Welcome to the Ink Desk

Enjoy the ponderings of the Star's contributors and add your own thoughts. As this section develops, we hope it may become a medium for an exchange of ideas among those who are working towards the cultural revival.

  • August 14th, 2012Good News from Franceby Joseph Pearce

    Although StAR is now published by the St. Augustine's Press, the magazine was founded eleven years ago by Ferdi McDermott of the St. Austin Press in England, which explains how we got our name. Ferdi asked me to edit the new journal and it has been an honour and a labour of love for me to do so ever since.

    Shortly after the launching of StAR, Ferdi founded Chavagnes International College. This wonderful English-speaking Catholic school in the heart of rural France is now celebrating its tenth anniversary. In order to share in the celebration, I'm posting the latest Chavagnes Newsletter. As you will see, the school's alumni are already making their mark in the world.  

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  • August 14th, 2012Not My Regular Massby Dena Hunt

    I missed my regular Mass. Through my own fault, my most grievous fault, I had to attend the Mass with guitars and campsongs. It’s happened before. And I sit there enduring more than participating. I just can’t bring myself to sing an Our Father that sounds more like a tapdance than a prayer.  And I confess (through my own fault, my most grievous fault) that when I have to attend that Mass, I look at the women around me dressed like streetwalkers, grown men in shorts and flip-flops—well, some readers may know what I mean….

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  • August 14th, 2012Preview of the Next Issueby Joseph Pearce

    The next issue of the St. Austin Review is winging its way to the printers.

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  • August 14th, 2012A Holy Benedictineby Joseph Pearce

    Brendan King has sent me details of the life of a little known and very heroic Benedictine sister, whose feast day is today.

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  • August 13th, 2012Slimey Limeysby Joseph Pearce

    Against my better judgment I watched the closing ceremony of the London Olympics last night. I was expecting the worst and it was even worse than I expected! The whole thing was a nasty and narcissistic celebration by the denizens of modern Britain of how wonderful it thinks it is. It was a debauched celebration of atheism and hedonism, including schoolchildren singing Lennon's atheistic anthem, Imagine, as hundreds of people came together to create a giant icon of Lennon's face.

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  • August 13th, 2012Ink Desk on Europeby Robert Asch

    Negotiating a path through the turbulent waters of modern Europe can be a daunting task for anyone. In response to Joseph Pearce's last post, here is a supplementary list of books mostly on France, the Church and what Burke called 'The Armed Doctrine.' I hope you find them useful!

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  • August 10th, 2012Hilaire Belloc - the Perfect After-Dinner Speakerby Kevin O'Brien

    I will be performing as Hilaire Belloc a lecture on "The Great Heresies" on Sunday, August 26 in St. Louis.  Be sure to come!  My friend Dale Ahlquist said, "Everyone in America should see this show."

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  • August 10th, 2012Exploring European Historyby Joseph Pearce

    Continuing my occasional practice of publishing my private correspondence with those who have written to me requesitng advice, I'm publishing an e-mail from a lady that I met at last week's Chesterton Conference. She is interested in specific periods of German, French and Italian history. Although I am certainly not an expert in the study of these periods, I  list some books from my own personal library that might be of help. I'm also forwarding her e-mail to three historians who specialize in these periods. If any visitors to the Ink Desk have other suggestions, please feel free to add them in the combox.

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  • August 10th, 2012The Beholder Is in the Eye of Beautyby Joseph Pearce

    Art for art's sake or art for God's sake? Is beauty in the eye of the beholder or is the beholder in the eye of beauty? These are important questions which those who wish to evangelize through the power of beauty must learn to answer.

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  • August 10th, 2012Theater of the Word’s Latest Newsletterby Kevin O'Brien

    If you signed up for our newsletter, you'll be getting this via email shortly ...

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  • August 9th, 2012The Curse of Free Verseby Joseph Pearce

    Chesterton once wrote a funny poem entitled "A Curse in Free Verse", which was not really a poem at all because, well, it was written in free verse. This was the point of Chesterton's joke, though he also had great fun in the so-called verse "cursing" a host of other modern heretics alongside the modern poets.

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  • August 9th, 2012Kevin O’Brien and Marcus Grodi get “Deep in Scripture”by Kevin O'Brien

    Many of you saw me on EWTN's The Journey Home this week.

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  • August 9th, 2012More Nonsense from a Modernist “Scholar”by Joseph Pearce

    Several months ago on the Ink Desk I highlighted the absurdity of works such as the Oxford Companion to English Literature which excluded any reference to Tolkien from their pages or which gave him only a passing and dismissive mention. I accentuated the absurdity by supplying a list of unknown, little known or entirely forgotten writers who warranted more space in such volumes than the author who wrote the greatest work of the twentieth century.

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  • August 9th, 2012A Chestertonian Oasisby Joseph Pearce

    I've just finished reading Kevin O'Brien's excellent and superbly written post about this year's Chesterton Conference (The Oasis of Joy). I can't hope to emulate Kevin's evocative snapshot of the multifaceted experience but I did want to echo his metaphorical understanding of Reno's place as being symbolic of the decay of the American Dream.

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  • August 8th, 2012Shakespeare and Chestertonby Kevin O'Brien

    Joseph's post below reminded me that yesterday although I described in detail the indescribable American Chesterton Society Conference in Reno, Nevada, what I failed to mention was that I presented a paper at the Conference on Chesterton and Shakespeare.

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  • August 8th, 2012Shakespeare and St. Thomas Moreby Joseph Pearce

    A couple of months ago I was asked by the Spanish publisher, Rialp, to write the introduction to the first Spanish edition of the play, Sir Thomas More, which Shakespeare had a significant hand in writing. The extent of Shakespeare's role in the writing of the play is controversial.

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  • August 8th, 2012Chesterton & Shakespeareby Joseph Pearce

    I've received an e-mail from someone requesting information about Chesterton's apparent belief that Shakespeare was a Catholic. I'm pasting the text of the relevant part of the e-mail below. My reply follows.

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  • August 7th, 2012The Oasis of Joyby Kevin O'Brien

    "Who are you?  I want to thank you," he whispered, lying there.  On the side of the busy street.

    "Don't worry about that.  Just pray for me," I replied.

    He sat up.  Or tried to.  "Are you a Christian?" he asked.


    "So am I," he said.  And he relaxed and faded back into unresponsiveness.

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  • August 4th, 2012Just Show Upby Dena Hunt

    I have a friend who’s one of those people endowed/cursed with a native helpfulness. As a medical professional, she knows that such an impulse is useful. As a friend, mother, spouse, she’s learned that it’s not always so. It can get in the way of another’s self-respect, or someone’s struggle to develop of a healthy ego, among other hurtful things. Unbridled, it can become the addiction called “enabling” and do great harm.

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  • August 3rd, 2012When Virtue Pays III: Pearl Huntingby Sophia Mason

    I hope you all enjoyed the professor on Wednesday.  Harold Hill is an instructive example of a rather curious phenomenon—call it the anti-Shtcherbatsky, the hypocrite who, due to circumstances outside of his control but relating directly to his practice of hypocrisy, ends up a good man.  (Another example of the same phenomenon, I would argue, is Shakespeare’s Prince Hal—but that is another story.)

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What are your thoughts on the subject?