No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty:
to proclaim Christ to all peoples.
--Pope St. John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio--
We are Peter and Mariellen Gallaher, two avid readers of great books, great Christian books, and great Catholic Christian books.
Believe it or not, almost since the day we were married (in August 2000) our favorite form of mutual entertainment has been reading aloud together. It all began when Mariellen mentioned C.S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles in casual conversation and was astonished to learn that her usually far more erudite spouse Peter had never read them. Down to the local library she went and borrowed the seven books in a single volume edition, and the two of us agreed to spend a few minutes reading aloud from the book each night just before going to bed. (It was a good six months before this book ever made it back to the Zanesville Public Library! Every time it expired the other one of us would renew it, until at last in tears and smiles we finished.) However, it was a while before this mutual commitment evolved from being merely a good-spousal duty into a truly delightful much anticipated activity.
Our first mistake was choosing right before bed as the time for doing it ... reading aloud is one lost skill in current society but LISTENING while being read aloud to is another at least equally fallen into disuse! This error got rectified in an unexpected way when our daughter Jeanne suggested the Harry Potter books as Christmas gifts for our grandchildren -- something Mariellen was unwilling to consider unless she had read them first. But when would we find time to do this? While commuting back and forth from Ohio to New Hampshire, of course. Instead of listening to classical music during that frequent eleven or twelve hour drive we began to add reading aloud, alternating between Rawlings and Lewis. Circumstance now greatly aided us in developing the needed mental discipline. And before long we were completely hooked, not only on the two sets of books we were reading, but on the very activity of reading aloud together. We found that we learned a lot about the other's heart while hearing in his or her reading voice the emotional responses each story evoked. We also found it enjoyable and enlightening to stop at will and discuss our more intellectual and/or spiritual reactions.
When it came time for us to consider developing a business activity to supplement Peter's pension as a retired federal agent and Mariellen's earnings as a part-time Catholic liturgical musician, opening an online Christian book store seemed an obvious choice. God has seen fit to connect us geographically and spiritually with a number of small Christian publishers who might profit from additional web exposure, and, after reading aloud together, there is nothing we like better than talking with others about the books we are reading and hearing from them ideas about more books we ourselves might well enjoy.
Officially our business name is PrayerBreak Enterprises, Inc. Over the course of our online store’s first 60 months in existence, we came to view the ongoing investment of time and money it requires as a call from God to participate more fully in what our late Holy Father Saint John Paul II so often referred to as The New Evangelization. By advertising books and gifts that promote truly Catholic Christian cultural values, we hope to make a small contribution to the resurgence of real Hope in our morally troubled times. We also hope to be a means of encouragement to the owners of the small Catholic and Christian businesses whose products we are honored to promote! And finally, of course, we hope to be in some small way a channel of grace for all who come to our online discount bookstore to shop.
You may wonder why we call ourselves The Christian Book Corner instead of The Catholic Book Corner. Peter is a Catholic who never strayed a moment from the fold, but Mariellen, though raised Catholic, went through some unchurched years. The Holy Spirit came to rescue her and brought her homeward into the fullness of Eucharist by way of several Protestant congregations, a few years of study at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio, a brief interval as a student pastor of two rural churches, and a good number of exhausting emotional trials. A few more years of journeying and she began to re-learn the value of other Catholic treasures such as the sacrament of Penance, and an intercessory relationship with the Saints. Because of this journey outward and back she cannot content herself with reaching out to “the choir.”
And speaking of choirs, we would ask your prayers for the success of our PrayerBreak Funeral/Memorial Music Ministry since it is income from that source that “capitalizes” this online business.
Please suggest us to your friends … and invite them to suggest us to their friends
shop t-CBC.com !
and may it all be
through the loving help of our holy Mother Mary
ad majorem Dei gloriam