Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet

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To write is to win but it’s good to see people’s work being recognised.

From CNWCatholic Teachers Recognize Excellent Young Authors

Fifty-three students across the province, from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12, have been recognized by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) for excellence in writing. The Young Authors Awards/Prix jeunes écrivains acknowledge English and French writing in categories ranging from poetry and short stories to plays and non-fiction.

“The winning submissions in the Young Authors/jeunes écrivains awards are among some of the best youth writing I’ve seen,” says Ann Hawkins, President of OECTA. “I am always inspired by the students’ demonstration of their love of language, their imagination, their creativity and insight. I’m also aware of the knowledge and support from our teachers that contribute to the finished product.”

Read the news release here

From PR*Urgent: Pauline Books & Media Titles Recognised by Association of Catholic Publishers

Two titles by Pauline Books & Media have been selected by the Association of Catholic Publishers for the 2016 Excellence in Publishing Awards, the Boston-based publisher announced today.

Oscar Romero: Prophet of Hope (Roberto Morozzo della Rocca) was recognized in the biography category, while Everybody Has a Body (Monica Ashour) won an award in the children’s category.

The goal of the awards is to recognize the best in Catholic publishing…

Read the full press release here

Well done one and all!

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Crisis Magazine. K. V. Turley on endings and beginnings in the spiritual journey of Catholic writer, Joseph Pearce.

Be careful what you read—it may change you, for better or worse.

In the case of Joseph Pearce, his early reading made him a violent white supremacist. It also landed him in jail. While there, he continued to read; only this time, he read the works of G.K. Chesterton. It was not so much that Chesterton’s words suddenly changed his politics or his propensity to violence, but they did initiate a change, one much more profound than his earlier one into a neo-Nazi and this change would, in due course, prove wholly reforming. A remarkable transformation followed: the angry young atheist became a devout Catholic; and, his anger turned to zeal as he set about popularizing Catholic writers and their works.

Read the full review here

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Life is not black and white, but rather a colour painting with subtle shading

Independent Catholic News

The pope was speaking to the Jesuit writers of Civiltà Cattolicà but his words apply to all Catholic writers – “Your writing must not just defend Catholic ideas, but must witness to Christ in the world with a restless, open-ended and imaginative spirit…”

Pope Francis met yesterday with Jesuits who write for the ‘Civiltà Cattolicà’ magazine, currently celebrating its 4000th edition. Founded in 1850 and originally available only in Italian, the publication is now available in English, French, Spanish and Korean. After giving the writers a hand-signed note, the Pope reflected at length on the importance of poetry, art and pioneering intellectual research, as the magazine seeks to build bridges with many peoples and cultures.

Read the full report here

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The pleasure of being proved wrong can be a genuine pleasure

From The Guardian. Julian Barnes on how he came to like E. M. Forster. Never give up on a book!

If reading is one of the pleasures – and necessities – of youth, rereading is one of the pleasures – and necessities – of age. You know more, you understand both life and literature better, and you have the additional interest of checking your younger self against your older self. Occasionally I will reread a book in exactly the same copy as I first did decades previously: and there, in, say, a student text of a Flaubert novel, I will find all those annotations which now, initially, embarrass. Key passages underlined, exclamations in the margin of “Irony!” or “Metaphor!” or “Repeated image!” and so on. And yet often, naive and excited as they seem, these comments are pretty much ones I might be making – if not so explicitly – several decades on. That younger reader wasn’t wrong: it was ironic, it was metaphorical, it was a repeated image. I don’t think you are a more intelligent reader at 65 than at 25; just a more subtle one, and better able to make comparisons with other books and other writers.

Read the full article here

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We have nowhere else to go

K. V. Turley in Crisis Magazine on a brave attempt to record the persecution of Christians under the black flag of ISIS.

A young boy, 10 years old or so, faces the camera.

Like many young boys he is happy to be interviewed.

This is war-torn Iraq, however, so he tells of the day ISIS came to his village. What took place, horror after horror, he starts to recount. It is hard to accept that one so young has already seen so much evil. Gradually, his urgent retelling of what happened slows and he breaks down. It is hard to watch as the tears flow down his cheeks. He tries to stem them, brushing them away … but to no avail. His grief is too great. He is now talking to himself as much as to the camera. He talks of when he used to go to school, ride his bicycle and play soccer with his friends—the normal things of a once happy childhood. He stops. Again, he looks at the camera, finishing with the lament of someone much older and the words: Now all that is gone…

Read the full review here

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Reminiscent of the Icelandic sagas

Today, something a little different: A book review. W. H Auden on Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. Auden had decided views on what fantasy must do to be taken seriously; do you agree?

No fiction I have read in the last five years has given me more joy than The Fellowship of the Ring.

Read the full review here

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