CATHOLIC HERALD STAFF
With parishes beginning to schedule their postponed celebrations of First Communion and confirmation, chances are there is a young person in your life who deserves a gift to commemorate one of these sacraments. If you’re still uneasy about going into a store, we’ve got good news — most of our local Catholic retailers offer curbside pickup or even online ordering, including the gift shop at Holy Hill, which just recently rolled out its online catalogue.
We asked Pat Bollen, manager of the gift shop at the Basilica and National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill, to share some ideas for the perfect First Communion or confirmation gift.
What are some of your store’s most popular items for First Communion gifts? Are there any that are more popular for boys, or more popular for girls?
We sell a lot of rosaries, prayer books and picture frames for First Communion for both boys and girls. Jewelry, veils and satin gloves are popular for girls. For boys, we have ties and tie clips. For the most part, our selection can be for either a boy or a girl.
What’s your personal recommendation for a good First Communion gift?
In addition to prayer books, jewelry, rosaries and picture frames, we have some great gifts like the “Illustrated Lives of the Saints” books for children. Learning about how the saints lived can resonate with kids once they see they were real people and not just stories. Another great gift is the book “The Weight of a Mass” by Josephine Nobisso and Katalin Szegedi because it shows how powerful the Mass is through beautiful illustrations.
What are the hot sellers for confirmation gifts?
For confirmation, the book “Handbook of Prayers” by James Socias is a good gift idea. It’s an extensive Catholic prayer book that a young person can grow into throughout their lifetime. It teaches you about devotions that you might not see in other Catholic prayer books and provides great explanations on the prayers. Also, the New Catholic Answers Bible is a good option because it has excerpts within the book that explain why Catholics believe what they believe.
What do you recommend for people who want to do something sort of unusual – not the typical frame or statue or rosary?
St. Benedict bracelets for kids are always one of our top sellers. Another idea is the Baltimore Catechism for first communicants. It’s a good choice because it clearly explains the faith. Biographies of the saints are a good choice as well. Also, we have a wide selection of DVDs on the sacraments, saints and other subjects regarding the faith.
How large are your First Communion/confirmation offerings in the shop, in terms of quantity of items?
We have an expansive selection of items for First Communion, confirmation, and just about any other occasion. Also, if you are looking for an item that we don’t have in our store, we can special order items.
What about baptism gifts?
For baptism, the image of the guardian angel on a plaque or rosary case is a good reminder for children that they have an angel always protecting them. We have mugs for godparents and books on how to be a good godparent. Also, the DVD on the history of Holy Hill is a great gift for godparents.
From our moms: What are your go-to gifts for sacraments?
— Papal blessings (learn more at https://www.archmil.org/offices/chancery/Papal-Blessing.htm)
— Missals inscribed with their name and the date of their sacrament
— Holy Heroes CDs (learn more at https://www.holyheroes.com/)
— Miraculous Medal
— Enrollment in the Holy Hill Mass Union (learn more at https://www.holyhill.com/mass-union)
To visit Holy Hill’s online store, visit giftstore.holyhill.com. More items are added each week.