REVIEWS

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12 Years a Slave

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12 Years a Slave is a powerful film based on the memoir by Solomon Northup published in 1853. The film has won 134 awards since its release, including Academy Awards for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Lupita Nyong’o), and Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay). The film was the first Best Picture with a black director, although Steve McQueen did not win Best Director. 12 Years a Slave is raw and direct and, once you start ... (Continue reading)

The Twilight of American Enlightenment

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The average age of North Americans is forty-one; this means that most people have no personal recollection of the decade of the 1950s, the focus of George Marsden’s fascinating and accessible book. Marsden, an historian at Notre Dame University, focuses on a time of promise and anxiety; a time of new technologies, a pervasive emphasis on the relatively new social science of psychology, and a reliance on expertise in fields of life formerly governed by common sense and experience. The fifties was ... (Continue reading)

Fr. William Lloyd Ryan

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Fr. William Lloyd Ryan: Priestly and Religious Vocations in the Diocese of Hamilton is the first publication of Rev. Mr. John Perdue, a seminarian for the Diocese of Peterborough. It is the work of four years of dedicated research during which Perdue had access to Fr. Ryan’s personal papers and travelled across southern Ontario as he interviewed the men and women who had known Fr. Ryan best. Many of these interviewees had entered religious life or become priests because of ... (Continue reading)

A Gift of Myself

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A Gift of Myself, the second book in the Little Douglings series by Carissa Douglas is even more delightful than her first story, I Go to Jesus, which focused on a child’s intimate and individual relationship with Jesus while still being part of a family. A Gift of Myself, on the other hand, is the story of how little children can give themselves to others—the selfless and heroic little acts children can do throughout the day in their own family. ... (Continue reading)

Interview with Dorothy Cummings-McLean

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What was your inspiration for A Ceremony of Innocence? A Ceremony of Innocence is very much a tribute to Graham Green and his book The Quiet American. The big issue he wrote about was the beginning of the American involvement in Vietnam. What I think is the big issue of our time since 9/11 is the spread of a particularly imperialist form of Islam—and how this works itself out in young terrorists, generally home-grown, like the Toronto Eighteen. How intentional was the ... (Continue reading)

What to expect when no one’s expecting

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What to expect when no one’s expecting: America’s coming demographic disaster by Jonathan V. Last Encounter Books, 2013 ISBN: 978-1-59403-641-5 In 1796 Thomas Malthus published An Essay on the Principle of Population in which he maintained that the population of the world increases geometrically with time while food supplies increase only arithmetically. Hence at some time in the future food supplies would be insufficient to sustain the world’s population, causing widespread famine. More recently, Paul Ehrlich’s book ... (Continue reading)

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

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Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: Septem Verba a Christo Featuring Akademie für Alte Musik / René Jacobs (Conductor) Harmoia Mundi, 2013 ASIN: B00A6U5B6M In English the title of this long-forgotten masterpiece is The Seven Words Uttered by the Dying Christ on the Cross. It was scored for orchestra and soli: bass (Christ) and tenor, soprano, countertenor (Anima or Soul) is a cycle of seven cantatas, lasting slightly over an hour. Christ sings the opening Word in each cantata and the soul answers. The composer utilized the horn as ... (Continue reading)

Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols

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Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols by Mike Aquilina illustrated by Lea Marie Ravotti Our Sunday Visitor, 2008 ISBN 978-1-59276-450-1 More devotional than academic, this book begins by discussing the theology, history, and culture of ancient Christian symbols. Aquilina focuses on the Bible and the Church fathers’ explanations and discussions for each symbol. Ancient saints such as Justin Martyr and Clement of Alexandria, and the historian Eusebius of Caesarea, established broad horizons for the Church’s symbols, believing that “Since their God is ... (Continue reading)

Musica Vaticana

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Musica Vaticana Featuring Christopher Jackson (Artistic Director) ATMA Classique, 2011 The Cappella Giulia is the name of St. Peter’s choir in Rome, founded in 1513 by Julius II. All the composers on this CD provided music covering the High Renaissance and Baroque periods. Francesco Soriano (1549-1621), Orazio Benevoli (1605-1672), Giovanni De Macque (1550-1614), Roland De Lassus (1532-1594), Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni (1657-1743), Vincenzo Ugolini (1570-1638) are all composers whose reputations have never been revived in our day (except De Lassus). The shadows ... (Continue reading)

Andre Campra: Messa da Requiem

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Andre Campra: Messa da Requiem Featuring Philippe Herreweghe (Conductor) Harmoia Mundi, 1992 Campra wrote this masterpiece around 1699, before he abandoned his duties as maître de musique at the cathedral Notre Dame for the stage. It was considered the greatest Messe De Requiem along with Jean Gilles’ (1668-1705) work in the eighteenth century and used at all state or ceremonial funerals in France. This Mass is the most recorded in our own generation ... (Continue reading)

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