of the things that drew me to the Church, but it can be overwhelming even so. I'm very thankful for this guide!
Profile Image for Faith Elizabeth  Hough.
497 reviews44 followers
December 11, 2018
Review soon! But I have Advent-ing to do around here. :)
I love Kendra's voice and enthusiasm, and even a cradle Catholic myself had plenty to gain from her beautifully presented compendium of liturgical living.
Profile Image for Antonia.
355 reviews2 followers
December 11, 2018
Read, use and enjoy this book. It is an amazing resource that will help you integrate your faith into daily life with earnestness and a healthy dose of fun. I can’t recommend this book highly enough! Kendra Tierney has done us a great service.
Profile Image for LeeAnn Balbirona.
41 reviews2 followers
December 28, 2018
Interesting for Catholic parents of young families looking to add liturgical year devotions. All text, no illustrations. A bit traditional—discussion of things like plenary indulgences and litanies. Not my top resource for liturgical living.
3 reviews2 followers
January 14, 2019
This was like chatting with a friend about how she lives the liturgical year in her home. The tone and content felt familiar, yet not redundant, with our own home. It was a quick read and will be a delightful reference.
Profile Image for Laura McAninch.
145 reviews3 followers
December 27, 2020
Wonderful resource to add to your at home library. I've read Kendra's blog for over 11 years and while this book is indeed a compendium of Catholic information on liturgical living, she has a plethora of invaluable all-things Catholic type info to add to future books!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 54 reviews

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