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.

  • February 16th, 2012The Real Catholic Charitiesby Pavel Chichikov

    One would have gotten the impression that Catholic Charities looked favorably on the President’s recent revision of his rulings concerning religious conscience and health coverage.

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  • February 16th, 2012More Dippingby Joseph Pearce

    Continuing my habit of dipping into books from my own library, I came across this provocative and thought-provoking passage from Unpopular Opinions, a book of essays by Dorothy L. Sayers, published in 1946:

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  • February 15th, 2012Confessing the End of an Affairby Joseph Pearce

    William Fahey, president of Thomas More College of the Liberal Arts, has publicly confessed the end of an affair. I should explain, lest unbecoming rumours are unleashed, that the affair he confesses does not involve a mortal sin.

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  • February 15th, 2012Valentine’s Day: the Sexual Revolutionby Deirdre Littleton

    I would like to share an article I wrote for the Gyrene Gazette, the student newspaper at Ave Maria University, where I am studying as a senior:

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  • February 14th, 2012New Music For Lentby Joseph Pearce

    I've just learned from the Catholic Writers' Guild in the UK that Jeremy de Satge's Penitential Mass for Eight Voices is to be sung at the Oxford Oratory on the Second Sunday of Lent - 4th March 2012 at the 11.00am Solemn Mass

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  • February 14th, 2012Great Lecture Series in Twin Citiesby Joseph Pearce

    Next month, on March 9th to be precise, I'm giving a talk on the Catholic Literary Revival at Saint Agnes' Church in St. Paul, MN. I note, however, that mine is the third in a series of six weekly talks to be held at the church as part of its centenary celebrations. Other speakers include Catholic eminenti, such as Father David Meconi S.J., Charles E. Rice, and Duncan Stroik. I hope that anyone living within striking distance will try to attend one or more of these lectures. The full details are given here:

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  • February 14th, 2012The Ubiquitous Chestertonby Joseph Pearce

    Back in the 1990s I watched a documentary on British television about the huge growth in the number of Elvis impersonaters around the world. There were black Elvises and Asian Elvises and women Elvises. It was all very interesting in a bizarre sort of way. As I watched the documentary in incredulous wonder, the comment that stuck in my mind as the most amusing and mind-boggling was the statistic that, at present rates of growth, every third person in the world would be an Elvis impersonater by 2020. Now that's an intriguing thought ...

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  • February 13th, 2012Why I Love Jesus and South Dakota but Hate Videos about Religionby Kevin O'Brien

    Tonight I am in Wagner, South Dakota, where I enjoyed a fine dinner and conversation with the Doom family.

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  • February 13th, 2012The Big Dipperby Joseph Pearce

    The title which I've ascribed to this post does not indicate a return to the star-gazing that was the subject of one of my posts last week. Perish the thought! My father (God rest his soul) would never forgive me if I succumbed to the usage of the American name for the constellation, known as ursa major, or the great bear, or, if we prefer the vernacular, the plough. No, I am referring to myself as the big dipper, in the sense that I have picked up the habit recently of wandering through my own library and dipping into volumes plucked from the shelves at random. This seems lazier than picking a book from the shelf in order to read it with the attention it deserves. It seems, therefore, that I have picked up a bad habit.

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  • February 13th, 2012Obama’s Policy toward Catholics: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tellby Dena Hunt

    Poor President Clinton was in a bind. He had to live up to his campaign promises to the homosexual crowd, and they were objecting mightily to the exclusion of homosexuals from the military. His solution was the famous “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. It was a brilliant compromise, appeasing both sides: homosexuals could be in the military, and the military could continue to exclude homosexuals. If that sounds illogical, it’s because it is. It’s a policy grounded on the conviction that people have no integrity as long as they’re getting their way. It was easy for both the military and the homosexuals to agree to lie to each other with the understanding that neither was to call the other out on their lie. That’s how the compromise worked. Brilliant.

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  • February 12th, 2012A Room with a (Different) Viewby Dena Hunt

    Before I retired (the second time), I made a comment about getting old in the office one day, and a faculty member responded with sympathy of the I-can-relate variety. Maggie (I’ll call her), was in her fifties—a mere child—but she was one of those people on the faculty of every English Department who sees each tiny bit of cultural flotsam as an opportunity to start a study group, assemble an anthology—whatever can be done via publication to garner a grant and/or approbative attention.

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  • February 12th, 2012Past the Breaking Pointby Kevin O'Brien

    I don't know about you, but I complain a lot.

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  • February 12th, 2012Obama Explainedby Kevin O'Brien

    Steve Kellmeyer publishes these words by president and playwright Vaclav Havel under the funny but unfunny title "Obama's Obituary".

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  • February 12th, 2012The Mystical Organby Susan Treacy

    It hardly seems possible that a week has passed since I was at the wonderful conference held in Fort Lauderdale and Miami—“Gregorian Chant and Modern Composition for the Catholic Liturgy: Charles Tournemire’s L’Orgue Mystique as Guide”.  Tournemire (1870-1939) was an organist and composer who is best known for his monumental cycle of organ pieces, L’Orgue Mystique.  The cycle consists of fifty-one suites (of about five pieces each) for every Sunday and feast day of the liturgical year for which an organ could be used.

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  • February 12th, 2012Centre for Faith & Culture Summer Schoolby Joseph Pearce

    Our good friends at the Centre for Faith & Culture in Oxford are holding an exciting Summer School in England this coming August. Here are the details:

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  • February 12th, 2012A Room with a (Different) Viewby Dena Hunt

    Before I retired (the second time), I made a comment about getting old in the office one day, and a faculty member responded with sympathy of the I-can-relate variety. Maggie (I’ll call her), was in her fifties—a mere child—but she was one of those people on the faculty of every English Department who sees each tiny bit of cultural flotsam as an opportunity to start a study group, assemble an anthology—whatever can be done via publication to garner a grant and/or approbative attention.

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  • February 11th, 2012The Catholic Bishops’ Response to President Obama’s Most Recent Statement ...by Pavel Chichikov

    ... on Federally Mandated Health Care.

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  • February 10th, 2012Colour Blindnessby Joseph Pearce

    I'm somewhat puzzled, and both bemused and amused, by a response from a college professor to the preview of the next issue of StAR that I posted earlier today.

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  • February 10th, 2012Preview of the Next Issueby Joseph Pearce

    The March/April issue of the St. Austin Review (www.staustinreview.com) is winging its way to the printers.

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  • February 10th, 2012A Reluctant Pilgrim at Lourdesby Lorraine V. Murray

    Many Catholics would be eager to be given an all-expenses-paid trip to Lourdes, but there are some who might decline. After all, not everyone is keen on overseas travel, not to mention the huge crowds that gather there.

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What are your thoughts on the subject?