Herman Nootks is our superhero of the faith. He is a big part of who we are and what we do at Bible Study Cartoons. We’ve been asked by friends to share the backstory of Herman, so we’ll try to do that here — as briefly as possible.
Catechesis and Story
The Heart of the Matter
We are catechists and storytellers. We share the faith, but there’s more to the story —
We come from a culture of storytelling. Short, interesting stories is how we teach and learn.
Herman Nootks, is a little, orange mouse who becomes a Cathedral mouse. His name is from a Greek word (her·me·neu·tics/ˌhərməˈn(y)o͞odiks/), which means interpreting Biblical or literary texts.
With a name like “Herman Nootks,” the reader has a powerful clue that this is going to be about Sacred Scripture.
Where Stories Are Born
The setting for most of our stories is the Diocese of Charleston. A lot of it happens within the city of Charleston, which we sometimes refer to as the Holy City. Our favorite places for stories are either inside the Cathedral or down at the Catholic bookstore, which is run by a group of religious sisters known as the “media nuns.”
The “Holy Highway” enables Herman to get to other Catholic places, anywhere in the world, quickly and easily, without a lot of explanation on how that happened. It is based on Isaiah 35:8, which is also the source Scripture for the name of our apostolate, Catholic Roads.
God Loves The People
In addition to Herman, the regular characters include Bishop Bob, whom Herman calls “Bob.” Bishop Bob is inspired by Bishop Robert, the current bishop of the Diocese of Charleston, but he is definitely a fictional character, and is in no way intended to parody or satirize our bishop!
The media nuns at the Catholic bookstore are also primary characters and, in fact, the comicstrip name “Nun Sense” is a tribute to them.
For us, the most significant tool that the Catholic Church has today to catechize and evangelize is Catholic media. We are huge fans of Catholic media! So it is very common for us to bring popular Catholic media personalities into our stories.
Expect personalities like Fr. Mitch, Fr. Spitzer, and Dr. Ray (all at EWTN), and Bishop Reed (at Catholic TV), and others to enter these stories. Because you already know them, they bring rich humor and the potential for good lessons to our Porch Stories.
A Good Story
One last thing you should know is that a good story doesn’t have to be true. It just needs to be interesting. Of course, a great story makes the truth interesting. And a memorable story adds smiles and makes it fun!
We enjoy telling folks that all of our stories are 100%, absolutely, positively true – except those parts we might’ve added to make them more interesting. The point is, we tell “Porch Stories.”
Porch stories are an old, country tradition. Don’t expect us to run to confession every time you sit on the porch with us and find out later that things didn’t happen exactly the way you heard while you were watching a beautiful sunset. It’s all part of the charm of welcoming the cool evening breeze out on a porch far from the nearest city.
Our promise is to tell as many good stories as possible. We’ll strive to always glorify God and promote the teachings of the Church as Jesus shared them with His Apostles. We hope that some might even turn out to be great stories. But only the Holy Spirit will be able to make them memorable.
That’s our story and we’re sticking to it. Enjoy and be blessed! In Christ!