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The Top Ten Books Read in 2012, #1

The #1 book I read in 2012 was Fr. Robert Barron’s Catholicism. I brought it with me during my priesthood retreat, and its pages were a joy to read. He prose is cogent and clear. He writes well to all levels of knowledge of Catholicism from the doctor in theology to the inquisitive atheist.

He takes from reason and beauty all that we believe as Catholics.

Like I said in my review, this book is the perfect book for catechesis for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Our RCIA uses it and our Men’s Spirituality Group will soon be using it as well.

There is no easier and more enjoyable book from which to learn about the Catholic faith.

Evernote Smart Notebook, Where New and Old Media Unify

As you might have found in another post, I am a great believer in handwriting. Handwriting is a much more intellect intensive activity than typing. It challenges and extends the brain more. I requires greater manual dexterity, and, when done well, is much more beautiful than typing.

For my ordination registry (yes, they exist thanks to Aquinas and More), I asked for many notebooks with which to take down those things that I thought important, whether it be blog ideas, notes from meetings, homily preparation, or notes for other projects I have going on. I love notebooks as much as I do pens. It might be because you need one for the other.

With notebooks, we run into a problem, with which people have suffered since their inception, their searchability. Notebooks, even well organized ones, take awhile to be searched. You have to flip page by page to complete your search. Many people, being jaded by such an ancient form of searching, have given up on notebooks and turn to word processors or to programs such as Evernote.

I love Evernote. It is a cloud notebook with, if your willing to pay, an infinite amount of storage. I keep many notes within my synced apps on phone, iPad, and desktop that allow me, at anytime, to return to them. For awhile the app replaced the Moleskine that had been in my back pocket. There was just one difficulty. I couldn’t write on it. Eventually there was an update that allowed for that, but writing on a screen and writing in a notebook are vastly different in experience. One is novel and therefore, for a short while, holds the attention of this person, but the other is cathartic and retains at least a great perceived permanence to the words being written.

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I few weeks ago I heard rumblings about Moleskine and Evernote teaming up for a special kind of notebook that would sync to Evernote. Well it is here, and guys and girls I must tell you. I’m excited. It provides the best of both words the permanence of ink on paper with the searchability of the digital type.

Moleskine has designed the notebook to be read via Evernote programing through a photograph in the iOS app (soon for Android users). These photographs become whole Evernotes and enter into the fully searchable data system of Evernote.

This is where new media and old media collide and inform each other.

Once I get one hopefully I can post some of my writing and thought on here like I’ve seen one blogger do.

iTunes U

There are so many opportunities now to gain directed education with little or no money. Most people turn to Wikipedia, which is in many cases a good start but is far from comprehensive and sometimes misinformed.

Oddly enough, Apple has provided a much better form of cheap or free education through the app iTunes U. It provides so many opportunities to grow in knowledge of everything from biology to leadership courses.

The first course I have endeavored upon is from Open University on creative writing (imagine a blogger learning about creative writing). My desire is to eventually to fulfill the lifelong desire to write mysteries. I have yet the skills and knowledge to create well that which would be considered a decent story.

Catholic Study Bible

All of us on this blog are big fans of Dr. Scott Hahn and all that he has done for contemporary Biblical scholarship and making that scholarship available to the average Catholic lay person. We found great resources in the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible series on the New Testament. They in essence became our text books when the assigned one’s failed. Ignatius press has decided to put the New Testament series into volume.

Y’all this a great buy for everyone:
the Catholic wishing to learn more about the New Testament
the Catholic school teacher
the parish DRE
the CCD teacher
the preacher
the youth minister
I know that I speak for all us in recommending this study edition of the New Testament.

Catholic Real Life

A friend of ours has established a new website, Catholic Real Life, centered on education of life issues.

It has a host of videos, articles, and links to help the searcher of knowledge on life issues.

It’s greatest attribute is The Real Life Rundown. This contains the essential teaching of the Catholic Church on abortion, capital punishment, contraception, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, and in vitro fertilization.

Check it out.

Another Home run for American Catholic Biblical Scholarship

Dr. Scott Hahn from Franciscan University of Steubenville has just published a new bible dictionary called the Catholic Bible Dictionary. This is a very exciting thing in Catholic Biblical Scholarship in the 21st Century. It will be an invaluable resource for lay ministers, laity in general, priests, students, religion teachers, and biblical scholars alike. It’s both concise and thorough. Dr. Brant Pitre gives a real good description and recommendation on his blog. Check it out.

Epilogue to the Year of the Priest

A friend of my keyed me in on another very helpful and informative site on the Year of the Priest. Check it out. It would help to be part of Facebook