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OTG: On the Good

Commentary items which alert our readers to good things done by other persons and organizations. Celebrate the good!

An intriguing new Catholic publisher: Tuscany Press by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Sep 15, 2014

Some months ago a surprising book came across my desk, a review copy of a novel from a publisher I had not yet heard of—David Beckett’s The Cana Mystery. The story revolves around the discovery of the “lost jars of Cana”, the jars used when Our Lord changed water into wine....

Important New Manual of Catholic Medical Ethics by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Sep 10, 2014

A comprehensive guide to medical ethics, based on the teachings of the Catholic Church, has just been released by Connor Court Publishing in Australia. The text was originally assembled and edited by Dutch Catholic professionals, and has recently been published in an English edition under the...

The Blessed Book of Beasts by Thomas Van - Aug 30, 2014

There is a long-standing Judeo-Christian tradition of using animals to teach moral and spiritual lessons. Jesus used sparrows to illustrate God’s care for his creatures, and the book of Proverbs describes certain animals as wise. The saints John Chrysostom and Francis de Sales often used...

Lectures on Art and Faith in NYC by Thomas Van - Aug 26, 2014

Last fall, Jeff Mirus posted about an upcoming lecture series, The Art of the Beautiful, put on by the Catholic Artists Society in Manhattan. The CAS is an association of artists and media professionals, centered in New York City, working for the greater glory of God and the common good....

Dominican theologians assess proposals for divorced and remarried by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Jul 29, 2014

A group of eight Dominican theologians in the United States has released what I believe is a seminal study in preparation for the 2014 and 2015 synods on the family. The title of this important study is “Recent Proposals for the Pastoral Care of the Divorced and Remarried: A Theological...

Crowdfunding can change lives by Thomas Van - Jul 11, 2014

A professor at Christendom College has started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to pay for psychological counseling for students who cannot afford it. The campaign, which has reached a third of its monetary goal with 34 days remaining, will provide a $1,500 course of treatment for two...

A seminar for journalists covering the Church by Thomas Van - Jun 18, 2014

The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome is offering an intensive one-week English seminar for foreign journalists who write about the Church. The seminar, which goes from Sept. 8-14, is titled The Church Up Close: Covering Catholicism in the Age of Francis. According to the website,...

Gregorian Chant Camp for Children by Thomas Van - Jun 4, 2014

A reader, Daniel diSilva, sends us this short video he made about a musical summer camp at St. Anne Catholic Church in San Diego, CA. The camp immerses young people from age seven and up in the Church’s musical heritage of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony. Watching the video, I was...

A serious take on popular music by Thomas Van - May 29, 2014

Musically inclined readers may be interested in a new blog, Critic's Corner, by Dr. Kurt Poterack, a composer who directs the choirs and the Minor in Sacred Music at Christendom College. Poterack worked as an editor on The Adoremus Hymnal and edited the journal Sacred Music for several years,...

Mexican evangelists making gains in Ohio by Phil Lawler - May 2, 2014

In Columbus, Ohio, a campaign of door-to-door evangelization, conducted by a small group of religious sisters from Mexico, has produced remarkable results in bringing lapsed Catholics back to church. Working in Hispanic neighborhoods, the sisters bring a contagious enthusiasm for the faith, Father...

Pilgrimage - they don't make it like they used to by Thomas Van - Mar 15, 2014

What’s the difference between a pilgrimage and a vacation? There was a time when going on a pilgrimage involved a great deal of sacrifice. Pilgrims traveled great distances to holy sites, often on foot, enduring great physical hardship to reach their destinations for some spiritual purpose...

Mass offerings: a useful survey by Thomas Van - Jan 27, 2014

We recently received the following note from a reader, Father Albert Dello Russo: Dear Sirs: I am a priest graduate canon law student at the Catholic University of America. I am writing my thesis on the subject of Mass offerings [for the intention of a loved one] and their licit retention by...

Common Core vs. Catholic Core by Thomas Van - Jan 15, 2014

Along with the general community of educators, more and more Catholic writers and groups are sounding the alarm about the new Common Core educational standards. While there are plenty of individual reasons to be wary or even hostile to the proposed standards, the Cardinal Newman Society is taking...

Legal cases on the HHS mandate & abortion clinic 'bubble zones': 2 must-read op-eds by Phil Lawler - Jan 6, 2014

Here are two short opinion pieces that are well worth reading: For National Review, Matt Bowman analyzes the legal argument put forward by the Obama administration in its battle against the Little Sisters of the Poor, and concludes that the argument is not only weak but...

Galileo and the Joy of History by Thomas Van - Dec 21, 2013

Here’s a classic example of human egotism: we rarely take an interest in the past except insofar as it can serve us in the present. We are seldom patient enough to see history in all its messy complexity; we would rather torture it into a simplistic narrative to win some modern culture war,...

New Testament Phone App Available, Text & Audio, RSV-CE by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Dec 10, 2013

If you’d like an app for your phone or other handheld device which will give you the complete text of the New Testament in the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSV-CE) along with an audio soundtrack read by actors, you can learn how to download it free at www.downloadjesus.com. The...

An extended weekend's worth of don't-miss commentary by Phil Lawler - Dec 9, 2013

Over the weekend (and stretching into today’s feast day), some unusually good commentary appeared online. I encourage Catholic readers to spend a few minutes with the following: Mary Ann Glendon—Harvard Law professor and former US Ambassador to the Holy See—previewed the US...

J. Budziszewski: The Underground Thomist by Thomas Van - Nov 21, 2013

Catholic Culture readers may already be familiar with one of our favorite natural law scholars and Christian apologists, J. Budziszewski, two of whose books we have reviewed in the past (What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide and The Meaning of Sex). Budziszewski, a professor of government and...

Confraternity of the Holy Rosary by Thomas Van - Nov 15, 2013

Second only to the Mass as the Catholic prayer par excellence, the Rosary is a staple of the spiritual life of many Catholic families and individuals. For several centuries it has nourished the faith of countless saints, Popes and ordinary Christian men and women. Out of all those who today...

Government Pressure and College Catholicism: Diamonds from Coal? by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Nov 12, 2013

If you think God doesn’t work in mysterious ways, consider the increasing scrutiny of “religious” organizations by the American government when it comes to exemptions from various regulations which offend the well-formed conscience. It is a shifting landscape, and it would take...

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