By TAMI QUIGLEY Staff writer
If Catholic items are on your gift-giving list this Christmas, choices abound in various areas of the Diocese of Allentown.
Stores to dash to include Abundant Graces, Bethlehem; Hackman’s Bible Book Store, Whitehall; The Way to Emmaus, Emmaus; and Holy Infancy Gift Shop, Bethlehem.
Two retreat centers in the diocese also have gift shops worth perusing for Catholics on your list: McGlinn Conference and Spirituality Center, Reading; and St. Francis Retreat Center, Easton.
Terri O’Connell and Laura Smith are the owners of Abundant Graces, which offers an array of merchandise in Bethlehem Township.
Merchandise carried throughout the year includes books on all topics for adults and kids; Bibles; DVDs; music; inspirational gifts for all sacraments from birth to death; liturgical supplies; everyday essentials such as rosaries, scapula, daily readings, jewelry; T-shirts; nativities; saint statues for indoor and outdoor; Fontanini; cards; artwork; and more.
“We have inspiration ’round every corner,” Smith said.
Recommendations for gifts include jewelry – bracelets and medals; saint and angel statues; books – informative books on the saints and about the church, adult coloring books, prayer books to novels and lots in-between; and anything Pope Francis talks about.
- Abundant Graces
- 3348 Easton Ave., Bethlehem, PA 18020
- 610- 865-1702
- Hours: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Sunday closed.
Hackman’s Bible Book Store
Joseph and Marcia Hackman are the owners of Hackman’s, an institution for religious goods in the Lehigh Valley for decades.
Year-round merchandise includes Bibles, books, music, cards, church supplies and more.
Hot right now are “The Magnolia Story,” by Chip and Joanna Gaines with Mark Dagostino – the Gaines’ are stars of “Fixer Upper”; personalized ornaments; Merry Christmas from Heaven ornaments; baby baptism gifts; and Immaculate Water Lotions.
- Hackman’s Bible Book Store
- 1341 Mickley Road, Whitehall, PA 18052
- 610-264-8600 or 1-800-345-1341
- Holiday hours: Through Friday, Dec. 23, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (closed Sunday).
- Normal hours: daily 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (closed Sunday).
The Way to Emmaus
The Way to Emmaus is owned and operated by Susan Kirby, parishioner of St. Ann, Emmaus, who said the shop is “a favorite destination for families that are looking for Christ-centered Christmas gifts.”
“Things that that we carry year round would include a large selection of rosaries, religious jewelry, religious art, numerous statues and cards for all occasions. Our book selection includes books for adults and children on the saints, sacraments, missals, prayer books, Bibles, as well as books to help you live out your faith,” Kirby said.
“We have everyday gifts for baptisms, weddings and birthdays. Seasonally we have gifts for First Holy Communion, confirmation, graduation and ordination.”
Trending this Christmas shopping season are inspirational adult coloring books; a number of kitchen items with a fun inspirational message; and traditional Catholic jewelry, especially a new jewelry line of charm lockets called “Forever in My Heart,” which can be personalized.
The Way to Emmaus is passionate about nativity sets. The traditional sets are beautiful – one set even has real gold, frankincense and myrrh. They have a wall filled with Fontanini, the nativity pieces are imported from Italy and can be added to year after year to fully customize your own special re-creation of the birth of Christ.
There are many unique sets that are fun to check out; one is gumball sized, and there is even an Eskimo nativity with an igloo stable and a reindeer.
- The Way to Emmaus
- 1325 Chestnut St., Emmaus, PA 18049
- Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Thursday and Friday 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Sunday closed.
Holy Infancy Gift Shop
“We are a mission to our Catholic brothers and sisters,” said Mary Ann Rich, manager of Holy Infancy Gift Shop on the southside of Bethlehem.
The shop carries religious gifts for every occasion, church goods and clerical apparel throughout the year. Items include statues, rosaries, crucifixes, all types of medals, all the latest Catholic books and prayer books, cards, scapulars, videos, statues from Peru, CDs, children’s books, baptism gifts, holy cards, Catholic wall art, rosary supplies and jewelry.
Church goods include altar linens, altar candles, altar breads, statues, ordos, sacred vessels, charcoal, incense, Emkay liquid candle wax, lectionaries, liturgical calendars, and palm and ashes. Clerical apparel includes shirts, vestments, albs and cinctures.
Popular this Christmas season are medals, rosaries, statues and Nativity scenes.
“If something is not seen and desired, it can be ordered, if possible,” said Rich.
- Holy Infancy Gift Shop
- 324 E. Fourth St., Bethlehem PA 18015
- Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Monday closed.
McGlinn Conference and Spirituality Center’s The Canticle Gift Shop
Many items are available for gift-giving at The Canticle Bernardine Franciscan Sisters Gift Shop at the McGlinn Conference and Spirituality Center.
Looking for inspiring and religious gifts that reflect your Catholic faith?
Visit The Canticle Gift Shop opened by the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters in 2002 after the motherhouse renovations and construction of the McGlinn Conference and Spirituality Center.
Selections include: baptismal gifts, confirmation gifts, First Communion gifts, angel items, rosaries, medals, Franciscan specialty items – San Damiano Crosses, medals, statues by Roman, auto visor clips, catechist/teacher and nurse remembrances, and specialty and Mass cards.
Angel items, Holy Family statues and auto visor clips are trending this Christmas season.
- McGlinn Conference and Spirituality Center’s The Canticle Gift Shop
- 460 St. Bernardine St., Reading, PA 19607
- Hours: Wednesday 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; for special events, as well as on request.
St. Francis Retreat Center
Tucked away near the rear entrance of St. Francis Retreat House is a small gift shop that offers some very unique items.
The shop has always offered the standard fare of religious stores, including books, statuary, rosaries, icons and crucifixes. A number of years ago the Franciscans decided to increase the size of the shop to add some unique products made by monks, friars, sisters, nuns and hermits.
The shop has been known to say, “We carry everything from caramels to caskets,” and it’s true. It offers delicious creamy caramels from the Trappistine nuns, and is a contact point for simple but magnificent solid wood caskets and urns made by the Trappist monks.
Some of the most favorite featured items available include featured “Shark Tank” TV show successes, handmade soaps, Mystic Monk coffee, handmade candies and jellies, and spiritual books and CDs.
Trending this Christmas season are Mystic Monk coffee; handmade candies; and their specialty fruit cake from the Trappist Monks out of Ava, Missouri, voted the No. 1 fruitcake in America.
- St. Francis Retreat Center
- 3918 Chipman Road, Easton, PA 18045
- Hours: Hours vary, but most weekdays and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with limited hours Sunday. Call ahead to let them know you are coming and they will be happy to open the shop for you.