What began as a project solely with her young daughter in mind turned into a book available to help families, children make Marian consecration

GROSSE POINTE FARMS  — Colleen Pressprich began her own devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary as a 20-year-old college student, when she made her first Marian consecration. 

Now, as a mother of four kids all under the age of 5, she wants to introduce her children to the woman who changed her life. 

Pressprich’s newly released book, “Marian Consecration for Families with Young Children,” is an opportunity to help kids make a consecration to Our Lady, which in Pressprich’s own experience “led to all of the other best decisions and the one that has led me to where I am today.”

The book, currently available through Our Sunday Visitor Catholic Bookstore, is Pressprich’s first; the St. Paul on the Lake parishioner plans to release a second book through Our Sunday Visitor in 2021 about the women doctors of the Church.

Pressprich was inspired to write the book for her now five-year-old daughter Gianna. When Gianna showed a deep interest in her faith, Pressprich went looking for an age-appropriate way to introduce her daughter to Mary. 

What started as a passion project for her own children’s edification led to a prompting by the Holy Spirit to share her Marian consecration for children with others. 

“When I first started writing, it was for our oldest daughter, Gianna,” Pressprich told Detroit Catholic. “Gianna is really drawn to the faith very naturally. Most kids are when they get the chance.”

At age 3, Gianna began asking questions about Mary and Jesus, prompting Pressprich to begin a search for an age-appropriate Marian consecration.

“I renew my consecration every year for the feast of the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8) and wanted to be able to share it with her,” Pressprich said. “I went looking, and sure enough, there are options for adults, for teenagers, there is one for older kids, but there is nothing for young children and nothing for families.”

Pressprich lamented the lack of resources to her husband, who encouraged her to use her writing chops to fill the gap herself. Pressprich said she began writing with her daughter in mind, putting down on paper what she wanted Gianna to know about Our Lady and to lay the cornerstone for her to build a personal relationship with Mary. 

Pressprich began her own devotion to Mary at age 20. She continues to renew her consecration every year on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

But as she wrote, Pressprich said she felt nudged by the Holy Spirit and was called to step out in faith and share her project with others. 

Pressprich wrote several drafts and gave copies to other families with young children as well as several homeschool co-ops for feedback. Nearly three years after she began, the book is now published and available to all. 

Pressprich based her book on the pattern established by St. Louis-Marie de Montfort. St. Louis had a profound devotion to Our Lady, and through his writings established a 33-day program to guide the faithful to a deeper relationship with Christ through devotion to Mary. 

“I broke (the book) into sections just like St. Louis does, so the sections are suited for young children,” Pressprich said. “The first section is, ‘Who is Mary?’ because that’s the foundation. Then we look at what we can learn from Mary. What lessons are there to be gained from a relationship with her? Next, I have a section that covers important moments in Mary’s life, which is an introduction to Lectio Divina for families and for kids. The next section is three of the Marian apparitions where Our Lady appeared to children, and then the consecration itself.”

Pressprich said that her consecration to Mary led to all of the best decisions in her own life. She believes her book can help lead children closer to Jesus through a relationship with his mother, Mary. 

The book is intended for ages 3-7, and each day has its own full-color illustration accompanied by a short meditation and questions that parents can use to prompt conversation with their children about faith. Pressprich ended the book with a section specifically for parents, offering tips and hints for talking about Mary, scriptural notations as well as other faith resources. 

Pressprich continues to renew her consecration every year, only now she is able to do so with her whole family accompanied by her book. 

“I think this is important because Mary always leads us to Jesus, and for young children, Mary is a very concrete person,” Pressprich said. “She’s a mom; children understand a mom. They are naturally drawn to mothers. If I go out with my kids and we are in a crowded place, our rule is, ‘If you get lost, find a mom, and she will help get you to where you need to be.’ Moms are safe; moms are loving. Kids understand them. And so Mary, just as with us adults, can be the gateway to Christ.”

Marian Consecration for Families with Young Children

By Colleen Pressprich (with illustrations by Rebecaa Gorzynska)
OSV Catholic Bookstore (2020)
98 pages
$18.95
Available for purchase at OSV Catholic Bookstore