For World Book Day this year, I thought I would introduce some of the books Maryknoll Sisters have created, notably the books written and illustrated by Sister Mary Juliana Bedier and Sister Louise Trevisan.

Sr. Juliana joined Maryknoll in 1921 and spent the first thirteen years of her mission in Korea and Manchuria. She later returned to the US with a calling to educate people in Catholic teachings and foreign cultures. She spent her remaining years writing more than 20 books for people of all ages on topics ranging from Bible stories to morals to geography to doctrine.

Her companion in many of these books was Sr. Louise, a talented artist. Sr. Louise joined Maryknoll in 1938 and after profession was immediately assigned to the Editorial Department of the Society’s publications arm. She remained there for 28 years designing and illustrating books and visual aids on Catholicism and mission for children and adults. After her time in Editorial, she worked in catechetics in the Philippines and in ministry to the poor in the US after her retirement.

Sisters Juliana and Louise collaborated on many books and teaching materials for children, designed to explain values and doctrine, and to introduce children to cultures beyond their own. Below are some examples of the Sisters’ books and teaching aids from the 1940s. Click on the images to see captions and enlarge.

A copy of "My Book About God" published 1948
Draft illustration for "My Book About God"
Draft illustration for "The Important Pig" published 1942
Draft illustration for "The Important Pig" published 1942
Draft cover art for "Little Miss Moses" published 1943
Draft illustration for "Little Miss Moses" published 1943