New children's book explains the mysteries of the Eucharist

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The Eucharist is a central part of the Catholic faith, which teaches that the bread and wine are really transformed into the body and blood of Christ. It can be a tough concept to grasp, for children and adults alike.

To help fill in the gaps, Claudia Cangilla McAdam wrote “The Real Presence,” a picture book for kids.

The fictional story is set in Capernaum in the period of Jesus' ministry. The young protagonists, Zedekiah and Abigail, are constantly arguing about whose family's crop is better: grain for wheat or grapes for wine. So they decide to ask Jesus to be the judge.

Author, “The Real Presence”
“Zedekiah and Abigail have a chance to present the bread and the wine that they've produced to bring to Jesus at the Last Supper. And they witness the Institution of the Eucharist, and in so doing, they come to understand that what Jesus said in Capernaum, He really meant. And that the bread and the wine they have produced, the work of their hands, becomes His real presence.”

But the book isn't only meant to help kids understand the Catholic belief that Jesus is truly present in the bread and wine.

Author, “The Real Presence”
“The adults who read to their younger kids will also be educated as they read this story. So it's a family book about the Eucharist, and it's presented in an interesting and relatable and fun way for kids to put themselves in the sandals, so to speak, of two children, who may have lived in the time of Jesus. And it's a way for them to learn about their faith, and to live it better and to love it more.”

The 32-page children's book, published by Ascension Press, was fully illustrated by award-winning illustrator, Gina Capaldi. McAdam says its publication comes at a perfect time.

Author, “The Real Presence”
“A recent Pew research study shows that 70 percent of Catholics don't believe in the real presence. They don't believe the Eucharist really is Jesus' Body and Blood. The USCCB is currently trying to work here in America to increase devotion to the Eucharist and increase knowledge of the real presence.”

The author, who holds a master's degree in theology, also provides discussion and activity guides on her website ( to complement the book. “The Real Presence” is a fun way for children and parents to learn more about the mysteries of the Eucharist.


Ascension Press

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