Author Jon Sweeney reads from his book, “Margaret and the Pope
Go to Assisi” to the students at St. Jude the Apostle School in
Wynantskill. (Photo provided)
Author Jon Sweeney reads from his book, “Margaret and the Pope Go to Assisi” to the students at St. Jude the Apostle School in Wynantskill. (Photo provided)

Most days around noon, teacher Kristine Hoffay has been reading to the boys and girls of St. Jude the Apostle School in Wynantskill live from the school’s Facebook page. In the months since school has been closed due to the coronavirus, Hoffay has stayed present in her students’ learning and lives through the readings. 

Over the past month, Hoffay has been sharing a series by author Jon Sweeney titled, “The Pope’s Cat.” In the four books that have made up the series so far, Margaret (the Pope’s adopted cat) leads children on lots of adventures that teach them about the Pope, his responsibilities, the Vatican and its surrounding area, as well as how the Vatican celebrates certain seasons of the liturgical calendar, such as Holy Week and Christmas.  

Last week, Hoffay received a phone call from the book’s publisher to let her know that Sweeney had been watching the readings and would like to do a Google Zoom meeting with the students.  

On May 26, approximately 20 students and teachers listened to Sweeney read a chapter from “Margaret and The Pope Go to Assisi” and asked him questions. The students learned how he got the idea for the series, when he began writing and how many books he has written among the many questions.

— St. Jude the Apostle School