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Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

New bilingual book – Cad a Chreideann Criostaithe – by the Reverend Mairt Hanley

Why I wrote it

The idea of writing this book was to provide an explanation of the Christian faith that is simple enough for children to understand but imaginative and broad enough to give them a good start in faith.

Some years ago, I met a family who had been outside of the church but wished to get involved and raise their children in the faith. They needed to explain the faith to their older child and asked for some help. I looked for something but found that anything that talked about baptism seemed to concentrate on Original Sin, Hell fire and the need to avoid it.

Anything else I found that was for the right age group felt like it was written for children who already had a solid background in the church so I sat down and tried to put something together that would start off this child’s journey of faith. Once I got going it seemed to flow and I had it done almost as it is now in a few hours. I put together a booklet with stock images from the internet. The family was delighted and I thought that others might find it useful.

The daughter of an old friend and mentor of mine did the watercolours and this really added to the look and feel of the book.

It has been written from a Church of Ireland point of view but I have been careful to ensure that what is described is the basics of Christian faith in general, not any particular version of it. So I hope it will be equally useful to people coming from any denominational background.

It is in both of the main languages of our island as I like the idea of bilingualism.  It is a great way to remember to look at things in more than one way and having ministered on the Dingle peninsula, I can see its value and beauty.

At the time I was putting this together there was some talk about the church producing more bilingual material, but that didn’t transpire so it sat on the back burner for a while until I had some time over lockdown to tie up loose ends and get it published.

My thanks to all who helped out with this project and I hope you find it an enlightening and joyful way to look at and understand the Christian faith.

Ten copies are going to every national school in the diocese. For more info email