Short story sheds light on issue of domestic violence

Mary Breslin, author of “The Velvet Muff,” presents a copy of the short story illustrated by her sister, Holy Cross Sister Angela Mary (Carey), to the Sisters of the Holy Cross. Left to right, seated, Sister M. Esther (Black), Mary Breslin, Sister M. Joan Elizabeth (Johnson); standing, Sisters Kathleen Reilly, Mary Ann Uebbing and M. Clare Alfred (Bill).

ROSELLE, Illinois — The crack of a bat on a warm summer’s day is music to the ears of baseball fans, but the cracking sound of a slap across the face or a breaking bone — when an abuser unleashes his or her wrath on another — is a horrific sound.

Domestic violence fractures families. Offenders often terrorize their victims and frequently inflict lifelong emotional scars on innocent children.

“The Velvet Muff” is an adult, fictional short story of a family shredded by the scourge of domestic violence. It is set in the early 20th century on Chicago’s West Side, a peaceful neighborhood of hardworking, faith-filled families.

Two sisters raised and educated in South Bend by Sisters of the Holy Cross, one of whom is a Holy Cross missionary nun, have collaborated on and published this illustrated short story — suitable for teens and adults.

Writer Mary Breslin told Today’s Catholic, “This my fifth book for charitable causes — my sister was illustrator on two of these. We donated funds from the last book, a children’s story set in South Bend, to our alma mater, Holy Cross School. The subject was bullying.”

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. All proceeds from the sale of “The Velvet Muff” will be donated to House of the Good Shepherd in Chicago, a facility that helps victims of domestic violence.

One hundred years have passed since the family portrayed in this story struggled coming to grips with the domestic violence that crept into their loving circle. Sadly, the problem still exists — more and more families are in crisis because of it.

Breslin said, “The purpose of this book is to raise awareness and garner funds to further eradicate this problem.”

To order the book contact Mary Breslin at mary_breslin@hotmail.com.

Posted on October 20, 2015, to: