"New Translation Thursday" greetings to all.
Yesterday was a long and exciting day at RBTE (Religious Booksellers Trade Exhibit) in Saint Charles, Illinois, about an hour west of Chicago. This gathering provides opportunities for publishers and manufacturers of religious goods to share their resources with religious bookstore owners from around the world.
One of the highlights yesterday was the bestowal of the Association of Catholic Publisher's lifetime achievement award upon Mary Prete, former general manager of WLP and now Vice-president for Parish Servcies for the J.S. Paluch Company. Mary will be retiring from Paluch at the end of June. Hard to think of the sense of "retirement" for such a spirited leader and evangelist. We sure will miss Mary's presence here. Here is a photo I snapped at the event yesterday:
Last night, there was a signing event during the gathering. Three of WLP's finest were present to sign their latest offerings.
Alan Hommerding's newest book, Following Jesus Every Day: Gospel Meditations for Daily Living, is the product of Alan's having spent the great ninety days reflecting on a different Gospel passage each day.
He offers that passage to the reader, then a brief reflection, a prayer, and a "Gospel Vision of the Prophets" verse, that makes a connection to the theme in the given Gospel passage. This is a book that could provide a wonderful foundation for a personal retreat or for a focused daily prayer session. I could see it used quite effectively in RCIA settings. Here is the author at the signing:
You can see that Alan has already received a "perfect 10" for his book!
Also present was Brian Flynn, one of WLP's newest recording artists and composers. Brian appears pretty regularly on EWTN's "Life on the Rock" series. He was present to sing some of his songs at the evening dinner and also signed his new CD Born Again. Click on the title and take a listen to some of his songs, a mixture of liturgical and devotional pieces.
A fuzzy photo with a happy Brian:
Rounding out the collection of WLP talent was Brother Mickey McGrath, whose stunning new Saved by Beauty: A Spiritual Journey with Dorothy Day, was a favorite among the participants.
Mickey's work is well known throughout the Catholic world. He later gave a presentation about the book, which, as always, opened the eyes of my heart to this remarkable woman. Here is Mickey happily signing his book:
After having reflected on the experience of yesterday, and this being "New Translation Thursday," I thought about the ways that we have helped, and continue to help, Catholics pray. We have helped with the new translation by providing beautiful missals and helpful worship resources. We have also provided what I believe to be the finest set of musical settings for the Mass. But what struck me last night was the other ways we have helped the singing and praying Church. Alan's book is a great example of a group of resources that help Catholics in their every-day prayer lives. Brian's music assists Catholics in their struggle to find ways of expressing a deeper love for the Lord. And Mickey's books provide a spiritual path through his beautiful artwork.
It was a proud day for all of us here at WLP and J.S. Paluch. Congratulations to Mary Prete, Alan Hommerding, Brian Flynn, and Mickey McGrath.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray. (And all of these folks have helped me to do just that!)