Non Solum: Bios of Saints for Worship Aids and Bulletins

A reader writes in: “Is there a website or publisher that provides brief bios of saints that can be included as part of a weekly church bulletin?”

Many parishes like to include bios of saints in their weekly bulletins and worship aids. This allows parishioners to reflect on the saints whose feast days fall that week. Sometimes images of the saint are included as well. The challenge is finding texts and images that are not copyrighted.

Bios are a useful way to introduce the faithful to particular saints. Their lives can help us reflect on and strengthen our own faith. What makes their stories so compelling is that they resonate with our own life experiences and challenge us to rethink our relationship to God, the world, and one another.

Does your community include information in the worship aid or bulletin on the saints whose feast days are celebrated that week? If so, is there a resource you have found particularly helpful?
Please comment below.

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8 comments

  1. The minimum and basic information concerning the Saints and Feasts within each week is to be found in the Paulist Ordo. Another fruitful place to look is the Oxford Dictionary of Saints (5th edition) edited by David Farmer. This is accurate, discerns between facts, myths and famous fictions (Golden Legend) as well as providing bibliographical references. Of course there are also a number of sites which can be ‘Googled’ and edited.

  2. The Liturgy of the Hours conatains a very short summary for each saint on the Roman Calendar. I have found a small book, Saints of the Roman Calendar by Enzo Lodi with adaptations by Jordan Auman OP (published in English by Alba House) ISBN: 0-8189-1317-7 absolutely invaluable. (Unfortunately my copy doesn’t innclude the most recently added saints on the calendar, but I believe that there is a new edition out now.) – Martin Wallace OP

  3. There could be a publishing opportunity here–a DVD-ROM of this material, formatted for easy sharing via the parish website/facebook/twitter/bulletin. Copy, paste, send, done!

  4. The librarian in me is wondering about copyright. Does a bulletin count as fair use? If not, you’d need permission or have to pay royalties to use these various books and web sites.

  5. I hate to be a broken record, but I found the introductions in the ICEL 1998 weekday sacramentary excellent. Besides a super brief bio, they always concluded with WHY we remember a person, more than just the WHO and WHEN. Again, copyright concerns….

  6. Hello – our parish bulletin publishes sanctoral-cycle material from TakeFiveForFaith. I am not certain that “mini-biography” is the essence of it; in some ways they’re more like “mini-reflections” that incorporate saints’ biographical info. They’re really well done. The bulletin page includes this copyright info, which also probably tells you most/all of what you’d need to know :-):

    “(c) 2014 by TrueQuest Communications. TakeFiveForFaith.com; 800-942-2811; mail@takefiveforfaith.com. All rights reserved. Daily email sign-up and App available online. Noncommercial reprints permitted with the following credit: Reprinted with permission from TakeFiveForFaith.Com. Scripture citations from the New American Bible Revised Edition. Contributors: Alice Camille, Daniel Grippo, Father Larry Janowski, O.F.M., Sister Maxine Kollasch, I.H.M., Joel Schorn, Jennifer Tomshack, Patrice J Tuohy, Sister Julie Vieira, I.H.M.”

    I will take the liberty of typing up the material for today, Friday, August 22nd, Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

    Hold Your Serve

    A classic “Mary prayer”, the Rosary has as its focus Jesus, not Mary. Even Mary’s many titles point not to her but to a life lived around God. The Queenship of Mary, for example, is not about royalty or power but a “service of love”, said Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. Mary, he said, “is the queen of love, who lives out her gift of self to God” as a way to help people on that path to salvation. What might your crowning achievement of service be this day?
    TODAY’S READINGS: Ezekiel 37:1-14; Matthew 22:34-40

  7. The saints images / brief bios / and prayers from happysaints.com can legally be published in the bulletin by those who purchase the e-books.

    Parishes which subscribe to liturgyhelp.com.au are provided with an excellent bio and image of a Saint of the week (as well as many other excellent bits and pieces for a parish newsletter).

    While there are a number of saint of the day sites of varying character and quality, I am not sure whether any of these allow reproduction in a parish bulletin.

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