Her last creative act was a children’s book celebrating God’s creation

“And God Said,” by Erin Rogers

 Reviewed by Katie Bogner

Board books are a common toy found in diaper bags and on shelves in the homes of babies and toddlers. The sturdy pages stand up to the fingers of little ones and the basic pictures and words help create an early love of reading.

Erin Rogers, mom of three, knew that board books were a great tool for young children to play and learn. She felt called to use her artistic talent and creativity to make a board book — but one that did more than teach colors and shapes. The book that she wrote and illustrated tells the story of God creating the world as recorded in the Book of Genesis.

Titled “And God Said … The Days of Creation” Erin’s book uses high contrast black and white illustrations and simple words to share this foundational story even with young children.


Combining her Catholic faith with a degree in studio art from University of Notre Dame, Erin made a perfect tool for children to begin to learn Biblical truths. But as she worked on the illustrations, design, and logistics of completing “And God Said,” Erin was also battling cancer. Through the hills and valleys of her cancer journey, creating this board book was a dream she hoped to fulfil.

Erin was able to share her book with her own young children and set the book up for sale online so that other families could benefit from the simple, but ever important story.  Erin passed away on April 17, 2024. “And God Said” is just one small part of the beautiful legacy of faith that she leaves behind.

It is a story written by a truly heroic woman, who wrote a story of God’s creation and a love note to her children. — Father Eric Bolek, pastor, St. Mary of Lourdes

Father Eric Bolek, pastor of St. Mary of Lourdes parish in Germantown Hills, is a good friend of the Rogers family. When asked about Erin and her book, he said, “Part of my examination of conscience at the end of the night is how I preach to the family and preach about the family. I reflect on how I teach about fidelity and forgiveness in the family and how I encourage families.

“I am always looking for material to engage the whole family …. When my close friend told me she wrote a book for little kids on the story of creation, I immediately bought ten of them (the first ten copies). This time it doubled in importance, being that my friend and her family had been dealing with the severity of stage 4 cancer.”

He added, “It is a story written by a truly heroic woman, who wrote a story of God’s creation and a love note to her children.”

Erin and Stephen Erin and Stephen were married five years ago at St. Matthews Catholic church in Champaign, where children William (left), William, Brigitte, and Fulton attend with Steve since Erin’s passing.

No one knows more about “And God Said” and how it has become part of Erin’s legacy than her husband Steve. I was able to ask him to share his thoughts on his beloved wife and the creation of her book:

Katie Bogner (KB):

Can you tell us about your wife, Erin?

Steve Rogers (SR):

Erin was wonderful. She was the most supportive, encouraging, and unconditionally loving friend I’ve ever had. I know many of her friends spoke of her the same way. She was always striving to ask deep questions of herself and of the Lord, to truly understand her purpose in God’s plan, and to live out her life accordingly. I’ve read some of her journals since she passed and I can see now more fully how over the years she really consistently grappled with those sorts of deep vocation and discernment questions. She did not want to live a mediocre life. She wanted to know God’s will, and live it out.

She was really intelligent and gifted, and from a young age was quite devout. I think she suffered some loneliness due to that growing up, since she wouldn’t just go with the flow to fit in with the often worldly pursuits of some of her friends. I recently found and read her high school valedictorian speech, which was just pure evangelization. She used that chance to remind her classmates of how they were all called to use their gifts to glorify God and pursue a heavenly reward first of all.

She did not want to live a mediocre life. She wanted to know God’s will, and live it out. — Steve Rogers, Erin Rogers’ husband


Katie Bogner (KB):

The heading on the homepage of Erin’s website sebastianandirene.com is “Healing through Beauty.” Was that an important theme in Erin’s life?

Steve Rogers (SR):

Absolutely. She was an artist (with a degree in studio art from Notre Dame), and was always drawn to God through the transcendental of Beauty. Part of her love for art was a love for imitating our Lord in the act of bringing forth beauty in creation. Compare that with sin, in which rather than imitating our Lord we instead try to make ourselves God, marring our own souls, bringing ugliness into the world.

Erin believes that in imitating our Lord by creating beauty we share more deeply in His very act of being. Beyond creating, even just the encounter with beauty is an encounter with God himself who is beauty, and who provides the foundation for all beauty. When we expose ourselves to the creator who stands behind that beauty, we allow him to touch and heal those wounded parts of ourselves in a way that goes beyond more practical approaches of counseling/spiritual direction, pro-active plans, etc. (useful as they are).

We can often be too dense, stubborn, or lazy to let those practical approaches really sink in and work, but true beauty cuts right through our limitations to touch our souls in a direct way.


Katie Bogner (KB):

What inspired the creation of her board book “And God Said … The Days of Creation”?

Steve Rogers (SR):

She loved the kind of high contrast (mostly black and white) board books for infants. Being an artist she appreciated the unique and creative way they sought to bring beauty, growth, and healthy stimulation/engagement even to infants. But it frustrated her that the pictures were kind of mundane. Why isn’t there a book using this kind of art to show infants (and even bigger kids / adults reading them) the most beautiful things, like the true and amazing story of God’s creation? So she decided to make one!

Katie Bogner (KB):

How can families use “And God Said” with their young children?

Steve Rogers (SR):

She first of all imagined using the book for tummy time or just story time with infants. The images alone present the story of God’s beautiful gift of the created world in a way that engages even the youngest “reader.”

Erin imagined the book being used for “tummy time” or story time with very young infants.

Further, on each page she added references to the Bible verses each picture was drawn from, so that parents (or bigger kids) could look up those verses and read them aloud, bringing the living Word of God into the experience to turn mere reading into prayer, worship, and authentic encounter with God.

Katie Bogner (KB):

How do you hope “And God Said” becomes a small part of Erin’s legacy?

Steve Rogers (SR):

I believe Erin lived her life in an extraordinary pursuit of God. She created so much beautiful art throughout her life, but this book was special. Through sebastianandirene.com and with “And God Said … The Days of Creation, she was truly beginning an endeavor to use her talents to help others pursue God, to bring God’s healing love and goodness to the world through beauty.

And God Said … The Days of Creation” is available through the website sebastianandirene.com.

She also finished most of the book and created the company during the year and a half she was fighting cancer, which makes the effort and achievement that much more sacrificial and amazing. Many great saints leave behind great theological works. While Erin’s journals do contain some profound fruits of her prayer, what she intentionally left behind for others was this simple book.

Her message to us was to immerse and surround ourselves with beauty to lift our hearts and minds to pray and reflect on the eternal truths of God even from our youth, so that we are always seeking God himself, the one for whom we are all made.

Erin’s book “And God Said … The Days of Creation” is available through the website sebastianandirene.com.


Katie Bogner’s new book, “We Have A Pope” was recently reviewed by The Catholic Post Online. She has also authored, “Through the Year with Jesus” and “Through the Year with Mary.”  

Katie is a junior high faith formation teacher at St. Philomena School in Peoria and a member of Immaculate Conception Parish in Lacon. Her blog can be found at LookToHimAndBeRadiant.com. The site features free lesson plans and other resources for teaching the faith.



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